NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday that, in light of recent performance, Nashville’s NFL team would be downgraded from the “Tennessee Titans” to the “Tennessee Demigods” on a probationary basis.
“Names are important” noted Goodell at a conference this morning. “We use names to find our own identity and know and understand the identity of others. Appropriate names and branding are just as crucial to a sports franchise as with any person, place, object, or business. In light of their current 2-8 season, the NFL cannot stand idly by and let the Tennessee franchise refer to itself with a name meaning ‘parents of the Gods’. Effective immediately, the Titans are being probationally renamed the Demigods until such time as their stats improve or the NFL sees fit to rescind the decision.”
This is not the first time the NFL Commissioner’s office has imposed naming sanctions on a failing team. Following the departure of coaching legend Don Shula, the Miami Dolphins suffered a brief period of failure during which they were rebranded the Miami Tuna for three seasons. Joe Montana’s success with the San Francisco 49ers in the early 80s allowed the team to end its probational naming as the San Francisco Two-and-a-Halves, and Joe Namath’s win in Super Bowl III similarly allowed the New York Bi-Planes to upgrade to the now-familiar Jets branding.
Goodell also noted that, concurrent with the renaming, Tennessee would be changing their mascot. “The Demigods will be abandoning T-Rac for good and debut their new mascot at the next regularly scheduled game. This Sunday in Philidelphia, the Demigods will be bringing along Dionysus. The
Titans Demigods management felt that someone who enjoyed drinking to excess and wild parties would resonate well with Tennessee fans, particularly the tailgaters.”