Finale: The “Blanks” Are Coming…Vote Now!

I dare not call this finale as I am sure much more debate will ensue..but I’ll do it anyway.

Part III and most probably the conclusion to our Series: The Yanks Need a Nickname. For those new, see Part I and Part II first if you like.

Over the course of the past three months, there have been over a hundred astute comments registered on the nickname for the USMNT on TSG’s two columns on the subject. One sentiment is nearly unanimous among these: That the monikers of “Yanks,” “Stars & Stripes” and certainly “Natties” are not answering the bell.

Top Secret: For Sunil's Eyes Only

Here’s our promise on this series: TSG will keep voting open for one month through January 10th. Feel free to vote daily, but no more kindly.

Once the winner is decided, we will thoroughly research and present a stirring and research-laden brief with an alternative team name to the United States Soccer Federation.

We will hand deliver it to Soccer House in Chicago via a guarded and heavily armed courier replete with sunglasses, black suit, solid black tie and steel tip wingtips. Or maybe we’ll save the “postage” and just electronically email a brief since our suggestion will be public on our site.

Either way,  we will continually update our audience on any reception it receives. (Hopefully this will coincide with a Sunil interview we are working on as well.)

So let’s get down to it!

As we remember from our last piece, the semi-finalists that got a deeper look at TSG were:

  • The Buffalo (courtesy of Jared)
  • The Freedom Fighters (courtesy of Free Beer Movement)
  • The Militia (courtesy of Mark from TSG)
  • The Outlaws (courtesy of Dylan)
  • The Rattlesnakes/Rattlers (courtesy of Matt from TSG)
  • The Revolutionaries (courtesy of Jared)
  • The Rough Riders (courtesy of “Tuesday”)
  • The Sons of Liberty (courtesy of Andrew)

And we won’t make you wait like an episode of “Lost.” Among the potential substitutes above only the Revolutionaries were on the bubble and almost made it as we crunched the numbers. (Our secret sauce cannot…will not be shared).

The three TSG finalists are, in alphabetical order are:

They roam the great plains. They are dreadlock rastas, lyrically speaking. They have Terrell Owens.

Finalist numero uno: Buffalo/Bison

They’ve got a great emblem. They connote the American Revolution. They’re the toy of a child.

Finalist number two: Rattlers/Rattlesnakes

They are seditious rebels. They hate tea. Their flag is shared by candy canes.

Finalist number three: Sons of Liberty

The Final Tale of the Tape:

(TSG will not bias you with our 2 cents, or more appropriately 1.5 cents this time…that’s all you in the vote.)


The Buffalo (or more appropriately “American Bison”)

Promoter: Jarrod

Summary: Straight out of the ‘pedia: The American Bison (Bison bison–what does that mean?) is a North American species of bison, also commonly known as the American Buffalo. “Buffalo” is somewhat of a misnomer for this animal, as it is only distantly related to either of the two “true buffaloes”, the Asian Water Buffalo and the African Buffalo. However, “bison” is a Greek word meaning ox-like animal, while “buffalo” originated with the French fur trappers who called these massive beasts boeufs, meaning ox or bullock.


Isn’t that just a face and animal you love?

From TSG reader Jarrod: “You could use the Buffalo as I think they are indigenous only to the US (and Canada). Buffalo Brigade, Buffalo Militia etc.”

From Mark at TSG: “Pro – Good analogy to Connor Casey’s “break-away” speed…we’d also have an official food (buffalo wings).”

From TSG reader Michael: “I actually kind of like the Buffalo/Bison connection…brings along some nice western imagery. It’s probably best to stay away from the more military nicknames, lest that become the primary focus.”

From TSG’er Hercules: “Buffalo Spinoff: Thundering/Rampaging unstoppable on offense, solid, unmovable on defense. Sounds like a nice plan.”


Dreadlock rasta is Jamaican, no…mon? Ain’t no Buffalo soldiers here.

The American Bison is native only to the United Sta….wait a minute, the ‘pedia says Canada too? Not so positive….

Buffalo while strong and team-oriented animals do not connote, uh, “counterattack,” or Landon Donovan’s profile.

Since the USMNT plays in the CONCACAF, most games are in warm climates. Try wearing a thick, burly buffalo outfit/costume in Mexico City–not to mention how mangy it will become after beer is spilled all over it. Yeah, it’s a good chance you’re not making it back through customs with that smelly carcass.

From TSG reader Andrew: “I think there are many more animals indigenous to North America that are more threatening than the Buffalo. I’ve seen the Buffalo in Golden Gate park. They illicit feelings of sympathy, I don’t want to beat Mexico in a soccer match after seeing them.”

Possible confusion that the nickname refers to Toronto Jr. in upstate NY, home of the barrel dropping waterfalls (and to four losing Super Bowl teams during my childhood.)

From Mark at TSG: “Con – Were just about slaughtered to extinction…now raised to be slaughtered for meat.”


Don't Tread on Me, USMNTThe Rattlesnakes

Promoter: Matthew from TSG

Summary: We’ve already got the emblem and the slogan. Beyond that, the species is indigenous to the United States and the snake was a major symbol of the American Revolution.


Unlike the Buffalo–and no disrespect to the Great Plain’s beast–rattlesnakes are capable of quick counterattacks.

We’ve got the whole Don’t Tread on Me thing and the Deuce video.

Ben Franklin

The Original Big Ben

A quote from Ben Franklin via TSG contributor Brad: “I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.”

Pro – We may get back those sweet DTOM jerseys (note, I got outbid for one recently on ebay and was devastated)


You have a defunct Arena football team with the name “Rattlers” — in other words, the names been tarnished a bit.

Um, not good according to TSG reader Kaya: “I think “The Rattlesnakes” sounds like an 8-9 yo boys’ team name. I eventually got used to a team called The Mighty Ducks, so I could get used to The Rattlesnakes, but it took me a while.”

Or TSG reader Andy: “How has nobody mentioned yet that a “rattler” is a baby’s toy? The stereotypical baby has about three things: 1. A diaper 2. A bonnet and 3. A rattler! Can we please say no to Rattlers.”

From TSG’s Mark: “Con – Annoying hissing sound that could become standard during games.”

From TSG Contributor Andrew: “And I’m sorry, but there is absolutely, 3,000% no way I am buying a jersey with snakeskin print on it. I just don’t have the boots to match.”

The Sons of Liberty/The Liberty Boys

Promoter: Andrew

Summary: The Sons of Liberty was a secret organization of American patriots which originated in the 13 colonies during the American Revolution. British authorities and their supporters, known as Loyalists, considered the Sons of Liberty as seditious, referring to them as “Sons of Violence” and “Sons of Iniquity.” Patriots attacked the apparatus and symbols of British authority, including Wayne Rooney and John Terry (just seeing if you are paying attention).


Well, it’s got the word, “Sons” in it. So we know we’re not referring to Mia Hamm or Abby Wambach.

References the American Revolution and patriotism — bueno! I mean good.

The “Join or Die” symbol is great and also invokes a snake. Two graphics that can be but on shirts, mugs, thongs, etc.

The Sons of Liberty quote “attacked the symbols of authority and power” — that belongs on a banner in the American Outlaws fan section.

Has a pretty decent sub-nickname of “Liberty Boys” — that’s pretty darn good. When they play at a stadium near you, then you could say you are going to watch the “Liberty Boys in the Hood.” (That joke is still bad.)

Played a major part in the Boston Tea Party following the lead of Sam Adams. So let me get this straight, they destroyed tea in favor of beer. Uh, check.

From TSG contributor pckilgore: “”GOOOOOLLLL Looooos hijooooos de libertaaaaaaaaad’” would just sound cool coming out of any Spanish speaking announcer.”


The “Sons of Liberty” true flag, alternating vertical stripes of red & white is nothing to wear or fly in prideful way. Ain’t no way we’re being called the Candy Canes, Pinstripers, or Sunderland F.C. Jr. (TSG put the other commonly used symbol for the Sons of Liberty at the lead of this section.)

From TSG contributor Kaya: “Sons of Liberty is just too long.”


Now, it’s your turn to make the ultimate comment.

47 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kaya on 2009/12/09 at 8:05 PM

    The Screaming Eagles. F#!k yeah.
    The other problem with all the Rattlesnake/Join or Die business is that the Tea Baggers are all over that snake revolutionary stuff. Seeing that imagery along side makeshift campaign posters for Glen Beck 2012 got burned into my eyeballs a little like the FOX News logo on my parents’ television screen.
    OK, maybe not everyone has “issues”, but it’s a long way of saying It’s going to take me a lot longer to get over “The Rattlesnakes” than “The Mighty Ducks”.


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/09 at 9:17 PM

    One problem…Nigeria has the Super Eagles…too close I believe.


    • Posted by kaya on 2009/12/09 at 10:16 PM

      I know they call themselves the super eagles… I don’t care if they used it first, we’ll use it better.


  3. When considering The Bison you must also consider who already has that nickname: Michael Essien, who plays for Ghana, the same team that knocked the US out in 2006.

    As a Chelsea fan I had to throw that in there.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/09 at 9:42 PM

      At this point, no one should look at our About Us page….

      And I believe you might mention that Bobby Convey or Pablo Mastoeni knocked us out of that one.


      • True enough. Must admit I skipped over that section of your About Us page, I understand the affinity for The Bison now.

        You guys making it to SA next summer? We JUST missed out on England v US tickets (I blame Becks for the poor C group seed selection) so we got stuck with England Algeria. Our other games got good draws though.


        • Chamo, try studying for finals for a change.

          As for the nickname, I like the sons of liberty most out of those listed, but I think we need to go a new direction entirely. Something along the lines of the new boys, really just something that speaks to our rapid rise in the soccer world and the continued threat we are becoming. Or what the English will call us after we beat them this summer, maybe the bloody yanks? def open to suggestions, I just don’t feel like the sons of liberty is threatening enough.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2009/12/10 at 3:06 PM

        Or Claudio Reyna


  4. Posted by Seymour Butz on 2009/12/09 at 9:46 PM

    Steel tip shoes.

    Anyhow, is it too late to suggest “The Weapons of Mass Destruction?” Or how ’bout “The Detainers?” Or maybe “Team Maximum Security?”


  5. Posted by Drake on 2009/12/09 at 11:26 PM

    i think i had something to with you not winning the DTOM jersey. sorry. although i’m not that sorry, cus i love it. haha.


  6. Posted by sidereal on 2009/12/09 at 11:34 PM

    Yanks is just terrible. I’d rather call them ‘The Football Organization based in the United States’. They’re just called the Yanks because that’s what the Brits call us and English-language international football coverage is dominated by the British. It’d be like the Germans calling their team the Krauts.

    Bison just makes me think of big, lumbering fatties. Buffalo’s about the same. Rattlesnakes is kind of juvenile. Rattlers is worse. Also, the whole animal name thing is kind of played out. It’s not the NFL.

    I think the Sons of Liberty is great. The Join or Die logo is great. Similar names on the same topic could be The Minutemen or The Continental Army.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/10 at 12:14 AM

      I love that — “it’d be like Germans calling their team the Krauts.”

      I can safely say that’s at worst a nominee for the Comment HOF. Good work.


  7. Park II???? Typo?

    You know, “the thin stripes” has really been growing on me, but also with some dislike due to the fact that I feel we need new jerseys.


    • Posted by Jeremy on 2009/12/10 at 12:42 AM

      Minutemen would too easily be associated with the civilian border patrol which already has enough of a negative stigma to it.


  8. Posted by Jeremy on 2009/12/10 at 12:39 AM

    I like Sons of Liberty but I’d recoend we use that spinoff of Liberty Boys; it takes a bit of the old and throws a bit of a 21st century spin to it. And I think it is much catchier than the original nick. It represents a new group of “revolutionaries” that make up the USMNT and its supporters.


  9. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/10 at 12:49 AM

    By the way, I don’t mind saying….I suggested Rattlesnakes, but I’m fully behind Sons of Liberty / Liberty Boys.


  10. Posted by El Macho on 2009/12/10 at 3:48 AM

    Firstly, who cares, it’s just a nickname. That being said…

    It’s fine as it is. “Yanks” is a great, short nickname.

    Americans have called themselves Yankees for the past 230 years. There are a number of traditional and patriotic songs that use the nickname. “Yankee Doodle”? “Over There (The Yanks Are Coming)”? “Yankee Doodle Dandy”? Calling ourselves “The Yanks” acknowledges our traditions and heritage. Also, it is a big “screw you” to racist southerners who still dislike the north, but that may only be a positive to me.

    The Rattlesnakes or The Bison? Are we going to play against my kindergarten team, the Bulldogs? Or maybe my cousins team, The Hummingbirds. Anyway, the damn snake on the “Don’t Tread” is a Timber Rattler. Get it straight!
    That being said, Bison is delicious and they’re awesome animals.

    As for “Sons of Liberty,” gimme a break.
    Since this was brought up in the original post, the last thing you want is to give Mexican announcers free license to say, “Los hijos de…” before talking about the US. Trust me on this. It’ll have audiences rolling on the floor laughing.
    Very few people outside of the US associate us with liberty, freedom, etc., especially in light of our most recent wars. Saying “The Sons of Liberty score” (a phrase that doesn’t roll off the tongue) sounds like a silly political statement.
    Yes, there’s a history behind the name, but it’s not as well known (even to Americans, as evidenced by the necessity for an explanation of the name) and not as gripping as Yanks is.

    Great nicknames (“Three Lions”, “Tri”, “Orange”) immediately relate to something distinctive about the team or its country. “The Yanks” is instantly identifiable and classic. Keep it the way it is.

    PS – In addition to meaning “crazy people who take guns to the border,” Minute Men = erectile disfunction. Avoid at all costs.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2009/12/10 at 3:15 PM

      You don’t actually think southerners dislike the north do you? If you honestly believe that, that pretty much takes away any credibility to your writing. Just wanted to point that out as I was born and currently still live in Texas.

      I know the nicknames and all, but how does Tri or Three Lions relate to the team or country?


      • Kevin, there are some in the backwoods of the southeastern united states who still feel that the “South will rise again”, witnessed by myself in the mid-ninties as I was a “Carpet-bagger” who inhabited the lovely town of Culpeper, Virginia for 4.5 years. So his comment isn’t too far off base.

        As for El Tri(colores), that refers to Mexico’s three colors of their flag which also makes up the color palette for their uniforms. Three Lions refers to the coat of arms of the English which included three lions stacked on top of each other like the English national team’s crest does.


      • Posted by El Macho on 2009/12/10 at 4:51 PM

        El Tri = El Tricolór or “The Three Color,” in reference both to the Mexican flag and the three color uniform. (Mexican commentators often call the uniform the “bandera,” or flag, since it’s green/white/red.)

        Three Lions = what on England’s crest.

        As for the thing about southerners, of course you’re not all insane. However, having lived in the South, I was surprised at how often “Yankee” was used as an epithet. And those folk deserve to have their noses tweaked.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2009/12/10 at 5:24 PM

          agreed on the nose tweaking (just wouldn’t call them southerners cuz its too broad), but as for the nicknames I personally don’t like El Tri if thats what it stands for (after I posted my comment, I sort of guessed at that, but I wasn’t sure)


      • Posted by Hank on 2010/01/08 at 2:26 PM

        Yes southerners still dislike the north….but that’s beside the point. Yanks is what the English call all Americans and was made popular in WWI, long after the Billy Yank/Johnny Reb conflict was over.

        But anybody for sons of liberty needs to google it … the Sons of Liberty are still around in many …interesting… adaptations.

        I am not against any political activism of any kind, but I don’t want my national team associated with any organization that bears the same name. Somebody will get all bent out of shape because of the political connection… its yanks. leave it alone.

        –Conservative Activism– AMERICAN SONS of LIBERTY
        Conservative political activist organization working to preserve Constitutional Liberty in America. Includes political resources, message board community, … – Cached – Similar –
        # What’s This?
        New Sons of Liberty Society
        The New Sons of Liberty Society is an independent community initiative of, comprised of American citizens — volunteers — and civic … – Cached – Similar –
        Sons of Liberty Forum
        A place for the public to express their comments at current administration and congress, and a place to rally for conservative fundamentals. – 2 hours ago – Cached – Similar –
        # What’s This?
        Sons Of Liberty
        People have been asking for a way to support SONS OF LIBERTY outside of purchasing the album download. If you wish to do so, please use below DONATE button. … – Cached –


  11. I wrote a whole thing in the comments section last night and just realized that I never clicked submit before I navigated away!

    Anyways I’m wholy behind the Son of Liberty and its equally awesome sub name Liberty Boys. Plus since their all in the Revolutionary War stuff they get all the “Join or Die”/rattlesnake logo stuff with it.

    Its the perfect marriage of the top two ideas.

    Plus I whole heartedly agree that leaving it the Yanks is just a demeaning as Germans calling themselves Krauts.

    There you have it: an official endorsement by the Free Beer Movement for the “sons of Liberty”. Be sure to mentioned that to SG when you write your e-mail!


    • I don’t see Yanks as being demeaning. Our country has a history of taking a derogatory term and making it one of our own. See the “N” word for all African Americans. Especially if we turn it into something with a little oomph behind it, like the Effing Yanks, or Bloody Yanks. FMB, I know you’re a history buff, there must’ve been some other terms that the Brits threw around to demean us that we could possibly use.


  12. Posted by shane on 2009/12/10 at 12:55 PM

    Son of Liberty / Liberty Boys is my vote.. However, I dont mind Yanks neither…

    Maybe Sons of Liberty could replace stars and stripes/ Natties while keeping yanks as an alternate..


  13. I suppose Yanks will do. I like the ad campaign where they show footage of our boys while playing the song “Over There”. Although it calls to mind the WW I and II eras…not exactly highlights in the time line of humanity.

    Sons of Liberty…what a joke. I love my country well enough, but I don’t think we are the protagonists we make ourselves out to be. The foundations of this country were built by people wanting to escape the persecution of foppish, wig wearing, moneyed dandies, so they could then have the chance to become foppish, wig wearing, moneyed dandies with their own stable of poor people, indentured servants, and people of color to crap all over. A classic example of the oppressed becoming the oppressors. The fledgling America was nearly overthrown by tenant revolts. You can only squeeze the poor for so long before the pendulum swings the other way. Most of the people who actually fought the revolution (read here: The Sons of Liberty) found themselves with little to come back home to when the fighting was over. Scant thanks indeed for taking the part of an emerging nation. If you have the time and inclination check out the work of historian Howard Zinn.


  14. Posted by kaya on 2009/12/10 at 2:00 PM

    Agree about the hijos de puta thing…
    Sons of Liberty I think just feels a little to self-important for sport.
    There’s more than one “tri”, so I don’t see why there can’t be more than one “eagle”.
    Anyway, if I were forced to vote on one of your options, I’d go with the Yanks.


  15. Posted by Kevin on 2009/12/10 at 3:30 PM

    I don’t think the Yanks will ever go away, but you have to be out of your mind not to like The Sons of Liberty. If you have the Sons of liberty you can essentially still keep the DTOM stuff. We don’t have to use the same flag as the actual Sons of Liberty because these nicknames are often loosely based on history. It would be easy to say… We are… The Sons of Liberty… … Don’t Tread. It would also be easy to use Join or Die as a flag. One of Ben Franklin’s political cartoons could be made into a banner. You can’t dislike The Sons of Liberty. I love the DTOM theme, but if you’re talking about actual names, The Sons of Liberty.

    For the nay sayers that say that other countries don’t see us and think of liberty and freedom, well they haven’t for a long time and it’s not going to change depending on our nickname. If you go to other countries you generally don’t want to say you’re from the US, but that’s something political, and if they already think bad about us, how do we make it worse?

    It’s true that we’re not the protagonists we make ourselves out to be, but The Sons of Liberty implies that we are rebels.

    Am I the only one who wants to hear an English commentator refer to us as The Sons of Liberty against England? Think about it.


  16. We are the Yanks, we are called the Yanks everywhere outside of the states, so lets embrace it! Come on you YANKS!!


  17. btw sons of liberty sounds like a george bush slogan about why we are in iraq…


  18. Posted by Thomas on 2009/12/10 at 4:49 PM

    We might always be the YANKS in the eyes of the Brits; but when I say or hear YANKS, I certainly don’t think of soccer or more specific the USMNT. We need to define ourselves nationally and global. I’m on board with The Sons of Liberty. Granted its a bit formal but its also flexible, marketable, and I think it would go a long way in showing our national pride, in both our team and our country, to fellow Americans and our competition.


  19. Posted by Nate on 2009/12/10 at 10:06 PM

    Which of these do you think sounds better?

    “Oh when the Yanks, go marching in…”

    “Oh when the Sons of Liberty, go marching in…”

    I actually like the Sons of Liberty idea because it’s so connected to our early history, but Yank and Yankee have equally long pedigrees. True, the latter was originally applied to Americans contemptuously by the British. However, according to one history of the word I found: “During the American Revolution, American soldiers adopted this term of derision as a term of national pride.”

    I believe our position in the soccer world mirrors somewhat the situation that existed then: we are most often underestimated, not taken seriously, and derided. So let them call us Yanks, as if it were an insult. Let fans in other lands tell us scornfully, “Yankee go home!” We will simply do as our forefathers did when the term was directed at them–turn it into a source of national pride and throw it back in their faces when we whip their butts on the field.

    I say we continue to refer to our boys as the Yanks. Besides, it works much better in chants.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2009/12/12 at 8:53 AM

      I don’t think the chant would stay the same with a different nickname. It’s a little unfair to compare these two nicknames by using that chant because the chant was made to use Yanks. If people started to adopt The Sons of Liberty, there would be a whole new chant (just don’t ask me because I’m not terribly creative)


  20. Posted by Thomas on 2009/12/11 at 12:05 PM

    As mentioned I like The Sons of Liberty. So this is just another suggestion, another direction, one that in my mind is a bit more direct. Now I haven’t thought it over enjoy to come up with a flag, slogan, chant…
    Free and the Brave


  21. Posted by Rhodie on 2009/12/11 at 5:13 PM

    So I may be coming into the conversation a little to late, but here is a new idea.
    Even though someone already has the eagles, no one has the bald eagles…
    Why not call ourselves the baldies, reference the country and the two of the best players on the team.
    (tongue in cheek of course)


  22. Posted by Matty J on 2009/12/17 at 1:47 PM

    I know it’s already into the Finals but:

    Sons of Thunder

    I think it has a good ring to it. Don’t know if its already been thrown out there.


  23. We are the Sons! We are the Sons of Lib-erty!

    I have changed my mind, i dont want us to be called the Yanks, its stupid to adopt a nickname given to us by another country. Sons of Liberty gets my vote (well second, finals vote)


  24. Posted by Jason Gatties on 2010/01/08 at 1:55 PM

    Worst idea ever.

    Yanks…thats it.

    Never visited this blog before. In order for me to return, it will need to suck less.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/08 at 3:49 PM

      Jason…(and maybe you’ll never read this :>….how you will you know if it sucks less?)

      Our publication and community focuses on well-thought out commentary. I’m happy to even entertain that TSG stinks…I’ve written some stinkers.

      You may not agree with switching the name above…maybe I don’t…maybe I do….but the arguments above are well thought out as well.

      At least in your response make your reasons well thought out….and I am sure there are many.

      Cheers, Matthew


  25. Posted by jameson on 2010/01/08 at 2:56 PM

    seriously? WWWHHHHYYYYY?






  27. Sam’s Army, technically already used, but I like it


  28. […] be starting over Dempsey if demps doesn't get better. The Deuce will be playing FWD in SA2010 Finale: The “Blanks” Are Coming…Vote Now! The Shin Guardian <– Interesting read on our idenity […]


  29. […] few months back TSG actually considered putting together a top-secret brief to send to Sunil Gulati and the United States Soccer Federation suggesting a new name for our […]


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