TAKOMA PARK, MD – As the 2019 soccer season is set to kick-off this Fall, the Takoma travel team faces a huge obstacle that may end their season before it even starts: picking a team name.
According to Youth Travel Soccer Regulation 188.8.131.52, no team shall enter any league without providing a name that is also written on the front of each player’s jersey. What is normally a simple task has become an all-hands-on-deck research emergency that has pulled in naming experts, historians, and community activists.
“We started with animals, but really couldn’t find a single name that pleased the kids and was acceptable for animal right activists,” stated coach Josh Gunther. “We thought we had the name ‘Bunnies’ locked down, but then realized we were associating ourselves with Playboy Magazine.”
Local historian, Bernard McAllister spent weeks researching documents at the Takoma Park Library in search of inspiration, but the best name he came up with to represent the city was “Azaleas”. The invasive species was immediately rejected by the city’s Horticulture Club.
Another top choice considered was “Peanuts,” describing the small stature of the youth team, but an uproar grew over the dangerous allergies associated with the controversial legume. “Hurricanes” was similarly derailed by climate change activists arguing that extreme weather is too serious a threat to be trivialized by an association with children’s sports.
In an effort to simplify, a league official suggested reverting to the time honored tradition of naming youth teams by color. Yellow was briefly in contention, but that raised a host of issues including kids with “shy” or “anxious” tendencies, but also the responsibility to provide representation for the other colors – what about Purple? Blue? A formal objection was also registered by the Takoma Park Association of the Color Blind.
“Things have surely changed from my time,” said long-time soccer coach Ben Olsen. “I remember playing for the Orange Crush back when I was an kid. Today, that’s a double whammy—not only does “crush” sound very violent, but the color Orange will remind everyone of the cheeto currently in the Oval Office.”
Time is running out for the Takoma travel team. If the team fails to agree on a team name, the league will intervene by assigning the name produced by the league’s random word generator. Barring an unexpected breakthrough before the deadline, therefore, local parents should start preparing themselves to spend the season rooting for the Takoma Park Tampons.