Monday, June 21, 2010


Pretty tired from staying up last night watching the football so am going to present you with my own list of World Cup honours. Specifically, honours based on quality of team nickname. And then I am going to go to bed.

Note: all nickname info straight from the heart of Wikipedia so if it's wrong, not my fault.

Silliest Team Nickname

Australia, no contest. They called their team the Socceroos. It's a combination of 'soccer' and 'kangaroos ' wherein patriotism about indigenous animals overrules the desire to not look silly in the papers, which makes me curious about other national team names. The Crickoalas? The Netbawombats? No wonder they were thrashed by Germany (Team nickname: The Team. Thank you Germany for your unwavering Germanness.) Runner-up: Denmark with Danish Dynamite. Apart from the fact that it makes me think about a pastry exploding, it's... no, actually the pastry thing is enough.

Most Accidentally Racist Nickname
Own goal for the New Zealand All Whites. It makes more sense when you know that the national rugby team is called the All Blacks (although actually that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense either) but still, we could have thought that one through a little more. It's going to be awkward if we ever play Ghana's Black Stars.

Best Animal Nickname
Well. England had a half-assed go with Three Lions, but then Cameroon pulled out the Indomitable Lions to take out both the 'lion reference' and 'this word is bigger than I expected from a sports team' categories. Cote d'Ivoire, bless them, rather missed the point with The Elephants. Yes, elephants are nice, but they embody exactly none of the qualities required in a football player (speed, dexterity, ability to fake mortal injury at a moment's notice). No-one wins this one. Well. Cameroon kind of win, but not really. Cameroon win on indomitable penalties.

Most Baffling, Yet Strangely Inspiring Nickname
Three-way tie: Nigeria have the Super Eagles - which are not only (I guess) better than regular eagles, they totally kick the ass of Serbia's White Eagles. Slovakia has The Fighting Jondas, which is made more interesting by the fact that no-one seems to know what a jonda is, and Greece have a long list of weird nicknames, one of which is Pirate Ship. All of those names make me feel a slight stirring of misguided patriotism and I have no idea why. Especially the Fighting Jondas, which I can totally imagine shouting in a stadium. Slovakia win.

Least Original Nickname
This is an unusual five-way tie between Italy, France, Greece, Uruguay, and Argentina. All of whom have teams which are pretty much called the Blues. Woo. Go team.

Most Badass Nickname
Algeria come in a respectable third for calling their team the Desert Foxes. That is super cool, mainly because it sounds like the name of an elite SS unit or something. Probably they were just talking about the actual desert foxes and should have been relegated to the Animal Names category but whatever, Algeria is so hot right now. It's hot all the time, actually, it's in fucking Africa. Second place to the Korean Republic (South Korea - North Korea doesn't have a nickname, I can't imagine why), with the Tigers of Asia. Also in the Faintly Martial Artsy category, Japan give it a go with Samurai Blue but somehow just come off as being a bit try-hard. Overall winners here - possibly with the best nickname of this year's World Cup - are Spain, with The Red Fury.

Would be much more daunting playing the Red Fury than, say, the Socceroos.


cerebral e said...

Our female soccer team is called the Matildas, presumably after the song Waltzing Matilda (which is about a jolly swagman camped by a billabong, under the shade of a coolabah tree). The female hockey team is the Hockeyroos whereas the men's team are the Kookaburras. Again, not particularly daunting. Our basketball team is called the Boomers, which is another reference to kangaroos. The rugby team are the Wallabies (we are into these bounding marsupials in Aussie sport). Oh and, during the Olympics, the Socceroos become the Olyroos. The junior soccer team have some ridiculous 'roo name too, that escapes me at present.

cerebral e said...

I take that back. Our under-21s soccer team are called the "Young Socceroos". also, our national Futsal team are called the "futsalroos". What the hell is Futsal?

Anyway, there is a whole wikipedia page devoted to silly Aussies national sporting team names:

I wish we still had live kangaroos as mascots, bouncing up and down the sidelines, punching the referees.

Judearoo said...

Slight change of subject but did you know there's a Chilean player called 'Waldo Ponce'? I know its unrelated but really is too good not to mention it.

Anonymous said...

What about South Africa's "Bofana, Bofana" or "The Boys, The Boys"

slommler said...

Well I have to say those are definitely interesting names. Most of them are really lame!!

Juli Ryan said...

Oh, yay. It's not just me who thinks accidental racism when I hear about the All Whites and the All Blacks. Whoever decided on those names really didn't think it through very well.

chris.dadness said...

I cannot believe you passed on using the German name for the Germans, Die Mannschaft.

Phil said...

Maybe The Fighting Jondas is, like, The Fighting Jane Fondas.
A team with really good skin for their age - because they're worth it.

Anonymous said...

This post is awesome. =D

chris.dadness said...

In defence of "Socceroos" - it was extremely hip in 1967 when some guy with a huge moustache and a very wide tie (probably) cooked it up.

I read Cerebral's list of Aust team names and felt my lunch coming up. How completely public-relations-putrid! GAH! Still - imagine running on court with the Scope Canterbury Tactix.

Razork said...

Hey now, leave the Tactix alone.

Geek Girl said...

HAHA I never considered that thing about the All whites...hmmm really catches your notice when they're playing in South Africa.

And The Red question, just run now...

IT IS ALLY said...

cE - Hahahaha futsalroos. I have no idea what the fuck Futsal is and oh wait I googled it and now I do. It seems to be some crappy indoor football thing.

Judearoo - First of all, are you secretly an Australian sports team? The Judo team, perhaps? Waldo Ponce is an awesome name!

Luinae - I saw that! And then forgot about it, whoops. You're right though, fairly weird. Why two sets of boys?

SueAnn - I know! You'd think there would be some kind of naming committee. The worrying thing is that there probably is :p

Juli - Nope. See also the Tall Blacks, our basketball team. Although, I guess, what do you traditionally find in a basketball team?

Chris - ...reeeeeally? Also, the Scope Canterbury Tactix is still a better name than the Futsalroos. Futsalroo sounds like something you'd say when you were drunk and farted by accident.

Phil - Worthy thought. I was going to go with some kind of 'hondas' line but couldn't make it work :(

Jenny - thank you!

Razork - Exactly.

Geek Girl - I know! RED FURYYYYYYY

Marta said...

Great post. Today, the final!