Throughout the history of professional sports there have been a host of unusual, surprising and downright absurd names.
The Austin Major League Rugby team – known as the Elite from 2017 to 2018 and then as the Herd last year – may have now taken the cake for the strangest name ever conceived.
As announced earlier today, last year’s cellar-dwelling MLR side will henceforth be known as the Austin Gilgronis.
Most people won’t recognise the nickname, primarily because it’s a word that doesn’t actually exist as yet.
Continue reading below…
According to the MLR website, the Gilgronis are named after a “new Texas-sized cocktail, to be released soon”.
Fans have understandably taken to Twitter to divulge their opinions on the new moniker – and the consensus seems to be swaying towards the negative at present.
Here’s what’s been said:
This has to be a joke…
— James Vinson (@DoctorShades24) January 29, 2020
Is Tom Haverford behind this move? #treatyoself
— Jake Frechette (@JakeHFrechette) January 29, 2020
This is easily one of@the weirdest moves you could have made. You will never grow the game doing stupid marketing gimmics like this
— baggedgod (@joeydogood) January 29, 2020
We’re naming teams after cocktails now? When will the Long Island Ice Teas join the league? ?
— Shane Raynor (@ShaneRaynor) January 29, 2020
Thought this was a parody at first Austin Elite to Austin Herd to Austin Gilgronis – could be worse, the Australian company that trademarked Gilgroni also owns Gilrita, Gilpolitan, Gilitini, Giltini, Gilacolada, Gilgarita, Giljito and Loyaltini https://t.co/M1FGWPSFu7
— BC Rugby News (@BCRugbyNews) January 29, 2020
Austin Gilgroni sounds like an 80s Porn Star
— Dean Ashton (@DeantheDream84) January 29, 2020
OK I can see a total rebrand of all the #MLR2020 teams:
New England Samuel Adams
New Orleans Daiquiris
Old Ale DC
Negronis New York
— DrivingMaul (@DrivingMaul) January 29, 2020
American sports teams, in particular, have a history of running with somewhat peculiar nicknames. The Gilgronis will now join the long list of somewhat ill-thought names such as the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs.
Terrible name aside, the Gilrgonis also announced a number of excellent initiatives to help grow rugby in Austin, including:
- Paying for every youth players’ annual fees;
- Capping ticket sales at $5 per person for families;
- Sponsoring the U16, U18, and U20 teams to travel nationally as they strive to win their respective national championships;
- Providing all uniforms, boots, and training kits to youth at a wholesale price to make the sport more affordable. No jersey will cost more than $25.
Loyals LLC, who have taken over the franchise, have brought in former All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrneas as the teams’ head of rugby and will be aiming to improve the Gilgronis’ standing in the league.
The full press release can be read here.
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