I was doing something the other day that I don’t normally do – and that’s listen to 1010 CFRB-AM. Don’t get me wrong, I like Bill Carroll and (most of) his opinions, and on a good day I can stomach John Moore, but the chance of hearing one of their bush league reporters bumble through another newscast has me avoiding the station at most times.
Be that as it may, I happen to catch a sports report from Rick Hodge who last year joined Carroll in the morning. And what should grab my attention? His use of the word “Rappies“.
Now, at 7-something in the morning, I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box, so it took me a few seconds before I figured out what Hodge was talking about. He meant “The Raptors” — as in the National Basketball Association team that has been playing in this city for something like 14 years now. If they were going to coin a nickname, it would have happened by now. And it sure as hell wouldn’t be “Rappies”
See, what Hodge was trying to is what every journalist dreams of doing — and that’s coming up with a nickname for a team or sports building that sooner or later, everyone will use. (Kind of like how in Chicago, US Cellular Field is called “The Cell”, or the Dunkin Donuts Center is called “the Dunk”.) Montreal Gazette columnist Jack Todd tried it years ago. He tried calling the then-named Molson Centre “the Keg” – until a certain steakhouse told him to get a clue (or cease and desist – whatever it said on the lawyer’s letter.)
Turns out after asking around, Hodge has been trying to make “Rappies” happen now for some time – but I don’t think it’s working. And it certainly sounds dumb. Reminds me of that scene in Mean Girls when Gretchen Weiners is trying to make the word “fetch” happen to no avail until she is finally scolded by one of her friends
Way I see it, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. (But you should also know when to throw in the towel.) Nickname creation isn’t for everyone. Hell, I’m still trying to get everyone to call a certain Desperate Housewife “Eva Longwhoria.” (It’s slowly catching on, I tell ya.)
I can’t blame a guy for trying, but besides don’t the Raptors already have a nickname? Aren’t they called The Unlovable Losers The Dinos?