NFL, potential owners select name: Bombers Look of team logo a deciding factor

October 01, 1993|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,Staff Writer

After flirting with Rhinos, flying with Ravens and dancing with Cobras, the potential owners of Baltimore's prospective football team have selected a final name: the Bombers.

Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass, who heads a group trying to bring an NFL team to Baltimore, announced the name last night in an interview during Home Team Sports' Orioles telecast. Mr. Weinglass was unavailable after the game last night, but another source involved in the race for a team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the NFL has approved the name.

The final factor was the team symbol that artists had drawn up, the source said.

"We saw a lot of logos, and this one looked good," the source said.

The selection was made in recent days, the source said.

Mr. Weinglass filed for a trademark application more than a year ago for the Bombers. At the time, he said he liked the name because of the alliteration with Baltimore and because it harkened to the city's role in military aviation history.

At the time, the league was cool to the idea, fearing too close an association with war.

Last week, Mr. Weinglass said he and representatives for Malcolm Glazer, the other prospective team owner, had narrowed the list of names to four: Bombers, Ravens, Cobras and Rhinos. NFL officials have encouraged the prospective owners to agree on a name so merchandise can be prepared for sale as soon as the league awards the two expansion franchises, which will take the field in 1995.

Team owners are scheduled to name the teams at meetings beginning Oct. 26 in Chicago. Baltimore is competing with St. Louis, Charlotte, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Jacksonville, Fla.

On Aug. 11, it was announced that Mr. Glazer and Mr. Weinglass tentatively settled on the Rhinos as a name. But the outcry from fans forced them to recant.

Soon after, a name-the-team survey was conducted by The Baltimore Sun, and Ravens drew the most support, 29 percent of the 21,626 responses over a one-week period. Bombers was second, with 9 percent of the vote.

Responding to the results of the survey, released Aug. 27, Mr. Weinglass said: "I like Ravens. But I like Bombers better, myself."

He and Mr. Glazer hadn't promised to change their minds based on the survey.

"We're definitely going to take all of this into account," Mr. Glazer said at the time. "We're very happy it was done. The way everything turned out was good for the city."

Mr. Weinglass previously had filed a trademark on Ravens, also. Mr. Glazer trademarked Cobras.

In The Baltimore Sun survey, Bays was third and Rhinos fourth, each with 8 percent. Cobras and Crabs were a close fifth and sixth, respectively, with 5 percent of the vote.

Among the other cities, the proposed names are: the St. Louis Stallions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers. Memphis is considering a number of names, including the Grizzlies, Gamblers and Showboats.

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