By Chad Withrow:
Everyone loves a good list and I’m no exception. From the best restaurants to movies and television to music. We can all spend a fair amount of time debating the merits of our favorites versus your favorites. Before each season, I will put together a ranking of various high school football related items to get you ready for the season. To begin the 2018 season, I’m going to take a look at the nicknames of every high school football team in the state. This list is completely subjective and I acknowledge that my choices will upset some… and I welcome debate.
There are well over 300 TSSAA recognized high school football programs in the state of Tennessee. Because of that, I’ve divided these rankings into 3 parts. Part 1 focued on animal nicknames, Part II focused on human nicknames, and Part III examines every nickname that doesn’t involve a human or an animal. I will decide between the winners of each category on Thursday and that nickname will be the definitive best high school football nickname for TN High School Football. The criteria is all encompassing. I considered originality and geography of the school with how much their mascot made sense to the community. In short, I took my time with this and carefully considered many factors before rendering judgement. What did I miss? What did I get right? Hit me back on twitter, @withrowzone or @tnhsfb , or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I look forward to hearing back from you all. Without anymore unnecessary build-up, here is the TNHSFB ranking of high school football miscellaneous nicknames from last to first.
- This sounds more like the name of a group at a little kids’ summer camp than a football team. More likely to hear “I need my good listeners, my “Stars” to meet by the swings” than “Stars on 3! 1..2..3…”. That’s a problem.
#19) BLUE DEVILS
(Jellico, Harriman, Jackson Co., Unicoi Co., White House, Lebanon)
- Let’s take a fierce being that’s the ruler of all things evil and turn it into a comic shade of blue avoiding the responsibility of giving our school an evil name by adding a little Disney flair. No thanks.
(East Hamilton, Morristown East)
- Hurricanes are bad. No joking matter. Should be feared. They also don’t happen in Tennessee.
#17) GREEN WAVE
- I’ve seen many a green body of water in this state and boats makes waves… so what the heck?
- Points for capturing an act of God that takes place frequently in this state. Point decision for not spicing it up a bit.
- It’s a tornado that sounds cooler.
- Now we get to the first truly man made object on this list. This doesn’t totally blow me away but I like anything that captures man’s obsession with making things go high and fast.
(McMinn Central, Covington, Westview, Chattanooga Christian)
- Give me a pair of lightning bolts on each side of the helmet and I’m good to go.
- Joe Namath made them cool. Cumberland County makes them “plateau”.
#11) RED DEVILS
(Jo Byrns, South Fulton, Douglass, Knoxville Halls, Germantown)
- Full marks for going all in. If you are going to evoke the name of all that’s evil, you might as well go with the color associated with said evil deity.
(York Institute, Clinton, Collierville)
- This one probably isn’t in the top 10 if “Game of Thrones” never existed. .
To quote Beavis: “Fire! Fire! Fire!”.
#8) GOLDEN TORNADOES
- This is a stretch in reality but a golden tornado does sound terrifying and beautiful at the same time.
#7) BIG RED
- It’s simple. It’s classic. It takes it’s cues from Harvard. It’s perfect for the prestigious Nashville private school.
#6) GOLDEN TIDE
- You see what they did here was they took a nickname we’ve heard many times (Crimson Tide) except they made it Golden. Simple yet brilliant move.
#5) PURPLE WAVE
- The only thing better than a Green Wave is a Purple Wave. Points for also making me want some grape Kool-Aid.
#4) BLUE TORNADO
- Slapping the color “Blue” on the front of most nicknames doesn’t work that well. This one works.
#3) GREENE DEVILS
I love what Greenville did here. They could have stuck with the more traditional spelling of “Green Devils” but instead they went all out and evoked the spelling of their town with “Greene Devils”. For a place that produced one of America’s worst Presidents, they created one of the best nicknames.
- A certain Queen song comes to mind.
#1) PURPLE POUNDERS
- Legend has it that Chattanooga Central was originally known as the “Purple Warriors” but after an especially good run in the 1930’s where Central pounded their opponents, sportswriters started to refer to them as the Purple Pounders. The name stuck and was officially changed.
Tomorrow we will the unveil the winner for the single best nickname in the state of Tennessee.