Here at SinBin.vegas we strive to be the voice of the Las Vegas valley when it comes to talking about the Vegas Golden Knights. At times we’re critical, at times we’re overly supportive, but at all times we want one thing, to see a successful hockey franchise here in Las Vegas. We believe that’s what you want to, and that’s why we created Guest Posts to give fans an opportunity to speak out about their feelings, positive or negative, on the team.
It’s a sentiment we disagree with, but have heard many say, write, and tweet. Here’s our next Guest Post, written by Matthew Snyder.
If I bought an expansion team, I’d want to name them the Super Rebels. I don’t care what sport, I’ve already decided. But I’d stop to consider the community in which I’d be setting up shop.
The reason the arrival of a professional sports team is a seminal moment for a community is because it brings with it an identity – a validation, even – particularly significant for a historically transient city such as Las Vegas, which has been largely devoid of a rallying purpose since the days of our beloved Jerry Tarkanian.
I was born and raised in Las Vegas and couldn’t have been more excited to learn that our most unusual metropolis had been awarded its first professional franchise. If IKEA was like getting the MLS, this was the real deal.
I was disappointed by Bill Foley’s decision to force his alma mater onto the NHL’s 31st team when he went with “Vegas Golden Knights.” But I have fond childhood memories of the Excalibur Midway, so maybe I can forget about the awkward fit of Las Vegas and medieval times. Never mind that we now have a golden team in the Silver State.
It’s the dropping of “Las” that really disappoints me. Foley, a transplant from Texas, had an out-of-touch moment on November 22nd when he implied in an interview with @SinBinVegas, that locals don’t even use the “Las” when talking to others. At least he didn’t name them the “Nevahda Golden Knights.”
To be sure, “Vegas Hockey” is a great brand (I think UNLV should do more with “Vegas Basketball” and the like). SportsCenter was always going to refer to what happened in “Vegas” just as they use “L.A.” when talking about the Kings.
But “Vegas” is where you party on the weekend; “Las Vegas” is where I’m raising my kids. That the formal team name doesn’t match what I write for my return address feels like a slap in the face.
It’s about identity.
I wish Foley would have stepped aside and let professional branding team do their job. He has 500 million reasons to be selfish, but ought not to be surprised at the mixed reactions to this unveiling. I’m happy that we (finally) have a professional sports franchise to get behind. We’ve waited a long time for this. But the fumbled name announcement ceremony was emblematic of a botched naming process.
Here’s to hoping we forget about it all when we hoist The Cup and really galvanize our identity.
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