As a Very Serious Athlete, you are no doubt approached, from time to time, by other Very Serious Athletes, each with a Lucrative Offer in hand. Their objective: to persuade you to join their cycling team, thus improving their chances at winning local cycling contests.
Of course, you must hear your suitors out. It is the polite thing to do, and cyclists — as you know — are unfailingly polite. But you must listen with a critical ear, because joining a cycling team is a very serious commitment, one which will require you to spend hours riding in a pace line with your teammates. One which will require you to spend your weekends at races. One which will mean that you must sometimes set aside your personal goals in a race to help the team.
One which will mean you will have to wear a jersey so poorly designed that your face will burn with shame each time you put it on.
You must ask yourself whether you are willing to make these sacrifices. But even more importantly, you must ask the team captain if they would mind changing the team name.
Because — and I can say this with utmost certainty — their current team name sucks.
I know, I know. It’s not easy to inform a team, before you are even one of them, that they have a ridiculously embarrassing team name. But — and you must trust me on this, because I am approached by cycling teams thrice daily, each begging me to be a part of their team – you need to tell them anyway. They will respect you for your candor, and probably make you team captain or give you a medal or heft you upon their shoulders and parade you around the team bus.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I have been paraded around team buses atop my teammates’ shoulders. “Careful not to drop me!” I always say, half-jokingly, but with just enough seriousness that they know that I regard them as clumsy oafs who might do just that.
How to Name a Team
Once you have graciously acquiesced to be on a team and have had your agent and attorneys make it clear that a team name of your choosing is a condition of your joining said team, you are confronted by a Very Important Decision.
You must now name the team.
Yes, you must name the team. You and you alone. Do not put it to a vote, because you are the only one with the wisdom and perspicacity to name this team correctly. Consider, after all, your team’s former name. Your teammates came up (and apparently were satisfied) with that, so clearly they cannot be trusted, nor even consulted.
Thus, you must shoulder this responsibility alone. But don’t despair, because I will help you with the following Very Good Ideas for Team Names.
Idea 1. Your Own Name
It’s very common and completely acceptable to name a band after a person. Just ask Dave Matthews. Or Barry Manilow. Or One Direction (not many people know that “One Direction” is the actual birth name of the lead singer of One Direction).
If it’s good enough for rock and roll, it’s good enough for cycling.
Also, this is a good idea because people will know who the star of your team is.
Alternatively, you can give your team a name of a completely different — perhaps even a fictional — person. Why, after all, should a cycling team not have a human name? Is it, after all, not made of humans?
I recommend the name “Steve.” Not “Team Steve.” Just “Steve.” It’s a good, general-purpose name.
People will ask you why you named your team “Steve.” Your only response should be a blank stare. Practice this stare until you are very good at it.
Idea 2. One Letter
Letters are easy to type, and difficult to misspell. And — when used properly — they sound somewhat threatening, which is good. However, only a few letters work as team names. These letters follow:
You may think that I have erred in not presenting the letters X and Z in this list. And twenty years ago, you would have been right. Now, however, they are overused to the point of being trite. (Note: Be very careful before choosing “Q” as your team name — it is right on the threshold of overuse.)
Under no circumstance should you name your team with a vowel (in the list above, “Y” is the non-vowel version), nor a letter that is commonly used as a grade in school.
Except “B.” You could use “B” I guess.
Idea 3. Black Dolphin
Black Dolphin is the name of the harshest prison in Russia. If I was on ten cycling teams, I would want all of them to be called Black Dolphin.
Also, if I were in a rock band, I would name it Black Dolphin.
And if I were writing a screenplay about a Tough Ex-Military Hard Case With An Axe To Grind But Also With A Heart of Gold, I would name the screenplay “Black Dolphin.” And I would have the opening scene be about her — yes, her, because I am a modern and progressive screenwriter — being incarcerated in Black Dolphin and vowing to escape so that she could rejoin her cycling team. And the rest of the movie pretty much writes itself. Or at least I hope it does, because I can’t imagine how else it will get written.
Idea 4. Large Company Names
You can intimidate other teams and make them think you have the backing of large and important companies, simply by naming your racing team after them. Some examples:
- Team IBM
- Team McDonalds
- Team Hormel Foods, Tinned Meat Products Division
- Team Supreme Court
The awesome thing about doing this is the companies after which the cycling teams are named often hear about these aforementioned cycling teams and decide to sponsor them after all, because — and I’m quoting (myself) here — “we like your moxie.”
Also, they never send cease an desist letters, because most large companies have a really good, self-deprecatory sense of humor.
Idea 5. Movie Names
A really funny way to name your team is with a play on a movie title or other pop-culture reference. For example, if you are in a relay team for a triathalong and two of you are getting on in years and one of you isn’t and all three of you are male, you could call your team “Two and a Half Grumpy Old Men.”
No, I’m just kidding. Pop-culture references as team names are horrible.
Idea 6. Political Statements
One thing most people don’t realize is that you can use your cycling team name to make a political statement, and that if you do, it will probably influence a lot of people and change their minds toward your way of thinking.
To prove this, I am going to name the next team I join “NObama 2016!!!”
And just you wait and see if he gets re-elected.
Idea 7. Lots of the Letter K
Did you know that if you take any word with a “c” in it and replace the “c” with a “K,” that the word automatically becomes clever and precious?
Or should I say “klever and prekious?”
Well, it’s true. So if you’re looking for a team name that’s very adorable, be certain to choose any pair of words that have “c’s” in them, and replace those “c’s” with “k’s.”
Note: This effect is intensified if you make the “k’s” backward.
Idea 8. Two Random Words
The fact that you’ve read this far without having come to a satisfactory solution demonstrates that you are a Tough Customer Indeed. And so I will now provide you the very best method for naming your cycling team:
Use two random words.
And it’s not like you even have to pick them out of a hat or anything. Just go to a Two Random Word Generator page on the internet (yes, it actually exists).
And there’s your team name. Unless you don’t like it, in which case you should just refresh the page.
If you don’t come up with a team name you love within five tries, you’re being fussy and your team is probably not worth naming anyway.
I have found the following team names, each of which is brilliant, within the last three minutes:
- Team Injury Ingredient
- Team Desk Hamburger
- Team Shoelace Ravioli
- Team Prize Planet
- Team Insulting Cousin
Or, finally, you could just call your team “Team Fatty.”
If you don’t mind hearing from my lawyers, I mean.