RMNB’s SB Nation Sports Blog Blog Name Ranking Index

SB Nation’s blog for the Buffaslugs takes on all comers. Photo by the great Clydeorama.

Like fantasy teams, sports blogs tend to have boldly silly names. Onomasticians fill their hours dissecting the tribalism and secret etymology of blogs with names like Russian Machine Never Breaks and the late, great, way too punny Kings of Leonsis.

Fun fact: here are some names we didn’t pick for RMNB: Red Line to StanleytownLaing’s Gang, various names with a bongo theme. Meanwhile, across the net at SB Nation (a blog network of which our colleagues at Japers’ Rink are members and Caps owner Ted Leonsis is an investor), there’s a blog for every team in the league. It’s a panoply of fun, imaginative names.

To pass the time on this long and languid summer, we decided to pick our favorites. Behold: the RMNB’s SB Nation Sports Blog Blog Name Ranking Index Presented by RMNB.

First, let’s meet our panel:

  • Ian Oland. Co-founder of RMNB. Designer and regional internet personality. Ferret owner. Person who thought Laing’s Gang was a viable blog name.
  • Peter Hassett. Co-founder of RMNB. Web architect/musician/embattled editor of Czech translations. Most successful project to date is a 10-second YouTube video of him clapping.
  • Ana Hansen. Joke Czar at RMNB. Eternal student. Den mother and falconer. Currently lost somewhere between West Virginia and Wyoming.
  • Rachel Cohen. RMNB’s resident artist. About to disappear into her senior year of college. Currently working a super-cool, top-secret project that she isn’t allowed to talk about.
  • Drew. Just some guy. Big R. Kelly fan.

Each panelist was given a list of all thirty team blog names and asked to score each from 1 to 10– 10 being the best, and 1 being about as good as Laing’s Gang. Ana gave out a lot of 10’s. We averaged the scores together and ranked them.

With further whatever, here is our top ten, starting with the most popular name on our list:

  1. Die By The Blade (Buffalo Sabres)
  2. Stanley Cup of Chowder (Boston Bruins)
  3. Pension Plan Puppets (Toronto Maple Leafs)
  4. Mile High Hockey (Colorado Avalanche)
  5. Fear The Fin (San Jose Sharks)
  6. Matchsticks and Gasoline (Calgary Flames)
  7. The Cannon (Columbus Blue Jackets)
  8. Broad Street Hockey (Philadelphia Flyers)
  9. Jewels From The Crown (Los Angeles Kings)
  10. Lighthouse Hockey (New York Islanders)

Die By the Blade, a venerable Sabres site, was the far-and-away winner– almost certainly because the words die and blade are both in the name. That blog takes the thinly veiled war metaphor inherent in all sports and makes it as explicity as the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan. The Cannon does the war thing too, but because you’re not actually imagining severed limbs it’s less effective.

Three of the blogs in the top ten actually include the word hockey itself. Cursory pattern analysis of these hockey blogs reveals that putting the word hockey after a local reference is the secret to hockey blog name success. This time next year this blog will be known as Strasburg Shutdown Hockey. Or maybe B-word Set Me Up Hockey.

Consonance, the repetition of  similar sounds, is also a popular device among blog names, with six of the thirty blogs employing it. We considered that one for a while, but playing that game with a word like Caps means you risk veering down the ku klux cul-de-sac. No thank you.

My personal favorite SB Nation blog name is Pension Plan Puppets, a name that recalls both the ownership situation in Toronto and the doomed fatalism its fans endure year after year. If they had only named it Pension Plan Puppets Hockey, they’d have hit the naming device trifecta.

The index is in no way a critique of low-scoring blog names. We refuse to deride the 30th ranked St. Louis Game Time for the prosaism of its name. But honestly, would you rather go to a cocktail party at their house… or a costume party/kegger at In Lou We Trust‘s?

And that’s it. Thanks for joining us at the RMNB’s SB Nation Sports Blog Blog Name Ranking Index Presented by RMNB.

On behalf of our the panel, I’d like to congratulate Die by the Blade for having the most bad-ass name in hockey blogdom. I’d also like to remind our audience that a blog’s name’s rank on the RMNB’s SB Nation Sports Blog Blog Name Ranking Index Presented by RMNB does in no way correlate to the quality of its output (Related: Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Thanks to all the SB Nation bloggers, who did not ask to participate and hopefully will not read this list. And thanks to the other members of our panel, even Drew, for their careful and not-at-all-blatantly-biased-against-PensBurgh adjudication.

Finally, I’d like to open the conversation to all of you: what’s your favorite sports blog name, and why didn’t we think of that?

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  • @theblove

    Great read. My only disappointment is that this wasn’t a 5 part series. This is an area worth milking, especially in a lockout-looming-lull (see what I did there?).

  • Brandon Bubar

    No Clint Malarchuk reference? Surprising…