Special to Page 2
News Item: The Anaheim Angels changed their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, part of a long-term business plan to boost revenue and expand the club's marketing reach ...
Brilliant. Just brilliant. Everyone knows how well a similarly expansive name has worked for the uber-popular Golden State Warriors. And last we checked, the New York-New Jersey MetroStars were making headway in Pennsylvania.
OK, maybe not.
Still, Angels owner Arte Moreno deserves credit for thinking ahead. Teams can always use more revenue, and so long as the killjoys at Major League Baseball refuse to allow "Spiderman 2" ads on third base, creativity is essential. How else is Moreno supposed to pay for Vlad Guerrero and cut beer prices?
With that in mind, the Page 2 of ESPN.com examines some other potential team name changes:
California Dodgers of Los Angeles
Pros: Beats the Angels at their own grasping game. Moreno wants L.A.? The Dodgers will take the whole state. As Sean Connery put it in "The Untouchables": "They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to watch a double feature of 'Medicine Man' and 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!'" Or something like that.
Cons: Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants might hopscotch the Warriors and one-up the Dodgers by claiming the entire Pacific Northwest, touching off "End of Days" apocalyptic team naming war.
Verdict: Manchester United of the Planet Earth is only a matter of time. Might as well get in on the ground floor.
The Los Angeles Lakers of "That Guy"
Pros: Truth in advertising. When yet another Laker is run out of town for not giving Kobe Bryant 110 percent -- or privately complaining about Bryant's 8-for-26 shooting nights -- he'll know exactly why. Without naming names, of course. That wouldn't be classy.
Cons: Sure to give Terrell Owens the wrong idea.
Verdict: Bad idea. Everyone already grasps the score. And since when is No. 8 big on truth-telling?
Tokyo Cowboys of Dallas
Pros: Pays homage to the inspiration for Bill "Jap plays" Parcells' playbook skullduggery. Oh, and taps into Japanese love of all things U.S. pop culture, such as blue jeans and Jennifer Love Hewitt albums.
Cons: No matter how much you like anime, there's nothing more discordant than a Japanese cowboy; if the Houston Texans adopt the city of Osaka, Steve Spurrier might be tempted to return to pro ball.
Verdict: Uh-uh. Probably the worst East-West mash-up since "The Last Samurai."
Los Angeles Raiders of Oakland/Los Angeles Rams of St. Louis
Pros: Gets the NFL back into the country's second biggest media market, without the messy business of building a new stadium.
Cons: Blackouts or bad football -- local residents get a choice. And all the more reason to spend Sundays at the beach.
Verdict: Go for it. Move sure to produce litigation involving Al Davis, thereby restoring normalcy to our crazy, mixed-up sports world.
Arizona, Texas, Los Angeles, et. al Yankees of New York
Pros: Rapacious Yankees gobble up every other team's best players like a powered-up Pac Man. Why not swipe their fans, too?
Cons: Could provoke federal antitrust investigation.
Verdict: Good idea, so long as Massachusetts is kept off the table.
Los Angeles Kings of Hockey
Pros: Lockout, schmock-out. That Gretzky guy? He played for us.
Cons: In six months, more people will remember the Titans than the NHL.
Verdict: Can't hurt. Gotta get in the public eye somehow.
Pros: Team is 2-27 and on pace for one of the worst seasons of all time. Why drag the good people of New Orleans into this?
Cons: If scheduled-to-visit NBA teams don't think they'll be able to party in the French Quarter, they may not show up at all.
Verdict: Pull the trigger. And get the Saints on board while you're at it.
Baghdad Redskins of Washington
Pros: Remind triumphant, giddy, oblivious Inaugural revelers that there is, in fact, a war going on.
Cons: Iraqi soccer team won't be happy. What else is new?
Verdict: Affirmative. Next time the 'Skins go 5-11, Don Rumsfeld can make a surprise, feel-good visit to Redskins Park, then lecture the team on "going to war with the quarterback you have."
United States National Soccer Team of America
Pros: Hey, striking is an American right, you know.
Cons: ... and so is ignoring futbol.
Verdict: Not a World Cup year? Won't make a difference.Los Angeles Clippers of Los Angles
Pros: Inform SoCal denizens that the Clippers not only exist, but also play professional basketball. And in the same building as Kobe!
Cons: Antagonize fans on the other side of the region's "Orange Curtain."
Verdict: Better idea -- go with "Los Angeles Clippers of Anaheim," and bring a divided populace together. Mr. Sterling, tear down that wall!
Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times.