What's in a Name?

An unscientific breakdown of the odds for our favorite team names

click to enlarge Even if you don't have game, you can at least have a great Hoopfest team name. - MATT WEIGAND
Matt Weigand
Even if you don't have game, you can at least have a great Hoopfest team name.

If the number of basketball courts dotting downtown Spokane isn't enough to indicate the sheer scope of this hoops-happy undertaking, the number of teams entered will do the trick. I perused the complete list — all 165 pages of it — to see what names grabbed me at first glance, much like how I pick horses at the track.

Here's a breakdown of my 20 favorite team names and their (totally made up) odds of winning this weekend:

ANGRY LARRY BIRDS

Evocative of both a popular game series and one of basketball's greatest-ever players. Odds: 20-to-1

AVOCADO TOAST

Trendy. Smooth. Delicious. If their game matches their name, look out. Odds: 30-to-1

BACK THAT PASS UP

A name that shows a knack for teamwork while also giving props to Juvenile's 1998 hip-hop anthem "Back That Azz Up"? Sold. Odds: 20-to-1

BAD HOMBRES

Topical after the presidential debates, and potentially intimidating to opponents. Odds: 20-to-1

BALLERS ON HBO

I haven't seen the program, but the fact that this team is paying homage to The Rock's show and kept "on HBO" as part of their name — brilliant. Odds: 25-to-1

BEARDLESS KARNOWSKIS

Nice local touch for Inland Northwesterners who remember pre-facial-hair Przemek Karnowski. But bearded Karnowski was the best Karnowski. Odds: 100-to-1

BITTER AGED HOPS

I got the sense looking through all the team names that drinking beer is nearly as important as balling during Hoopfest. These guys seem ready. Odds: 50-to-1

EXPOSED BRICKERY

I picture a team of interior decorators bored with every new brewpub's décor. And the self-mocking tone is great. Odds: 60-to-1

GIMME THE YACHT ROCK

If you're going to get footloose down in the danger zone of the lane, watch out for these guys. Odds: 40-to-1

GYRO STEPS

What modern basketball fans call the "Euro step" was a "traveling violation" back in the day. Expect these guys to walk all over their opponents. Odds: 15-to-1

JUKES OF HAZZARD

Please let this team show up to play in Daisy Dukes. Odds: 35-to-1

LORENZO LLAMAS

Inspired by a B-list actor, hoping to bring an A-level game to Hoopfest. Odds: 75-to-1

MAXI DADS

The real question here: Will this team bring a mascot to cheer them on? Odds: 80-to-1

NOTHING BUT NETFLIX

Many Hoopfest players are going to be laid up for a few days after all the exercise. Good thing a new Orange Is The New Black season just hit. Odds: 90-to-1

PROS IN CONS

Any team willing to play Hoopfest in Converse All-Stars — and I'm assuming that's the case here — gets extra credit. Odds: 45-to-1

RUN LIKE THE WINDED

Somebody please play Spinal Tap's "Break Like The Wind" as this team takes the court. Odds: 85-to-1

SHAM YAO

The Yao Ming reference is a little dated; the 7-foot-6 Chinese superstar retired six years ago. But self-deprecation goes a long way with me. Odds: 65-to-1

SWEDISH SWISH

With Gonzaga being a hotbed of international talent, it makes sense that Hoopfest might have an overseas contingent. Odds: 35-to-1

THREEZ COMPANY

I love both John Ritter and long-distance shooters. Odds: 25-to-1

VLADIMIR PUTINITIN

I like that this name is topical, controversial and borderline filthy. Odds: 20-to-1 ♦

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About The Author

Dan Nailen

Dan Nailen is the managing editor of the Inlander, where he oversees coverage of arts and culture. He's previously written and edited for The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Weekly, Missoula Independent, Salt Lake Magazine, The Oregonian and KUER-FM. He grew up seeing the country in an Air Force family and studied...