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January 03, 2005

Arise, Sir Osis of Liver!

I was thinking of that Bugs Bunny line today (also Arise, Sir Loin of Beef!), because the Los Angeles Times reports (site registration required) that the Anaheim Angels have announced that henceforth their team name will be the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." This has got to be one of the silliest professional sports teams names ever. Imagine calling my team, the Mets, the "New York Mets of Flushing." Or, better yet, calling my son's favorite football team the "New York Giants of New Jersey."

Well, it's a free country, and people can do whatever they want. And since it's America, the City of Anaheim can sue. According to the article, City officials claim that the team is contractually bound to use the name "Anaheim." But the team owner, Arte Moreno "appeared to use a contract loophole in the Angel Stadium lease agreement to change the name." As the article explains, the agreement requires "only that the team name 'include the name Anaheim therein,' apparently giving Moreno wiggle room to change the name."

Ya gotta love lawyers. Back when I was in law school, there was a student organization called the Marshall Club. That was John Marshall, not Thurgood. The Marshall Club offered funding to teams in the final rounds of the moot court program, the only catch being that you had to call your team the Marshall Team. Ostensibly, this was an effort to "buy" moot court championships. (I know it sounds ridiculous, but remember this was law school.) So the various Marshall Teams would come up with names that included Marshall, like the Marshall Arts Team. Ours, as I recall, was the John Marshall Harlan team. My proposal to name us the Marshall Law Team was voted down by my teammates as likely to alienate the sponsor.

Little did I know that I would later be mocking the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for doing the same thing.