Friday, April 4, 2008

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Or a stadium? Or a racing series? What is in a name these days? Simply dollars and cents?

What names do we hold dear? How about Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs, in Chicago. My wife and I used to head over Chi-town a couple times a year and Wrigley was one of the highlights of that city.

I am still trying to accustom myself to calling the Winston Cup Series, that's Nascar for you non-rednecks, by it's new name: The Nextel Cup Series. Oh, wait. I mean the Sprint Cup series. Well, if you mess with the big names like the Winston Cup Series, then, surely it isn't a big deal to follow it up by changing the Busch Series to the Nationwide Series. Maybe its just me, but didn't Busch beer serve as a much better representation of the typical Nascar fan than Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company? But it really isn't about representation, or history, or tradition, or value. It is about money, and how much of it can be made off of so-called naming rights.

How much value do we still hold for Lord Frederick Stanley, the namesake for the Stanley Cup - the National Hockey League's highest prize? Will we soon be calling it the Reese's Pieces Cup or the Comcast Cup? Perhaps Lord Stanley is already rolling in his grave at the thought.

Maybe I'm not a big enough fan of Nascar, but it's name changes didn't really bother me that much. Living so close to the Bank Atlantic Center (home of the Florida Panthers and previously known as National Car Rental Center, Broward County Civic Arena, and Office Depot Center) has made me a little more aware and also annoyed at the impact of a simple name change for the sake of a buck.

But for some reason, the possibility of a name change for Wrigley Field really rankles me. Wrigley is more than a ballpark. It is an institution, a destination, and a proven source for fond memories held by many Midwesterners. What a shame, if they sell it's name.

1 Comment:

Natty Bummpo said...

don't forget about Joe Robbie Stadium to Pro Player to Dolphins Stadium. I still call it Joe Robbie though because that's what it was when i was a kid.

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