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af2 team's name game drags on

We can only hope that Boise's arenafootball2 franchise moves more quickly once it actually takes the field.

It's been more than two months since the city was awarded a franchise, and the franchise lacks any shred of identity.

It has no name. No logo. No color scheme. No ticket plan.

What the team does have is plenty of interested fans for its inaugural season, which kicks off next March. More than 1,600 entries were submitted through the Idaho Statesman's Web site, www.idahostatesman.com, in the franchise's "Name the Team" contest.

Some ideas were inspired. Love the Atomics and the Inversion.

And some were inspired by a night of heavy drinking.

How else to explain the Idaho Ohadis? It's Idaho spelled backward and not in my dictionary.

Many participants thought the area's rivers should be a part of the name. Hence, the River Rats, River Pirates, RiverCats, River Rafters, River Runners, River Raiders, River Bandits, River Dragons, River Dawgs, River Dogs, Rivermen, River Kings and River Breakers.

Apparently, you can just stick River in front of anything to make a nickname. How about the River Camels?

Or the Desert Fish to join real nominees like the Desert Dogs, Desert Bash and Desert Birdz?

Correct spelling is optional. This is the af2, after all, where teams such as the Memphis Xplorers and Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz play.

Many — many, many — went for the word play, combining Boise with, well, anything that started with a B.

Brawlers, Bombers, Blast, Bayonets, Base Jumpers, Bail Jumpers, Bison, Blues, Barbarians, Blitz, Beasts, Blackshirts, Bolts, Bombsquad, Bulldogs, Boom, Blast, Buzz, Buffalo, Bandits, Blaze, Bulls, Badgers, Bone Crushers, Bulldozers, Brigade, Bombers, Brigands, Blizzard, Bullets, Bruisers, Bandits, Bighorn, Bashers, Braves, Buzz, Bikers, Blast, Bikers, Bobcats, Busters, Blast, Barracudas, Ballers, Bears, Bluster, Bengals, Beetles, Buzzards, Blackhawks, Bruins, Boulders, Bonfire, Broncos, Bengals, Barbarians, Boars, Bats, Battlers, Bellringers, Bucks, Barons, Banshee, Blurrz, Blitzkrieg, Bad Boys, Brash, Battalion, Battle, Bobcats, Burn, Burst, Breach, Bascos, Boilers, Barebacks, Bling, Beets, Bigfoots, Bruisers, Bold, Bravado, Blockade, Beast, Banzai, Blockers, Bears, Bushwhackers, BoardBangers, Blade, Barbarians, Backlash, Battery, Beast, Boomers, Blur, Buckaroos, Bouncers, BoDos, Ballhogs, Basalts, Brawlers, Bang, Barrage.

I think that's it.

But why stop at just two Bs? Why not go all out?

I like the Boise Bad Boys Bold Brash Blitzkrieg Burn.

Oh, I almost forgot. Let's make the Boise Blue Bad Boys Bold Brash Blitzkrieg Burn, since many have adopted Blue as the city's official color.

How else to explain the Blue Bombers, Blue Bulls, Blue Brutz, Blue Lighting, Big Blue, Blue, Blue Dragons, Blue Bandits and Blue Barrons?

Idaho's reputation for potatoes also found its way into the naming process — Tater Tots, Potato Skins, Spud Kings, Spud Runners, Spuds, Spud Devils, Hot Potatoes, Taters, Spud Muffins, Raging Taters and, my favorite, the CommonTaters all received votes.

One voter couldn't decide if was hot (the Heat Wave and the Mirage) or cold (the Freeze and the Icemen). So he sent them all in.

In his honor, why not the IcyHots?

The naming contest will enter its second phase next week, when the franchise picks up to a dozen names for further voting on its Web site, www.af2boise.com.

Names like Rapids, Wildfire, Cutthroats are expected to make the cut. Peregrines and Falcons also seem very popular. The franchise hopes to have a nickname and logo ready to unveil by the middle of next month.

And the process drags on.

Here are a couple of (unsolicited) suggestions to pick up the pace:

Call it Treasure Valley. Less than half of the 1,630 entries for the "Name the Team" contest came from Boise — 727 nominations carried a Boise address. More (783) came from other Treasure Valley mailing addresses, including huge response from Meridian, Nampa and Eagle (656 combined).

Though the team will play its home games at Boise's Qwest Arena, there's no reason not to reach out to football fans across the Valley.

But more than anything, this franchise needs a nickname.

And I found one.

Having dug through nominations for the Salmonheads and Salmontails, the Greenbelt Gunners and the Mean Machine, the Ligers and the Sky Force, the Mudskippers and the Mountain Ninjas, I found the winner almost 20 times — the Mashers.

The Treasure Valley Mashers. Perfect.

Now, about that logo.

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