The invading horde’s naming the team scam gives the illusion that El Paso is solidly behind the ballpark fiasco. This scheme gives us an opportunity to see how a full-court public relations blitz, also known as propaganda creation, is used to manufacture nonexistent support for the further raping of the taxpayers of El Paso. Focusing on the naming of the team fiasco demonstrates how the invading horde perpetuates a lie that is later used to bolster a position. Notice, as well, how the local news media willingly participates in the propaganda.
As all of you know, on June 21, 2013 the ownership group for the incoming Triple-A baseball team announced a list of the proposed five names for the team. I realize you already know the five finalist names but for posterity sake, here they are once again in all of their inglorious disaster: Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Chihuahuas, Desert Gators and Sun Dogs.
The community’s reaction was instantaneous and resounding disgust in the unveiled names. Social media and commentary on the news media sites was overwhelmingly negative to all of the names. But the ownership group was stuck, they had already made pronouncements about the process and they could not change direction. If they were taken aback by the overwhelming repudiation of the names they have not publicly admitted so.
With as much fanfare as they could muster, they announced the five names and told the community; guess what, you get to have the final say in the team’s name. They triumphantly told the community that they had six days to vote online for their favorite name. But notice how the votes were kept secret.
They seem to have thought, what is the worst that can happen? We give them a few bad names and invariably they will pick the one we want. Even if they don’t, we are the only ones that get to see the tabulations so they can always say that you, the community got to pick the team’s name.
Alan Ledford, president of the company managing the team, smugly stated through the El Paso Times that the final list was not “easy” to determine from the “thousands of names submitted”. He added that the “quality and thoughtfulness behind the names submitted was truly remarkable.”
Watch closely how the propaganda machine works. First Ledford alludes to “thousands” of names and adds that they were “quality” names submitted by El Pasoans who had been “thoughtful” in their submissions. He then smugly adds that “5,600 names were submitted”, supposedly surpassing the previous “record” of 3,000.
The message? El Pasoans are solidly behind us as evidenced by the “thousands” of names submitted for consideration and the “thoughtfulness” of those names. This was supposed to be the legacy of the naming con job.
What they didn’t count on was a very a public angry response.
They were stuck. They had hoped to use the naming of the team to bolster their lie that the community was solidly behind them.
What to do now? The illusion needs to be perpetuated and the community isn’t cooperating so the ownership group went into damage control mode. The first thing they did was to allude that the negative reaction meant the fans were “emotionally invested” and that the city needs to “trust” the process of naming the team. Brad Taylor, the team’s general manager, on KROD on June 20 who admitted that he had only been in El Paso for 24 days thought that the buckaroos are “an homage” to cowboys.
Say what? I’m not sure where Taylor is from but call a vaquero, or cowboy, a buckaroo and you are likely to be removing spurs from your mouth before you can utter “ride-m cowboy”!
The problem with perpetuating a lie is that cracks begin to develop around the illusion. Take for example the radio interview of Taylor. He was likely told that the message was that the five names came from a list of thousands of names submitted by El Pasoans and therefore when confronted with buckaroos he assumed that it was meant to portray the “cowboy” history of El Paso.
I really have a hard time believing that any El Pasoan submitted buckaroo as a name for a team that they supposedly embrace. It either didn’t happen or it was submitted as a protest, either way it doesn’t support the lie being perpetuated so the truth has to be glossed over.
But the truth is just a minor inconvenience for the propaganda machine so it must persist. Realizing that the naming scheme was backfiring it became necessary to distract from the list by stating that the naming was more than a name, it was about “family” and “marketability”.
You see, the lie about being “representative of El Paso” began to unravel so they had to try something new. Oh, and for good measure, they threw in some legalese about trademarking in order to further obscure their resounding failure to select names actually representative of El Paso. Had the issue of trademarks been an impediment then how does the ownership group explain that the Arizona Sundogs wouldn’t have a problem with the El Paso team using “sundogs” as part of their trademark?
The truth will always peek out from behind a lie.
Had the team’s owners completed a trademark due diligence they would then have come across the Arizona Sundogs. Their trademark was registered on October 5, 2005 and their trademark encompasses “entertainment in the nature of hockey games”. The Arizona Sundogs are a minor-league professional ice hockey team. They are based in Prescott Arizona. The Tucson Padres, the Triple-A team destined to come to El Paso are also currently based in Arizona.
Are we really expected to believe that a trademark due diligence was conducted and no one questioned whether sundogs could actually be used?
Deflecting the attention away from the five names fiasco with the notion of the complexity of picking a “family-friendly” name and trademark mumbo-jumbo didn’t seem to be working. So on June 26, the ownership added another layer of attention deflection to the controversy by telling the public, that although the controversy is normal and part of the process, the reality is that the other teams also have unique names. They also further deflected by adding that the “special logo and team colors” as well as asking the fans to “visualize the fun atmosphere at the games” is part of the process.
In the June 26, 2013 edition of the El Paso Times, Brad Taylor states that although it is “gratifying to see the participation” of the community they are asking the people to “stay” with them because the “first time they walk into the beautiful new stadium” is when the fun will begin.
Notice the further deflection from the team name to the “beautiful stadium”? This is a classic propaganda ploy. One thing is not working, let’s try another. But the name fiasco needs to be resolved, it has occupied too much of the community’s attention and what the ownership group wants least is more controversy when they unveil the final name.
So, they figure let’s point out a few other team names. They pointed out the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Albuquerque Isotopes. Let’s take each individually.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels, a Richmond Virginia Double-A team got its name from a team naming contest held by the team’s owner along with the local newspaper. By the way, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch, the name was selected from 6,000 submissions to the name-the-team contest.
So much for the record-breaking 5,600 El Paso submissions, I guess that Double-A isn’t technically Triple-A. Oh, and by-the-way, flying squirrels are common in Virginia.
The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are named after “pig iron” that is part of the manufacturing process of steel. Guess what Lehigh Valley is renowned for? Yup, steel.
The Albuquerque Isotopes got their name from a fictional team in The Simpsons television show. Isotopes are the chemical definition used to define variations of elements. Not only does the television show refer to the fictional team moving to Albuquerque, the term “isotopes” is related to the many scientific companies dealing with chemistry located in that city.
In other words, the team names referred to by the team ownership are all related to the cities they each play at. That brings us back to the five disastrous names proposed for the El Paso team.
The Aardvarks have nothing to do with El Paso. Aardvarks do not exist in El Paso.
The Buckaroos are not only odious to cowboys but it is debatable whether cowboys even have a place in El Paso history when compared to all the other historical figures that El Pasoans relate to.
Chihuahuas, well, the nicest thing I could say about Chihuahuas is that they do not belong in baseball. Not only that, but El Paso would abhor being associated with the State of Chihuahua right next door.
As I pointed out earlier, the Sundogs are already in use by another team that is likely to look unkindly upon El Paso using the same name for marketing purposes. Although they are a hockey team the reason for trademarking a name is to maximize profits. They surely wouldn’t want competition from another team.
That leaves us with Desert Gators. It is about the only name that makes any sense and actually has relevance to El Paso in that El Pasoans remember the lagartos from San Jacinto Plaza.
So unless the team’s owners are really that stupid, which I doubt because they successfully fleeced El Paso out of millions, I expect the team’s name to be The Desert Gators.
But in order to perpetuate the myth that El Paso is solidly behind the baseball team the invading horde will continue to use the “naming” scam as part of its propaganda scheme. When the Desert Gators are finally announced there will be much fanfare about how the “community” overwhelmingly “voted” and “participated” in the naming of their team. Oh there will be a media blitz supported by the local media with token “fans” proclaiming how wonderful it was that they got to choose the team’s name and how reflective it is about El Paso.
Regardless, the truth will continue to peek out from behind the propaganda until the taxpayers are faced with having to pay $80 million plus while the horde quietly rides off into the sunset with their enabling buckaroos.