Suggestions For USMNT Nicknames And Let’s Keep America Fuck Yeah-ing.

June 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Grant Wahl’s asked for USMNT nicknames and official team song suggestions. I’ll bite.

Just to get it out of the way: “America: Fuck Yeah!” Is the only choice for team song. The only one. No other country has such a ballsy, ass-kicking, funny, cinematic, bro-tastic, and straight-up enjoyable song at its side. Ignore the whiny moralists and tsk-tsk-ers (I do everyday). There’s no need to go out and seek for a gem when you have the Hope Diamond in your personal safe.

Now nicknames, I’m willing to explore. The oft-used “Yanks” is probably going to be ours forever since there’s plenty of foreign sports journalists who are just as lazy and safe as most US journalists, which means they’ll take the name they’ve heard the most while watching television and regurgitate it in their own broadcasts. Yay recursive lazy shit!

In any case, it’s the responsibility of every passionate soccer fan to offer up their own pittance of a suggestion for nicknames. We citizens might not be able to steer the narrative ship in this corporate-media-helmed world, but we can do our damnedest to blow into the sails to try and change the wind. Okay, that analogy was bad. But lookit: we can do this. “Durantula” wasn’t created by Stu Scott, y’all (obvs, I know).

So in that can-do spirit, my ideas for team nicknames:

  • The Uglies. I have  no problem with our team owning the “ugly American” moniker. Plus it sounds like a mid-80’s anti-Reagan punk band, so boffo to that.
  • Los Gringos. Someone in the comments of the Wahl piece suggested this, and I love it. In the EPL, Tottenham took over “the Yids” and it works well. I’m all for us co-opting slurs. If the idea of a bunch of beautiful Latino/a, Black, Asian, and white men and women marching under the flag of “Los Gringos” doesn’t amuse/inspire you, I don’t want to know you.
  • The Stars n’ Bars. Yeah, it’s hokey and it sorta feels war-time jingo-y. But fuck all that- it’s lilting, rhythmic, and referential to the flag. Works for Ghana, why not us? The underrated part of this nickname? It’s a phrase that can be pronounced by nearly all tongues, regardless of linguistic background. Trust me, this is an important condition that must be met. We want a nickname that can be cursed at in bars across the world, from Berlin to Bangkok and from Fez to Montevideo. These are universal sounds. Also, when you say it out loud it sounds like “Stars in Bars”, which the USMNT will most decidedly be if we make it to the final 16 or 8.
  • The Tots. From a friend on this one. She pointed out how in other languages, the words for “States” in reference to “United States Of America” always features more prominently than in any way that most Americans say it. In Spanish we got “Estados Unidos”, in French “Etats Unis”, in Russian they have the word roughly transliterated as “Shtat”. In any case, they all have the “tot” sound in it. So saying “Les Tots” or “Los Tots” wouldn’t even sound that far off for their broadcasts, plus it plays off the we’re-still-new-to-the-game narrative.
  • The Uncles. Creepy? Yes. Pervy? Even more yes. Distinctive and Memorable? Yes-est. It’s a play on the “Sam’s Army” name for the fanbase (a name I love, btw). Also, who’s the person that shows up at big functions already slightly tipsy, inappropriately grabby, and yet still manages to have a good time? That’s right, your uncles. A better model to follow cannot be found.

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