Team names that were fitting and appropriate

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What’s in a name? Some are better than others, and here are the 10 greatest sports nicknames of all time.

10. “The Hogs”- Washington Redskins-1980s

The Hogs proved that offensive lineman are sexy, making perhaps the largest grassroots marketing campaign in the history of the National Football League. Jeff Bostic, guards Russ Grimm and Mark May and tackles Joe Jacoby and George Starke gave a face to the Hogs and fullback John Riggins allowed the Redskins to win SB XVII in 1983 over the Miami Dolphins, 27-17.

9. “The Big Red Machine”- Cincinnati Reds-1970 to 1976

These Reds were in fact Big – Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey, Sr., and Tony Perez gave opposing pitchers big headaches. They were Red – they got dirty, and the white shirts and pants did not often stay that way in games with Pete Rose and George Foster running wild around the bases. They were a machine under Sparky Anderson – they were well coached, played 63 All-Star games as a group and had in their ranks three Hall of Famers, six NL MVPs, four NL HR Champs, three NL Batting Champs and 25 Gold Glove winners.

8. “No Name Defense”-Miami Dolphins-1972

They have a great nickname, and they would have been higher on the list, but only half of the team was represented. Great defensive players like Jake Scott, Dick Anderson, Bill Stanfill and Nick Buoniconti did have names and gave offensive coaches no answers in sight. I bet every defensive coach since ’72 has made a reference to the D that allowed the only perfect season in NFL history.

7. Miracle Mets of ’86- New York Mets-1986

The Mets dominated the National League and were on the breach of a dynasty which could have racked up the World Series, but maybe the Miracle was that team won one world series and then broke apart due to off the field troubles.

6. “Fab Five”-University of Michigan-Men’s Basketball-1991-92/1992-93

This group was larger than basketball and gave a much-needed boost to college basketball in the early ’90s. Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King truly changed the game of basketball and the social makeup of America. The long baggy shorts, the black socks with the black shoes, the swagger, the run and gun offense and defense even carried over to NBA and made the “old school” fresh.

5. Murderer’s Row-New York Yankees-1927

Imagine if you were a pitcher and staring at Babe Ruth and MVP of the ’27 season, Lou Gehrig, back-to-back, would you just walk both of them? The “5 o’clock lightning” was simply the best team of the pre-modern era. The “5 o’clock lightning” nickname was given due to games starting at 3:30 and teams experienced a jolt of lighting by the row of murder.

4. “Bad boys”- Detroit Pistons-1989-1990/1990-1991

Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, John Salley and “good cop” Joe Dumars were hated, but one of the greatest teams to ever take the court. They played tough, dirty and hard and certainly played up to the hype as the “Bad boys.” Al Davis gave them black jerseys – complete with skull and crossbones – and the rest is history.

3. Dream Team-USA Men’s Olympic Basketball-1992

No team in the history of sports was ever more of a sure thing in 1992. The IOC allowed professionals to play in 1992, and this made sponsors extremely happy, as the marketing of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing made a great nucleus, which could not have been beat by any team in the history of basketball.

2.”Show time”-Los Angeles Lakers-1986-87

The Lakers were truly great entertainment, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, A.C. Green, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper and goggles-wearing Kurt Rambis providing an offense that was truly show-stopping. Johnson put up nearly 24 points a game. With Abdul-Jabbar running around the court, the highflying Lakers won the NBA championships in five games against the Boston Celtics and only lost two games in the playoffs. Pat Riley was the mastermind of the whole operation.

1. “Steel Curtain”- Pittsburg Steelers-1970’s

While the infamous defense represented only four members of the Steelers, never did a nickname say so much in two words. The “Steel Curtain” was the best defense to hit the National Football League and did almost the impossible: made Pittsburg desirable to live in. The cool thing about the nickname was it was made by one of Pittsburgh’s own. Gregory Kronz, a ninth grader, named the team based on a term coined by Winston Churchill. “Mean” Joe Greene, L.G. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes and Dwight White gave quarterbacks and running backs nightmares.