Back in September, I looked at the most common names that people give their fantasy football teams. Many of those were offensive, like Beats by Ray, which was the most popular name of all. Also common: sexual innuendo (Multiple Scorgasms) and pop culture puns (Teenage Mutant Ninja Bortles).
Now, just in time for the start of the 2014 NBA season, I ran the numbers on the most common fantasy basketball team names in leagues running on ESPN.com. The results:
Though two out of the three top spots—Rose Before Hoes and Pippen Ain’t Easy—go to sexual innuendo, the rest of the names (save for perhaps Wake and Blake) are G-rated compared with the fantasy football list.
Flint Tropics, named after Will Ferrell’s struggling ABA team in the movie Semi-Pro, grabs the top spot and establishes a pattern of Ferrell love among fantasy team owners. The most common reference to a movie or TV show in the fantasy football name rankings was Prestige Worldwide, stemming from Step Brothers. In fantasy basketball, Prestige Worldwide places 80th, just behind Toon Squad, a misspelling of Michael Jordan’s Tune Squad from Space Jam. The correct spelling of Tune Squad as well as the team’s rival, the Monstars, both place in the top 30. At least 13 ESPN leagues in my sample had a team named both Tune Squad and the Monstars.
I also pulled out the top fantasy names that reference a player on each NBA team. This required judgment calls in some cases. For instance, I assigned Better Call Gasol to Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies, though it’s likely a portion of those names are in reference to his brother, Pau, who plays for the Bulls. Some personal favorites: 21 Shump Street, Home Oladipo, and Noel Diggity. One surprise on the list: The most common Cavs-inspired team name is a reference to Kyrie Irving, not LeBron James.
It’s also hockey season, and a look at the 30 most popular NHL fantasy team names reveals that puckheads are the most foulmouthed of them all.
Congratulations, Blackhawks fans: Three of the top nine fantasy names on the list—Don’t Toews Me Bro, Bros Before Hossas, and Taxicab Kanefessions—are references to Chicago players.