Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What's in a name

I'm not the biggest baseball fan, but if I'm rooting for any team it's the Texas Rangers. I'm a Dallas boy. But for years there hasn't been anything to root for. Finally, today the Rangers got what I consider to be their biggest win of the new millenium (and why not, they haven't made the playoffs since the last one).

The Rangers no longer will play their games in a name-sponsored building. Ameriquest Field is dead. I don't know if I particularly like the newest name: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. I think the original name (The Ballpark in Arlington) was just fine without the Rangers name in it. But anything is better than the sponsor-dominated arena name.

I always loved Reunion Arena, home of the Mavericks and Stars until the new American Airlines Center opened and left Reunion for dead. At least the jewel of all Dallas (and perhaps all Texas) stadiums never waivered in its name. Texas Stadium never went the way of Candlestick Park (which became 3com and Monster Park) or Jack Kent Cooke (FedEx Field).

I never liked the over-sponsorship as I call it in major sports. I know it's become an irriversible trend, but I'm glad to see it broken. This may be the best move the Rangers have made in a while. I hope the Cowboys are able to retain their own naming rights for their new stadium when they make the move in 2009.

For once, the Cowboys should follow the example of the Texas Rangers. Don't sell out the name of the new stadium. Hell, I'd even be okay with "Texas Stadium 2.0" or even the "Cowboys Corral" - which may become the new nickname anyway. But if I have to go to watch America's Team at Frito-Lay Field or Southwest Stadium I will snap.

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