As happens every two weeks, the Voice of the Verse or Worse Public has
been heard in the land. This time it has declared that John Jansen is
the champion Verse or Worseifier, at least in the matter of naming
outlets for the terrible clothes sometimes favored for weekend wear by
The name of the shop that won Jansen an endlessly attractive MinnPost T-shirt that would never be sold there is: Chest Belts ‘R Us.
But enough dwelling on the past. Let’s dwell on the future, in which you could win a somewhat adorable MinnPost T-shirt.
In order to do that, let’s go back to the past for just a moment. Several weeks ago, the Florida Marlins baseball team, which has some pretty sad attendance numbers, held tryouts for a new gimmick: an overweight male dance/cheerleading squad.
The call for auditions read, in part, “The Florida Marlins are looking for big bellies with the biggest jiggle, big feet with the best dance moves and enthusiasm that will rock Marlins fans out of their seats.” The group is to be known as the Marlin Manatees (after the large and not instantly lovable aquatic mammal).
Your genial host doesn’t know how that went (and he’d rather not find out). But it led him to wonder what other teams might put forth squads of shall-we-say “unusual” cheerleaders, and whether they might have names that are even more amusing.
Although it is one possibility, the unusual aspect of the participants needn’t be their size (surprisingly large or painfully slender); in looking for humorous names for these cheerleading groups, you may make use of any characteristic you can come up with, including but not limited to vocation, hobbies, advanced or hopelessly tender age, excessive grooming and lack of teeth.
Please don’t email your genial host about the offensiveness of using weight, age, stereotyped sex roles, planet of origin and the rest as the subjects of humor. Your genial host is overweight, and is older than his former father-in-law was when that relative observed “I’m not exactly in the twilight of my life, but it’s definitely after lunch,” and if your genial host can take a joke, why don’t you join him?
Anyway, that’s your challenge: Name oddly-constituted squads of cheerleaders for teams of any sport, professional or not — including, for that matter, company teams — whether or not such teams exist or would ever have peculiar cheerleaders.
In the hope that a few extra examples will convince you that hundreds — if not thousands — are possible, your genial host will set forth more than his usual two or three:
A group of rural, aged and unshaven father-figures, for instance, could be the Detroit Tiger Paws.
Male and/or female strippers would be the heart of the Apple Peelers.
Professorial types, seriously dressed and reading important books while they lead cheers: The Intel Igentsia.
Overweight folks could be some local mobile home park’s Double-Wides.
Female opera stars: The New York Mets Osopranos.
A squad of very assorted folks, who break the rules by booing their team and cheering for the other one: The IKON Oclasts.
Clear enough? Please submit no more than three. Email them to asicherman [at] minnpost [dot] com by 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 27.
At 5:01, your genial host will disappear into the dugout at MinnPost Field (heading for the showers and the piles of entries). He will spend the next few days alone in the locker room, spinning back and forth among the team names, finally selecting what seem to him, in his dizzied condition, to be the five best: in effect, a whirled series.
On Monday, March 31, he will turn on the MinnPost PA system and announce those five top entries. You’ll have until Thursday, April 3, to vote for the best of the best, which will win that overwhelmingly respectable MinnPost T-shirt.
The winning name will be posted on Monday, April 7, along with a new challenge.
OK, let’s begin. Who’s going to throw out the first pitch?