I have a funny friend. His sense of humor is remarkably dry and punctuated with angst. He regularly makes the effort to make others laugh by throwing his brand of humor out into the world or instigating a humorous volley on social media. He’ll throw or receive. I really appreciate his efforts! They lighten my load. I especially enjoy his regular blog posts during the NFL (National Football League) season. I think it was some time back in the early 1970s that the Minnesota Vikings became my friend’s team. He’s celebrated or suffered every year since. Lately, it’s been more suffering than celebration. What’s really fun for me is discovering the many creative ways he can go off on a rant using his beloved Vikings as a starting point. Rather than try to explain, here’s a recent example reprinted with permission:
As we all know, Our Heroes defeated San Diego Chargers on Sunday (obviously), dispatching them without much fuss or muss.
As the game was a foregone conclusion fairly early, I began to ponder (as one does), what exactly does San Diego’s nickname mean?
The word “Charger” could have quite a few different meanings in the English language.
I think we can ignore some of the more obviously incorrect interpretations. They are clearly not meant to be the “San Diego Purchasers on Credit”. Certainly not the “San Diego Indicters”. I can’t imagine they’re meant to be the “San Diego Large Plates” (look it up). “San Diego People Who Obligate Others to Do Things”? Nope. I suppose they could be the “San Diego Men Out of Whom Others Get a Bit of a Thrill”, but I don’t think that’s what team founders had in mind when they named this squad.
I could probably go on. But I think we can probably narrow it down to one of three intended meanings (that would make sense in this context):
1. The word “Charger” could be intended in the electrical sense. Certainly, the lightning bolt on the sides of the their helmets and their pants seems to suggest this. But come on, seriously, how lame is that? It suggests energy I suppose, but in a very nerdy kind of way. Nothing muscular, terrifying or intimidating about an electrical charge. Popular with the Big Bang Theory set, but hardly an apt nickname for a professional football team.
2. The word “Charger” could be intended to mean a medieval war horse. Now that would conjure some pretty heroic images of bloody battles fought between armored knights on huge steeds with slashing lethal hooves and flaring nostrils. Super appropriate, but perhaps a concern about being too close to the Denver Broncos’ nickname. Besides, if this was the meaning intended, why not put a rampaging horse image on their helmets?
3. The word “Charger” could be intended to connote someone who is on the attack, taking the initiative in battle (think “Charge of the Light Brigade” or Teddy Roosevelt and his Roughriders’ charge up San Juan Hill). This image also strikes the correct tone. But again, why don’t we see a picture of an aggressively advancing soldier or similar military image on the sides of their helmets?
Which is correct?
Then it dawns on me. The powers that be in San Diego are just as dumb as those who ran the B.C. Lions when they came into existence in 1954. (You know, the geniuses who named the new team for the twin mountain peaks on the North Shore, but decorated the team helmets with the image of the deadly feline predators.) Excellent strategy—name the team for one thing, and put the image of a homonym of that thing on the team’s uniforms. Good thinking.
Do you want to be a cool and fun friend? ... Make the effort to make someone smile, giggle, laugh or roll around on the floor splitting a gut.