Some organizations will do anything for publicity, and what could be more desperate than a professional lacrosse team launching in Jacksonville at the beginning of the NFL season? So naming Jacksonville’s new professional lacrosse team the Jacksonville Bullies was possibly some sort of genius publicity stunt intended to create a controversial buzz.
In case you can’t remember, lacrosse is that game where guys run up and down the field, chasing each other with sticks, while searching for the Golden Snitch. It’s sort of like hockey, without the ice. Sort of like soccer, without the grace. Combine the two and you’ve got “Hocker” although the French-Canadian pronunciation of “Lacrosse” sounds much more appealing. Chances are you’ve probably seen more fictional Harry Potter Quidditch matches than actual lacrosse highlights.
The logo and mascot for the Jacksonville Bullies is a bulldog, because your first thought once you hear the word “Bully” is almost certainly either a bulldog or toilet bowel cleaner. It’s quite similar to how the word “Hooters” somehow always conjures up images of owls.
Had the league decided to name the team “Unicorns” or “Manatees” most people would not have given professional lacrosse another thought. Naming the team the Bullies, and thus seeming to glorify a delinquent, aggressive behavior that can have real consequences, create psychological and physical scars and even tragic suicides. That seemed to be enough to fire up social media, making for some negatively charged publicity– in a world where almost any publicity is good.
It can be argued that the lacrosse-team-naming controversy is just political correctness run amuck. It has even been suggested that the use of the name “Bullies” could provide some sort of platform for an anti-bullying campaign. If that doesn’t sound like horse hockey, (even horse hockey is more popular than lacrosse) then here are some other possible team names and causes that the North American Lacrosse League should consider:
The Tallahassee Tumors (cancer research)
The Pensacola Perverts (sex crime awareness)
The Atlanta Anorexics (eating disorders)
The Orlando Obese (eating disorders)
The Macon Meth (illegal substance abuse)
The Lakeland Lacrosse Team (lacrosse awareness)
Is timing important in the game of lacrosse? Because with the recent high profile campaigns against bullying, and as tough laws are being enacted around the country against the intentional mistreatment of others, the timing for the Jacksonville Bullies would seem more than a bit off.
Congratulations Jacksonville! You’ve finally landed that professional lacrosse team that you didn’t even know you were waiting for! Now get out there and get the public to see them. Be aggressive! Threaten to take their lunch money if they don’t show up. Because you wouldn’t want your coliseum to resemble the stereotypical bully; tall and massive on the outside, yet completely empty on the inside.