This site has broached the topic of team names, or nicknames if you prefer, many times. Recent franchise action in the Korea Baseball Organization has brought the topic to the front of my mind yet again. The SK Wyverns are no more. We knew they were going to be sold and renamed for the past month or so. Still, that knowledge did not prepare any of us for the actual name they were given; the SSG Landers.
The easy part to get out of the way is that it doesn’t matter what the rationale is for the Landers; it’s not as cool as the Wyverns. The flying saucer logo isn’t as cool as the Wyverns’ various stylized W’s. The Wyverns had built up a reputation as being a fun team to watch during a time period when the KBO was experiencing a lot of growth internationally. Whether it made sense or not that meant that the Wyverns name and logo became something fans liked and found easy to associate with the team. It is, after all, really hard to mess up a stylized W.
The SSG corporation was going to be behind the eight ball with whatever name and logo they chose. However, I don’t think anyone expected them to mess up the new name and logo as much as they did with the Landers. What’s that, the Landers isn’t that bad and makes sense when the Incheon region is taken into account? I’ll definitely grant you that, but if that’s all SSG had gone with as far as the name and logo were concerned this article wouldn’t be seeing the light of day. Nope, SSG decided to take it one step further and debut an alternate logo and shortened name the same day they unveiled the Landers name; the L’s.
Yes, you read that right, they chose to use L’s as a shorthand nickname for a professional baseball team. As should be expected KBO media members and fans instantly started ripping on the L’s moniker. This is, of course, because when you see the name L’s you think of taking your L’s or a team full of losers. This isn’t limited to an English language colloquialism either. As previously stated South Korean KBO reporters have voiced plenty of displeasure with the dorkiness of the L’s.
Does it matter in the grand scheme of things that SSG thought L’s was a good nickname for a baseball team? Not really, chances are fans will still support the team as long as they are fun and win. However, it’s a name choice that deserves to be made fun of. Landers is clunky and doesn’t completely work, but we could all live with that name. The L’s? Nah, that’s some marketing director who’s never watched a game of baseball in their life nonsense right there. Goodbye Wyverns, long live the L’s.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Aju.News