The Padres are getting a new Double A minor league affiliate next spring, and for the better part of a year the Amarillo, Texas team has been going through the process of choosing a name. The five original finalists were the Amarillo Boot Scooters, Amarillo Bronc Busters, Amarillo Jerky, Amarillo Long Haulers and Amarillo Sod Poodles, which were apparently so despised by those in the area that more than 7,000 people signed an online petition asking for five more names to choose from. They disliked all of the available options that much.
Today, they announced the team name would officially be the Amarillo Sod Poodles, but between the original options announcement and now there’s been quite the public turnaround about the name, apparently.
Sod Poodles is a great name — it’s a pioneer nickname for a prairie dog — and perfectly embraces the opportunities minor league teams have to have some fun while also evoking the unique aspects of their location. Sod Poodles is way more fun than any major league team could ever have. It’s also extremely entertaining to say out loud. Sod Poodles SOD POODLES SODPOODLES.
Sure it’s silly, but if minor league teams can’t be silly in their names then what are we even doing here? Amarillo residents apparently realized that, because opinion on the name did an about face in the time between when it was introduced and when it was officially chosen.
There’s a Sod Poodles anthem, and the artist behind the song Carson Leverett told Texas Monthly about his change of heart, “After doing a little research, especially on trends in minor league team names, I kind of warmed up to the idea that it was quirky and marketable.” His song spurred unauthorized merchandise sales before the name was even officially chosen, which really says something.
Now that the name is set in stone, bring on that official merch. I would 100% rock a Sod Poodles shirt, regardless of the questions that will surely be posed about what a Sod Poodle actually is. The logo is also the right mix of Texas flair and quality graphic design which is another point in their favor. Who doesn’t get fired up when you look at a pissed off prairie dog?
This is how you do minor league team names from top to bottom. When you’re that small a team it’s all about the marketing and they’re crushing it so far. Congrats to the Sod Poodles, whose name is some of the best news to come out of the Padres organization this year.