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Quebecers Hopping Mad Over Team Name by Stan Silliman


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Quebecers Hopping Mad Over Team Name

      According to the Toronto Star the proposed new name for the Quebec City ABA basketball team – the Jumping Frogs – is a tadpole offensive to Quebecers. And they’re letting the owner of the team, Real Bourassa, know about it. They’ve even threatened to send mimes down to his office to act out their displeasure.  

    Apparently the word, Frog, is a racist insult to those of French decent. It’s a snide term for French people the British use because the French love eating frogs. During certain periods of history the British didn’t care for the French, thus the insult. We find that a bit Francophonish because the French like eating all kinds of stuff and, to us, Frogs is a less offensive name than snails, veal kidneys or a duck liver mousse. And if you ask us we’d rather not eat anything, like a mousse, that you put in your hair.  

    They are now taking suggestions for an alternate team name and one that will not ruffle the Quebecers’ feathers. Some of the names suggested have been the Sneaky Snails, the Voracious Veal Kidneys and the Lively Liver Mousses. I think most of those suggestions came from our office.

    We told our neighbor, Lyle, about the new minor league basketball team and the plight they were having coming up with a name and he suggested The Team that Went-a-Courtin’. We told Lyle that’d be kind of long to fit on a shirt and Lyle came back with Amphibian-Eating Surrender Monkeys.  We told Lyle they’ll jump all over that one although, truthfully, that doesn’t sound very sporty.

    Our Russian tennis-loving friend, Davidoff Clarkinov, suggested that possibly, we give them a basketball name based on a symbol on the French flag like the Fleur-de-Layups, a name both Frenchy and basketbally. We told Davidoff that even though it’s Quebec, it’s possible they want a name and an identity more Canadian than French. He reminded us that the Fleur-de-Lis was all over the flag of Quebec and if we wanted to examine Quebec’s coat of arms it has a fleur-de-lis, a maple leaf and a lion. He added their state bird is a Snowy Owl. He then left us with the Hudson Bay B-Ballers.

    We put this ball team naming problem to our French speaking friend, David Graven, and he turned it over to his son, John, who gave us the suggestion of the Quebec Kermits. John explained to us that the hard “k” sound is very pleasing to Quebecers and can lead to some very exciting basketball chants.  How a six-year-old would know all this is beyond me. John goes on to explain the Kermits will have green uniforms and long green leotards while the cheerleaders will be wearing Miss Piggy outfits. “Miss Piggy speaks French, you know.” John points out the hard “k” sound could be instrumental in bringing the Inuits from the Nunavik region of Quebec into the fold of fans as the Inuits have a slang utilizing a clicking sound loaded with hard “Ks”.  “If you’re going to build a good franchise,” John continues, “All the ingredients – team name, cheer squad, marketing, and fan base - must mesh.”  
Quebecers Hopping Mad Over Team Name by Stan Silliman
    John gives me an example of a cheer: “Go Kermits, Go Kermits. It’s not easy being green.” John then strokes his chin, “You know, if they don’t like the Kermits, they can always go with the Power Rangers.”


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