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Why, Toledo? Why?


In these days of intra-party rancor, I’m confident that Democrats of all varieties will join me in expressing disappointment that Toledo’s new minor league hockey team will not be named the “Peckerheads.” Instead, a tremendous national marketing opportunity has been sacrificed, and the team will be known instead as the Walleye. The Toledo Blade breaks the news gently:

The other name the Hens pursued trademark rights for – Woodpeckers – will not be attached to the city’s future arena football franchise, officials said.

Joe Napoli, general manager of the Hens and Toledo Arena Sports Inc., a not-for-profit organization created by the Hens to own Toledo’s hockey and arena football organizations, said public outcry over the possibly negative connotations of “Woodpeckers” was too strong to ignore.

In November, The Blade first reported that the Mud Hens sought rights for “Walleye” for hockey and “Woodpeckers” for arena football, but also pursued “Peckers” and “Peckerheads.”

[ . . . ]

“If we could push rewind, we would not have registered ‘Peckers’ and ‘Peckerheads.’ I don’t think ‘Woodpeckers’ would’ve raised an eye brow. Given that we did [register ‘Peckers’ and ‘Peckerheads’], people focused on those two names.”

I completely expect the various presidential candidates to weigh in on this vital issue as they cast their appeals to voters in Ohio. I would remind the candidates, however, that while the humorless citizens of Toledo overwhelmingly opposed the discarded nicknames, utilitarian principles — namely, “the greatest volume of juvenile snickering for the greatest number” — should be considered in this case.

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