No Rhinos or reason

Kevin Cowherd

August 13, 1993|By Kevin Cowherd

Lemme see, lemme see . . . Baltimore Rhinos. Go, you Fighting Rhinos! Gimme an R, gimme an H, gimme a . . . no. I'm afraid it just won't work.

Anyway, like just about everyone else in this city, I've been forced to walk around in a fake eyeglasses-nose-mustache disguise since the stunning announcement that our new football team -- if it ever arrives -- could be known as . . . I'm sorry, a horrible chill just ran through me . . . the Rhinos.

Apparently, the name was proposed by one of our prospective ownership groups after mass consumption of a particularly powerful dose of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

No, I take that back. Both Boogie Weinglass and Malcolm Glazier seemed straight enough when they revealed the name to the media, which of course is even more frightening when you think about it.

Because this means that, while completely sober, they sat down, said the words "Baltimore Rhinos" to themselves and did not erupt in great convulsive gales of laughter.

In fact, there is every reason to believe that after the name "Baltimore Rhinos" left their lips, their next thought (incredible as it might seem) was: "Say, that's not bad!"

I don't know, maybe it's me.

Yeah, I guess if you're an average football fan, you think "Baltimore" and the next thing that pops into your head is . . . Rhinos. Absolutely.

The two go together like ham and cheese. Love and marriage. Nixon and Watergate. Starsky and Hutch.

Well, they go together if you're Boogie and Malcolm Glazier, anyway.

Actually, I have only one teensy-weensy problem with the nickname Baltimore Rhinos: It's stupid.

No, it's beyond stupid. It's incredibly stupid. It's the Taj Mahal of stupidity. It's . . . please, don't get me started.

Look, let's go over the facts here, OK?

No. 1, there are no rhinos in Baltimore.

No. 2, there are no rhinos anywhere near Baltimore.

L No. 3, it's a stupid name. Did I mention it's a stupid name?

(Hey, I know all about stupid names. Cowherd, that's a stupid name. But not as stupid as Baltimore Rhinos.)

OK, it has just been pointed out to me by some accuracy fanatic in the newsroom that Baltimore does indeed have rhinos, two of 'em, in our zoo.

Yeah, well, I've seen those rhinos. And these rhinos are not exactly a bundle of energy, if you catch my drift.

Basically what they do all day is:

a) Eat a few shrubs.

b) Lie in the shade.

c) Sleep.

I'm not sure that's the kind of role model we want for our football team.

Look, my thinking is: If you were a football team in Africa, Rhinos would be a good nickname. It's a simple matter of geography. See, they actually have rhinos in Africa.

The Rwanda Rhinos . . . now there's a good name. Sorta rolls off the tongue.

If I were a Rwandan and the NFL was considering expanding into my neck of the woods, I could live with a name like Rhinos.

But Baltimore football fans -- who, by the way, do not live in Rwanda -- don't seem to be going for this Rhinos business (gee, I wonder why).

So now Boogie and the other potential team owners are considering other names.

I see where Boogie also likes the name Baltimore Bombers. But he says the NFL is leery of Bombers because it's too militaristic, which apparently smacks of a little too much aggression.

Yeah, here NFL players are taught to slam their helmets into the other guy's groin and to yoke the other guy off his feet with vicious clothesline tackles about the neck.

But we don't want any nicknames that might sound, y'know, violent.

Oh, that's beautiful. That's really beautiful. The other name Boogie seems to like is the Baltimore Ravens. This, of course, would tie in nicely with the fact that Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote "The Raven," is buried here.

But, again, let's look at the facts, OK?

Sure, Poe was a brilliant poet and short-story writer with a strong tie (via the graveyard) to Baltimore (as opposed to, say, Rwanda).

But he was also:

a) a drunk

b) a manic-depressive

c) a chronic gambler

d) a suspected drug abuser.

Not that that makes him a bad person. I'm just saying . . . oh, never mind. And the raven itself is kind of a sneaky bird, isn't it? Ugly, too. Don't they feed off dead animals and peck at corpses? Or am I thinking of a crow?

3' I don't know . . . I'm so confused.

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