Follow TV Tropes

Following

Artifact Title / Sports

Go To

Baseball

  • The MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers bear an artifact title, but it was somewhat obscure to begin with so no one really notices. (The club was originally called the "trolley dodgers" among many others, after a popular turn of the century nickname for Brooklynites.)
  • Except for occasional "Turn Back the Clock" games, the Chicago White Sox haven't worn white socks since 1976.
  • The Atlanta Braves originated in Boston in 1870, as the Red Stockings no less, but were not called the 'Braves' until 1912; John Montgomery Ward suggested the name Braves because the new owner, James E. Gaffney, was a member of Tammany Hall, which was named after a Native American chief and used an Indian image as its mascot. Tammany Hall doesn't even exist anymore, so the team is obviously not run by anyone associated with Tammany Hall. Everybody now just assumes it was just a team name someone picked.
  • The Chicago Cubs (originally the Chicago White Stockings) were first called 'Cubs' around 1902; journalists were referring to how very young the players were. It still fits the bear logo and how the city's NFL team are the Bears.
      Advertisement:
    • Wrigley Field became an artifact in 1981 when the Wrigleys sold the Cubs and the stadium to the Tribune Company. (and there's not even the justification of Busch Stadium, where the Busch family don't own the St. Louis Cardinals but the Busch brewery bought the naming rights; the gum company has no part in it)
  • Venezuelan Baseball: the Navegantes Del Magallanes originally played in Caracas' then satellite town Los Magallanes de Catia, itself named after the famous marine. When the league made a "only one team for city" rule, the Magallanes team moved to the nearby city of Valencia, where there is no seashore, but they maintained the full name because it was too emblematic.
  • Both of Minor League Baseball's US-based Triple-A level leagues have artifact titles: note 
    • The Pacific Coast League is the most evident. When it was founded in 1903, the furthest of its six teams from the Pacific Coast was in Sacramento.note  Throughout the league's glory days as the highest level of baseball on the west coast up until the Dodgers and Giants moved to California in 1958,note  the PCL consisted almost entirely of teams based in states or provinces bordering the Pacific, the single exception being the 1915-1925 incarnation of the Salt Lake Bees. Following the major leagues' expansion west of St. Louis and the PCL's reversion to Triple-A status, the league slowly edged eastward, although they also moved into the Pacific from 1961 to 1987 with the Hawaii Islanders. By the 80s and early 90s cities in Alberta, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico hosted Pacific Coast League teams, but the league still extended no further east than the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. When the American Association disbanded in 1997, however, its teams were distributed between the remaining US Triple-A leagues and the PCL absorbed five news teams, the furthest west of which was in Oklahoma City. Now, they have teams in Des Moines, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Round Rock, Texas (a suburb of Austin), and San Antonio. Only three of their now 16 teams are even in states that border the Pacific, and only Tacoma is actually on the coast.
    • Advertisement:
    • When the International League was founded in 1886, the name was appropriate, two of its eight teams were in Canada. They even had a team in Cuba between 1954 and 1960. But the IL hasn't had a single team outside the US since the Ottawa Lynx moved and became the Lehigh Valley IronPigs before the 2008 season.
  • One MLB stadium once had naming rights held by a corporation that was otherwise no longer in existence. The current home of the Houston Astros was originally known as Enron Field. After that company collapsed in an epic accounting scandal, the Astros soon bought back the naming rights and called it Astros Field. The stadium is now Minute Maid Park (after Coca-Cola's fruit juice brand).

Auto Racing

  • NASCAR: The middle two initials stand for "Stock Car"; the cars haven't been stock since The '60s, and the formula now includes such race-car-only features as tube chassis and a slightly more centered driver's position.note 
  • Indy racing:
      Advertisement:
    • All the open-wheel cars raced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the years when it only hosted the Indy 500 had long since switched over to using methanol, and now ethanol, as fuel, but they still call the garage area Gasoline Alley. Since the name of the eponymous comic strip is also an artifact of bygone days, this is an interesting example of a name that became artifactual in two entirely different contexts.
    • The final day of practice before the Indy 500 was called Carburetion Day because teams would make final adjustments, most notably to their cars' carburetors. Since 1963, when only two of the 33-car field had carburetors, every car in the race has used fuel injection, but the event was still known as Carburetion Day until 2000, when it became Carb Day.
  • The Dakar Rally. Began as the Paris - Dakar Rally as that's precisely where it ran. Retained the Paris Dakar Rally name as it gradually became the "Various places in southern France to Dakar" rally. The race hasn't been held in Africa since 2007. A terrorist attack that killed four French tourists resulted in the cancellation of the 2008 race, and the event has been held in South America since 2009.
  • In Formula One, during sessions and races when drivers' positions are listed on the side of the screen, they are identified by the first three letters of their last name... except Michael Schumacher, who was identified as 'MSC'. This trope is why: it's from when his brother Ralf Schumacher was also an F1 driver; they were identified as 'MSC' and 'RSC' to differentiate between the two Schumachers.

Hockey

  • The Anaheim Ducks were originally owned by Disney and called the Mighty Ducks. While the "Mighty" got dropped when Disney sold them, the name still serves as an outdated reference to a 1990s movie owned by a company that no longer owns them. The Disney connection is even hard to lose given the team plays a short distance from Disneyland, where you can find Donald and a few other ducks.
  • The name of the Pittsburgh Penguins was inspired by the nickname of their home arena, "The Igloo", meaning they fell right into this after moving into the Consol Energy Center, since renamed PPG Paints Arena, and the Igloo was demolished. Then again, it didn't make much sense in the first place.
  • Briefly Played With by the New York Islanders. Their nickname came from the fact they initially played at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. In 2015, the team moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City. Brooklyn (along with fellow NYC borough Queens) is physically on Long Island, but most people in the New York City area, especially Brooklynites, define "Long Island" as Nassau and Suffolk Counties only. The Islanders logo plays this straight, as its graphical depiction of Long Island has never included the New York City counties, and the "I" in "Islanders" continues to point to the approximate location of the team's old home in Uniondale. The whole thing was rendered moot in 2017 when it was announced they reached a deal to build a new arena back in Nassau County.
  • Subversions:
    • The Atlanta Flames were named after the massive fire that nearly razed Atlanta during the American Civil War. Then they moved to Calgary, a city which was nearly razed by a massive fire in 1886. Not to mention the significance of oil and gas production in Alberta, making them a fitting contrast to their new intra-provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers.
    • Many people assume that the Winnipeg Jets were named for Bobby Hull, the "Golden Jet", who played for the Jets for eight years (making an artifact of a player long since retired), but the team was actually named for a previous minor-league team that existed before Hull joined the NHL. The name instead refers to one of Winnipeg's main industries, the manufacture of jet aircraft parts. Winnipeg is also home to the largest Air Force base in Canada, commemorated by the current team's logo, which is the roundel of the Royal Canadian Air Force with the silhouette of a CF-18 Hornet superimposed on it).
  • The Montreal Canadiens are an oft-unrecognized form of this trope. Their name doesn't refer to what are now called "Canadians" in the common sense. Rather, it refers quite specifically to French speakers in colonial times, as until surprisingly late in Canadian history the term specifically meant "French-speaker in the New World", as these were thought of as the "indigenous" of the non-aboriginal population (the English-speaking arrivals saw themselves as British for the most part). The team name comes from the original, amateur Club de Hockey Canadiennote  — the term "Canadien" here distinguishing the francophone Québécois from the cross-town, English-speaking Montreal Wanderers (and later, the Montreal Maroons, for whom the Montreal Forum was originally built). Today, the word's connotations have changed 180 degrees, and "Canadien" is the last word that Quebec nationalists want to be called, so this trope is played straight. However, Québécois do know what the word actually means, and if Quebec were to separate from Canada, the team name would undoubtedly stay the same and not be thought of as contradictory.
  • Five out of fourteen teams in Finnish major ice hockey league have word "ball" in their name. They were founded when football, bandy and Finnish baseball were the most popular sports, but nowadays only TPS ("Turku Ball Club") has any activity outside ice hockey.
  • The National Hockey League itself is has been an international hockey league since 1924, when it added its first U.S. team, the Boston Bruins. (You read right; the "National" in the name "National Hockey League" refers to Canada, not the United States.)
  • On the opposite of the above, the NHL's top minor league, the American Hockey League, has included at least one Canadian team since 1959. Its now-defunct rival, the International Hockey League, lacked teams outside of the United States from 1952-1963 and again from 1964-1996, only living up to its title for 13 of its 56 seasons of operation.
  • Similar to baseball's Pacific Coast League, the East Coast Hockey League (or the ECHL as it now refers to itself) has not been East Coast-centric ever since the merger with the Western Hockey League in 2002. It got to the point where, from 2003 to 2017, the league had a team in Anchorage, Alaska, which is about as far West as you can go and still be in North America.
  • Two of Canada's three major junior level leagues have such names. The Ontario Hockey League has had at least one team located outside of the province since the 1990–91 season, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has had at least one team located outside that province since 1994–95.

Basketball

  • Basketball no longer requires players to throw a ball into an empty peach basket.
  • The term "field goal" derives from the sport's origins as a wintertime alternative to football. In the early days, each field goal was worth the same number of points (one) regardless of where it originated, just like in football. As basketball became a huge sport in its own right, this connection was gradually lost, and the term itself became completely obsolete with the inauguration of the 3-point arc.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers get their name from their earlier location of Minnesota, "Land of 10,000 Lakes". LA has five.
  • The Clippers' name was a reference to the clipper ships at San Diego's iconic harbor. While Los Angeles also has a harbor, it has no connection with clipper ships.
  • Subverted by the San Diego Rockets, so-called because the city built rockets, missiles, and jets. The team kept the name when it moved to Houston, where NASA's Mission Control is located.
  • Similarly subverted by the Pistons. They began as the Fort Wayne Pistons, named after one of the products original owner Fred Zollner's company made. After a decade, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, and, as the city was/is the heart of the American automobile manufacturing industry, kept the name.
  • The Utah Jazz, originally from New Orleans. They moved to Salt Lake City in 1979 but didn't change the name, allegedly because the team's then-owner thought it would be a temporary stop and they'd move again soon. They didn't.
  • The Memphis Grizzlies are named after a bear species that doesn't live anywhere near Tennessee, but does live in British Columbia, as the team was originally based in Vancouver. Like the Jazz, the team considered changing - local company FedEx even tried to name them "Memphis Express" - but direction decided to keep it that way.
  • The New Orleans Hornets draw their name from the nickname of Charlotte ("Hornet's Nest", as General Cornwallis described the city as "a hornet's nest of rebellion" during the American Revolution). In 2012, the team changed their name to the Pelicans, after Louisiana's state bird. Charlotte's new team, the Bobcats (who had one of the most generic sports team names ever contrived), followed suit by taking the Hornets name back.
  • Technically the Knicks are/were named the New York Knickerbockers, but no one really calls them that anymore, as the short form has been standard for almost as long as the team has existed, popularized by brevity-loving newspaper headline writers. (A "Knickerbocker" is an old nickname for a New Yorker, which is in turn derived from a name for the city's early Dutch settlers in reference to the three-quarter length trousers they wore.)

American Football

  • College football's Liberty Bowl game was so named because it was originally played in Philadelphia, but it moved after just five games there (1959-63), first for a one-year stay in Atlantic City, then to its permanent home in Memphis.
  • The American football positions "halfback" and "fullback". Judging by the names, one would think that the fullback would line up further behind the halfback, but in many modern offensive formations the fullback lines up ahead of the halfback or at the same distance (so as to block for the halfback). However, the terms have gained a new meaning in that fullbacks tend to be heavier and stouter than halfbacks, as their duties include more blocking and short runs through "heavy traffic" rather than halfbacks, who will be called on for runs that try to evade defenders rather than plow through them.
  • The "onside kick" in American football. Originally this referred to a rugby play in which the team that had the ball could kick it downfield and anyone who was "onside"—namely, the kicker and anyone who was behind him—could advance downfield and recover the ball. Players on the kicking team who were "offside" at the time of the kick—ahead of the kicker when he kicked the ball—were not eligible to recover it. This play is still part of rugby, but in American football it has come to refer to a special kickoff play. In this "onside kick", the kicker kicks the ball in a way that gives his team the best chance to recover the ball, usually by kicking the ball sideways along the line of scrimmage rather than straightaway downfield. All players line up behind the kicking line, so there is no more onside or offside and the term in American football is a misnomer.
  • Division names in the National Football League suffer from this, especially before the 2002 realignment. New teams occasionally joined the league, older teams relocated, and divisions ranged from four to six teams. By 1995 most of the NFC West division's teams were east of the Mississippi River. Reluctance to break up traditional rivalries kept these divisions in place until the league finally reached 32 teams in 2002, allowing a realignment into eight equal-sized divisions. It didn't happen without a fight, and there are still oddball things like Dallas in the East (and the Rams in the West, before they left St. Louis and returned to LA), as preserving established rivalries was considered far more important than geographically logical divisions.
  • Three stadiums used primarily by the NFL have, or once had, naming rights held by a corporation that was otherwise no longer in existence. PSINet Stadium in Baltimore (now M&T Bank Stadium) kept that name for a couple of seasons after PSINet went under in the dot-com crash. Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts was originally called CMGI Stadium, but that company also went under in the dot-com crash. The naming rights were soon bought by Gillette... which no longer exists as a separate company, and is now a brand of Procter & Gamble. Finally, the Denver Broncos' stadium was Sports Authority Field at Mile High in the 2017 season even though its namesake, a chain of sporting goods stores, had gone belly-up in 2016.
  • As this Onion article points out, the Steelers' name refers to an industry that is no longer very prominent in Pittsburgh, though one could argue that the name is nowadays an homage to the city's heritage.
  • The Tennessee Oilers were a brief historical example of this. This was done intentionally, because when the team moved from Houston the owner wanted to make sure that all of the team's history would still be "owned" by him, and that a new Houston Oilers team couldn't be formed later (the Oilers became the Titans, and H-town's eventual new team was the Houston Texans). Which is exactly what had happened with the Cleveland Browns when they moved and became the Baltimore Ravens; 4 years later a new Cleveland team was formed that took the name and history of the old Browns.
  • The Indianapolis Colts are named after a tradition of its original city, Baltimore, horse breeding/racing. Just another reason for Maryland fans to be bitter about their sudden move.
  • This almost happened with the Kansas City Chiefs. They were founded as the Dallas Texans in 1960, and when Lamar Hunt moved the team to Kansas City in 1963, he originally intended for them to keep their name. So they'd be the Kansas City Texans.
  • The New York Giants official name is actually the New York Football Giants. There was already a baseball team with the same name so "football" was added to distinguish the two. The baseball team moved to San Francisco in 1957 and everyone just started calling them the "Giants", but the owners never bothered changing the legal name. At the time the Giants were founded naming NFL teams after the crosstown Major League Baseball teams was not all that uncommon. At one time or another there were NFL franchises named the Boston Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Detroit Tigers.
  • The New York Jets are a subversion. Their nickname came from the jets that used to fly over Shea Stadium from nearby LaGuardia Airport. They moved to the New Jersey Meadowlands in the 80s, but Giants Stadium/MetLife Stadium was/is nearby Teterboro Airportnote  and also constantly has jets flying overhead.
  • The term "touchdown" came from rugby, where the player must actually touch the ground with the ball to score. Rugby renamed it "try", which is itself a mild example of this trope as it refers to earlier versions of the sport where the try wasn't worth any points by itself, and only gave an opportunity for the team to "try" for a goal, worth 3 points. Now, a try is worth 5 points, and while the team will still kick for goal after a try, it's only worth 2 points.
  • The Austrian Football League is actually named that in German and is the highest level of American Football in Austria - it also contains (as of the 2016 season) a team from Prague and one from Ljubljana. Jokes about renaming it the K.u.K. Football Leaguenote  are starting to get stale. Besides that, the league immediately below it is called "Division 1" and also contains teams from outside Austria (Budapest and Bratislava as of the 2016 season).
  • The Washington Redskins' current Flame Bait nickname is, basically, this. When Boston was awarded an NFL franchise in 1930, the team (as was common in those days) initially rented space from a Major League Baseball team, the city's National League franchise the Boston Braves.note  Because pro football was seen as a niche sport at that time (the college game was where it was at football-wise), the team also took its name from its baseball landlords, and was called the Boston Braves or Football Braves. A few years later, this arrangement collapsed and the Football Braves moved to Fenway Park—home of the baseball team's American League rivals, the Red Sox. Of course, you can't be the Braves playing in Fenway, so the name was changed to something ethnic and Red-Sox-y—and thus the most enduring controversy in football was born. A few years later George Preston Marshall, the founding owner, moved the team to the DC area; he switched the "Boston" of the name for "Washington," but kept the nickname (even though the team shared Griffith Stadium with MLB's Washington Senators—although since the Senators were the most chronically pathetic team in the American League, perhaps it's no surprise he didn't want his team to share the name of the laughingstock of American sports). Come to think of it just renaming them "Washington Football Braves" might resolve the whole controversy in one fell swoop and it even has tradition on its side - somewhat.

Soccer

  • Donegal Celtic football (soccer) club are actually based in Belfast, over 100 km from County Donegal. It was founded by men from parts of the city that have Donegal-derived names (Lenadoon, Gweedore, Glenveagh, etc.) and has no connection to the actual place.
  • Many soccer teams in the former Soviet Union have the same issue as the Steelers, mentioned above — Metalist Kharkiv, Oțelul Galați (Oțel being Romanian for 'steel'), Rotor Volgograd, Lokomotiv Moskow.
    • Justified in Oțelul's case, as after the fall of communism and the privatization of previously state-owned factories, the company that took ownership of the steel company also purchased the team.
  • The name "CSKA" is very common in eastern European soccer teams; in several Slavic languages, it abbreviates "Central Sport Club of the Army", even though none of the clubs are army clubs any more.
    • Similarly, the prefix "Dinamo" originally referred to clubs associated with the police force, and "Lokomotiv" originally referred to teams made up of railway workers.
    • In Romania, this led to the Ministry of National Defense claiming the logo for Steaua Bucharest was legally owned by the Army, forcing the team to create a new crest. Eventually a deal was made so they could keep the name.
  • Many English soccer teams:
    • Crystal Palace F.C. were founded by workers at London's Crystal Palace, which burned down in 1936.
    • Arsenal F.C. was founded by workers at Woolwich Arsenal, in south-east London. Since 1913 they have been based in north London, first in Highbury and since 2006 in Holloway.
    • Sheffield Wednesday is derived from the Wednesday Cricket Club (est 1820), which played all its matches on Wednesdays. They set up a football team in 1867 which eventually became far more successful, and, needless to say, plays games on all days of the week.
    • Milton Keynes Dons get their name from their predecessor club, Wimbledon F.C.
    • Millwall F.C. are another London example, leaving Millwall for South London in 1910. Their current home ground is in Bermondsey.
    • Preston North End originally played in the north end of the town, but since 1875 have been based in Deepdale, in the centre of Preston.
    • Leyton Orient seem to have got their name because one of their players worked for the Orient Shipping Company.
    • Accrington Stanley take their name from a team named Stanley Villa, based at the Stanley Arms on Stanley Street. They now play at a ground on Livingstone Road.
    • Port Vale are actually located in Stoke, which has neither port nor valley. The name was taken from the pub where the club was founded.
    • Grimsby Town F.C. moved to Cleethorpes in 1898 — admittedly only three miles away, but still a separate town.
    • Derby County F.C.'s home stadium until 1997 was called The Baseball Ground. It was originally built for baseball, which had a brief vogue in England (especially around Derby) in the 1890s, but the last baseball game played there was in 1898.
  • The Brazilian "Club of 13" biggest soccer teams has 20 members.
    • Also, Palmeiras' stadium is Palestra Itália, as the team still had that name when it purchased it (they changed it in the 1940s as references to Axis countries became illegal). And its nickname is the previous name of the venue, Parque Antarctica (as it was started by the eponomynous beverage company), leading to the current corporate name of Allianz Parque.
  • Since 1974, the trophy for winning The World Cup has not been a cup.
  • The fifth level of Mexican football is the Tercera División, which translates to "Third Division". Similarly, the third level was known as the Segunda División ("Second Division") from 1994 to 2008, after which it became Liga Premier (and itself split into two levels, Serie A and Serie B). Originally, these leagues were the second and third divisions... but starting with the 1994–95 season, the Segunda was split. The top teams of the old Segunda formed the new second level, originally Primera División A and now known as Ascenso MX, while the rest of the Segunda retained the league name but not the old level. (The original Primera División is now known as Liga MX.)
  • Similarly, the second through fourth levels of women's football in Belgium are known as the "First" through "Third" Divisions. As in Mexico, the designations historically matched the leagues' positions on the pyramid. In the 2012–13 season, Belgium and the Netherlands established a joint top-level women's league, and the other Belgian leagues dropped down the pyramid. After the 2014–15 season, the two countries dissolved the joint league and reestablished their own top-level leagues. Belgium chose to establish a new women's Super League, initially consisting of the Belgian teams that had played in the joint league.
  • The German Oberligen ("upper leagues" or "premier leagues") were the first-division leagues in Federal Germany until 1963note , when they were replaced by a single countrywide Bundesliga. The GDR also had one single Oberliga at the countrywide level crowning its champion until reunification. The moniker was then revived in the west in the 70s for the Amateuroberligen. However, the prefix was dropped in 1994, and further leagues have been introduced, so as of the 2010s, the so-called upper leagues are merely the fifth tier overall.
  • Many German soccer clubs have names that would indicate they do things other than soccer - while some clubs do have other sports under their umbrella, those are often separate legal entities which can go bankrupt on their own (it's incredibly messy and complicated). There are "Vereine for Leibesübungen" (VfL)note  "Turn und Sportvereine" note  "Sportvereine" note  and so on. Some bear a year in their name that is well prior to any soccer being played in that club. The people who founded the "Turn und Sportverein 1860 München" would probably have been offended at the mere suggestion that their good Bavarian club could one day lower itself to play some English barbarism with round balls - much less for money. And all that is not even going into the minor teams which have "Arbeiter" (worker) or some other designation in their name - well into the 1920s sport clubs were associated with a societal group or political ideology. No worker would have been caught dead in Catholic sport club and vice versa.
  • The biggest stadium in Nuremberg, home to the 1.FCN soccer team has not been called "Frankenstadion" since 2006 (when it is between sponsors the incredibly bland "Stadion Nürnberg" is used), some Fans prefer to call it Max-Morlock-Stadion instead after one of the most famous players of the FCN. However, the S-Bahn stop next to the stadium is unperturbed by all this and has been called Frankenstadion since it first opened. When the name was first changed, the VGN (who run the Nuremberg S-Bahn) said that "changing the name would be too expensive and we just put new signs up..." and nobody is really angry that ten years later, they still seem to not have gotten around renaming the station.
  • To compete in the UEFA Champions League, you had to either win your nation's league or be the defending champions. In 1997, the runners-up (and, later, the teams that finished third or fourth in selected leagues) would be allowed to enter. At least the "Champions" bit made sense at the tournament's inception - but the Champions League has never been a league.note  And "Champions" should have an apostrophe.
  • The FA Cup's full name is the Football Association Challenge Cup because in its second season, teams played each other and the one that ultimately proved successful would be allowed to challenge the defending champions. That didn't happen the following season - or any other season.
  • The Scottish Highland League was originally for teams in the Highlands only, but its catchment area was later extended into the North East Lowlands. Nowadays it has a roughly even split between Highland and Lowland clubs.
    • One of the league's longstanding clubs, Inverurie Loco Works F.C., retains its original name even though the eponymous railway yards closed in 1970.

US College Sports

  • The Big Ten Conference has not had 10 teams since Penn State joined in the early 90's, taking it up to 11 (the logo was then updated to include an "11" in negative space to represent this). It got even better when Nebraska joined in 2011, their departure from the Big 12 Conference (along with Colorado to the Pac-10, which now has 12 members with the addition of Colorado and Utah) resulted in the Big 12 having ten members and the Big Ten having twelve. The Big Ten expanded even further in 2014, adding Maryland and Rutgers to give the league 14 full members. The Big Ten, with its eponymous network and 100 years of history, will not be relinquishing its name to the 15-year-old Big 12, which may just raid the Mountain West Conference or American Athletic Conference anyway.
    • From the time the University of Chicago left the conference in 1946 to the time Michigan State joined four years later, they had only 9 teams. However, during this period, the conference was popularly known as the Big Nine. And, its legal name from its founding in 1896 was the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives. It didn't officially become the "Big Ten Conference" until 1987!
    • The Big Ten is matched by the Atlantic 10 Conference, which also has 14 members (see below for more details on that conference).
    • For a time, both were topped by the Northeast-10 Conference of Division II, which had 16 members until UMass Lowell left for Division I in 2013, and then 15 until the LIU Post athletic program was merged with that of its Division I sister campus, LIU Brooklyn, to create a new D-I LIU program in 2019.
    • Interestingly, the Big 12 has averted this trope in wrestling. After Nebraska departed in 2011, the league was left with four wrestling schools.note  The Big 12 picked up six single-sport membersnote  in 2015 by absorbing the Western Wrestling Conference, and added two more wrestling membersnote  in 2017, making the "12" in Big 12 accurate once again—though only in that specific sport.
  • The Pac-10 averted this with a 2011 expansion; it at least renamed itself the Pac-12 with the addition of Colorado and Utah.note  However, the "Pac" part (short for "Pacific") has been something of an artifact since 1978, when Arizona and Arizona State joined the then Pac-8 to become the Pac-10.
  • The SEC abandoned the "Southeastern" part of their name (or at least stretches it right up to the breaking point) with the inclusion of Texas A&M (located in what's considered part of the American Southwest, though with College Station being in east Texas at least it's geographically near the Southeast) and Missouri (Midwest, and being in the northern edge of central Missouri it's even more of a geographic stretch than Texas A&M, though less of a cultural stretch as the school's home of Columbia was a hotbed of pro-Confederate sentiment in the Civil War) in 2012.
  • Similarly, the Atlantic Sun Conference, which had only renamed itself from "Trans America Athletic Conference" in 2001, abandoned "Atlantic" just two years later when Lipscomb, located in Nashville, joined. The "Sun" part, presumably referring to the Sun Belt, arguably became an artifact as well at the same time, since Tennessee may or may not be in the Sun Belt, depending on one's definition of such.note  "Sun" indisputably became a misnomer in 2012 when Northern Kentucky joined. Although they left for the Horizon League in 2015, they were replaced by NJIT, or the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
    • Then again, if you interpret the conference name as referring to the combination of the Atlantic coast and Sun Belt, the only time it was indisputably an artifact was when Northern Kentucky was a member.
    • Starting in the 2016–17 school year, the conference averted this trope to a degree, rebranding itself as the ASUN Conference (though the legal name remains "Atlantic Sun"). And it turned out that trope-wise, the conference needed the rebranding, since it's adding a different Kentucky school in 2020 (Bellarmine, out of Louisville).
  • Ditto for the Atlantic Coast Conference, which added Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania has no Atlantic shoreline, but is still considered Mid-Atlantic) and Notre Dame (from Indiana, far from the Atlantic) in 2013 and Louisville in 2014.
  • The Atlantic 10 has been an example of this trope for almost all of its history. It was founded in 1975 as the Eastern Collegiate Basketball League, beginning play in 1976, and changed its name to the Eastern Athletic Association in 1977. During this time, the league was popularly known as the Eastern 8. Although two schools left in its early years, both were immediately replaced, keeping the conference at 8 members. However...
    • The conference expanded to 10 members in 1982, and adopted the "Atlantic 10" name. But wait... West Virginia had been a member since the league's formation, and remained a member until 1995, making "Atlantic" a misnomer.
    • After Penn State left for the second and final time in 1991, the A-10 was down to 9 members. The conference has never had exactly 10 members since that time.
    • Then to 8 when Duquesne left in 1992... but they came back a year later.
    • West Virginia and Rutgers left in 1995, and five new schools came in, bringing the conference to 12. This would have made "Atlantic" accurate... except that two of the schools added were Dayton and Xavier, in Ohio. (Dayton is still in the league.)
    • Since then, the league has had 11, 12, 14, 16, 13, and now 14 members. Also, Dayton has been joined as a non-"Atlantic" member by Saint Louis (since 2005) and, for the 2012–13 season only, Butler (from Indianapolis).
  • The Big East is similarly a geographic artifact title. Originally consisting exclusively of East Coast schools, the conference began mildly moving away from its namesake in 1995 when it added Notre Dame (located in Indiana) as a non-football member. However, this trend increased in 2005 when it was raided by the ACC for teams and thus had to replace them with several Midwestern schools such as Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette, and DePaul. Then things really began to unravel in the early 2010s when the Big East was further raided by several neighboring conferences and, in an ill-fated attempt to survive, was forced to take this trope Up to Eleven, adding teams as far south as TCU in Texas and as far west as Boise State in Idaho (both moves were later canceled). Even after the 2013 breakup into two smaller conferences, the new Big East (consisting primarily of the small Catholic private schools of the previous iteration) still breaks its naming description, as half of the 10 teams in the conference are located in the Midwest. The other half of the breakup (mainly the larger public state schools) apparently decided to preemptively avoid this issue altogether by renaming themselves the very geographically inclusive American Athletic Conference.
  • The West Coast Conference has had BYU, located in the inland western state of Utah, as a member since 2011.
  • On a related note, the postseason Vegas 16 tournament in basketball, launched in 2016, was meant to have a 16-team field. However, for what proved to be its only edition, only 8 teams were picked for quality concerns due to how the season ended up finishing.
  • Lower division NCAA and NAIA conferences named after individual states generally only have members located in that state. More recently a few have expanded to include members from other states but have elected to keep their original name. The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Associationnote  now has two Indiana schools. The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conferencenote  still has a majority of schools in Kansas, but in the last few years added members from Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conferencenote  had single-sport members from outside the state in the past, but did not get its first out-of-state full member until Shepherd, from West Virginia's eastern panhandle, joined in 2019. The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conferencenote  added Nebraska Wesleyan in 2016 and kept its name, but decided to avert this trope and change the name to the American Rivers Conference in 2018.
    • The NCAA Division II conference founded in 1912 as the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association has been playing with the trope since it added its first two out-of-state members (both from Kansas) in 1989. The next year, it changed its logo, originally consisting of the initials within an outline of Missouri, to include an outline of Kansas (while reorganizing the letters). In 1992, it renamed itself the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, allowing it to keep its long-standing MIAA initialism. When the MIAA expanded into Nebraska and Oklahoma in 2012, it ditched its logo, creating a new one that eliminated any state outlines.
    • The NAIA's Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference took this trope Up to Eleven... and then some. It was founded in 1916 as a Kentucky-only conference, but before it finally became the River States Conference in 2016, the following out-of-state members joined:
      • Rio Grande (in Ohio): 1964–1971 and 2004–present.
      • Oakland City (in Indiana): 1968–1975.
      • Clinch Valley (now known as UVA–Wise, as in Virginia): 1971–1994.
      • IU Southeast (the first of three Indiana University branch campuses to join): 1994–present.note 
      • Bethel (in Tennessee): 1999–2006.
      • St. Louis Pharmacy (yes, that St. Louis): 2003–2014.
      • IU East: 2007–present.
      • Mountain State (West Virginia): 2007–2012.
      • Cincinnati Christian: 2008–present.note 
      • Carlow and Point Park (both from Pittsburgh): 2012–present.
      • IU Kokomo: 2013–present.
      • Ohio Christian and West Virginia Tech: 2015–present.
      • To sum it up: In its final season under the KIAC name, the league had 13 members in five states, with only four members in Kentucky!! At least the new conference name finally fits, seeing that every current member is in a state on the Ohio River.
Other
  • Figure Skating got its name from its original focus on having one skate a series of predefined Compulsory Figures on the ice (like a Figure Eight). With the advent of television, home audiences found the process of watching skater after skater perform a series of mundane movements followed by minutes of nitpicky judging to be boring in the extreme so the Figure part of Figure Skating began to play less and less of a role in official competitions until being completely eliminated in 1990.
  • Rugby union club London Irish was founded in London for Irish immigrants — they now play in Reading (40 miles from London) and as of January 2011 had only two Irish players. This trope was subverted in December 2013 when a group of London-based Irish businessmen bought the club.
  • An Artifact Nickname: Brazilian swimmer Fernando Scherer is known in his country as "Xuxa", a nickname he earned in his youth for having golden locks similar to an eponymous TV host from that country. Ever since he became a professional swimmer, he is bald (in that sport, it's either that or a swim cap).
  • The UK's premier tennis venue, home of the Wimbledon Championships, is formally named the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. This is a deliberate adoption of this trope: though croquet was dropped, and the name changed to reflect this in 1882, the current name was instated in 1889, for sentimental reasons. The club grounds do still include a croquet lawn, but it's more a historical decorative feature than a practical one. The "All England" part of the name isn't really indicative either, as the club's orbit extends across the whole of the UK. The "Lawn" part is, though: Wimbledon is now the only grand slam event played on grass.
  • The Ultimate Fighting Championship was designed to be a one-off event that would establish once and for all what fighting style is the best, so the word "ultimate" was meant literally. When the promoters realized they could make more money by putting on more shows, the "ultimate" lost its original meaning. However, it can be salvaged by shifting its meaning from "final" to "best". Instead of the final contest of fighting styles, the UFC is now the best contest for fighting.
  • Mixed martial artist Nick "the Goat" Thompson was originally nicknamed "the Fainting Goat" due to the frequency at which he was knocked out. When he learned better defense and toughened up, his nickname got shortened to just "the Goat", which has no relevance or meaning.
  • Australian Rules Football: As the AFL expanded from a Victorian to a national competition, many Victorian clubs lost their connections to the suburbs they were named after. Collingwood, Hawthorn and St Kilda no longer have any ties to their namesake suburbs, and (except for Melbourne) the rest of the suburban grounds are used only for training and social purposes (the league's nine Melbourne-based teams have a grand total of two home stadiums).
    • Hawthorn in particular, due to a deal with the Tasmanian government and tourism industry, plays some of its home games in Launceston, on a completely different island to its namesake suburb. In some ways, it's the de facto Tasmanian team in the league.
    • Even though the South Melbourne team moved to Sydney in the 1980s, their jerseys are still labeled "SMFC".
  • Similar to Hockey's NHL, Australia's National Rugby League has a team from New Zealand, the Auckland-based Warriors.
  • Another Aussie example: the National Rugby Championship (in rugby union; the NRL plays rugby league) added the Fijian Druanote  in 2017.
  • Many continental sports governing bodies have members from outside their main geographic region.
    • Practically all "European" governing bodies (UEFA in football/soccer, FIBA Europe in basketball, Rugby Europe in rugby union, etc.) include members that are either partially or totally in Asia. Most notably, these bodies all include Russia (with most of its area in Asia, but most of its population in Europe), Turkey (primarily in Asia), Kazakhstan (but only for UEFA; it does have a small amount of European territory, but only by some definitions), and Israel. In the case of Israel, it joined European bodies because many of its Middle Eastern neighbors do not recognize it.
    • CONCACAF, standing for Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, includes three members on the South American continent—Guyana, Suriname, and the French overseas department of French Guiana.
    • The Asian Football Confederation has included Australia since 2006 - in part because Australia has won the Oceanian continental qualification round handily more than once - only to then fall in a play-off against much stronger opposition and in part because aside from New Zealand there really isn't any Oceanian country with soccer even remotely on par with Australia. And even then both nations are known primarily for other sports (Rugby and Aussie Rules Football).
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report