I am quite sure the Amarillo minor-league baseball community is trying to digest the name of the city’s new team.
The team ownership announced that the Class AA team will be called the Sod Poodles, which reportedly is an old-fashioned term meant to describe prairie dogs. Whatever they say, I guess I’ll have to go along with it.
As dubious as I am of the alleged origin of Sod Poodles, I do like the name.
It grew on me quickly. My first reaction to the name that appeared on the list of “finalists” under consideration was pure,, unadulterated hatred. However, my conversion from name hater to name lover was rapid.
The more I thought about it, the more I liked it. Then I heard about the ownership’s logic in selecting this group of names. They sought quirky names. They want the community to talk about them. They want the rest of the Texas League to talk about them, too.
From what I hear, Amarillo’s baseball fans are talking all right. It isn’t all goodness and light. There’s some grumbling from what I have heard.
Hey, pay attention. These kinds of reactions have this way of passing. I know how it goes. I’ve lived through some of this already.
My hometown of Portland, Ore., was awarded a National Basketball Association franchise. The team began play in the fall of 1970. They had to come up with a name. I was finishing my hitch in the Army and I submitted the name Lumberjacks to the powers that be. Hey, Portland is at the hub of the nation’s timber industry. Therefore, Lumberjacks made perfect sense.
The team owners didn’t think so. Neither did the rest of the community. They came up with Trail Blazers as the name for the new NBA team. You could hear the shrieks up and down the Pacific Coast.
Then it dawned on a lot of us: Trail Blazers pays tribute to William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, who “blazed the trail” in the early 19th century from the Midwest to the Pacific Ocean, trekking along the Columbia River to their destination. The team name honors the exploits of Lewis & Clark. It’s perfect!
I believe Sod Poodles will become part of Amarillo’s identity. Eventually.
It might take some time, but I am keeper of the faith in good things happening for the city I used to call home.