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Friday, November 15, 2013

Naming Contests Don't Work And Other Obvious Facts

Posted by Alex Falcone on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Holding a naming contest is the laziest way to make a bad decision. You might think it's going to make people feel involved in the process, but really you're just proving the whole city lacks creativity.

The new arena football team that you'll never watch used one such contest to come up with the name Portland Thunder. Menacing, I guess. Easy to pick in-game sound effects. But more importantly, it sounds like a name that somebody who's never been to Portland, but has heard about it, would name a team. We have thunder about as often as blizzards. On the plus side, it'll be easy for Incognito-style bullying: "Get out there and play some indoor football, Portland Thunder Thighs!"

I didn't get a chance to enter, but here are some names I would prefer for our fake football team that better represent our city.

- The We Love You Long Times
- The Pour Overs
- The Free Boxes
- The Girls Stuck Between Two Walls
- The Brunch Lines
- The Portland Soccer Fans

TriMet's naming contest for the new no-cars-allowed bridge is ongoing, so it's too early to complain about the name they choose. But we all know anytime a corporate website says "Be creative!" the results will be boring. I won't be submitting these names to TriMet because I don't work for free, but if they paid me Mercury Standard Day Rate (around $2 before taxes), these are the names I'd suggest.

- The Willamette River Crossing (WRC)
- The Moda Bridge
- Opening Eventually Bridge
- The Bridge To Nowhere Good
- The Portland Arena Football Team Memorial Bridge

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