Sometimes in the college sports world, schools are forced to (or choose to) change their nickname. Sometimes this change is a good thing. Other times it isn’t (we’re looking at you North Dakota). No matter the outcome, new names always come with new marketing strategies, new jerseys, new logos, and other things that bring interest and excitement back to the school.
That’s why I decided to rename New Mexico’s FBS football teams. That and because this off-season has felt like it has gone on forever and I was hoping to take everyone’s mind off it for a little while.
So, without further ado, here are some name change suggestions for both New Mexico State and New Mexico, with respect to their city and region. Let me know in the comments if you can think of any cool names I missed!
New Mexico State Aggies
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces is home to the world’s largest flat enchilada and the annual Whole Enchilada Festival, held every September. It is a festival that brings the city together to celebrate it’s heritage as well as cook up some delicious food.
This name would bring some amazing food to NMSU’s stadium, as well as make for an interesting mascot and jersey combo.
Las Cruces has a huge wine industry and they celebrate that industry with two different wine festivals every year, once on Labor Day and once on Memorial Day.
To honor this tradition, NMSU could change their name to the Grape Stompers. They could even keep Pistol Pete as the logo and just give him a smile and a bucket of grapes to be in. Plus, a grape stomping competition would make for a great halftime show!
The Flame Walkers of New Mexico State would be all about representing the agriculture industry, especially that of the Green Chile. Las Cruces has a “Walk of Flame” Green Chile trail that allows tourists to try all kinds of green chile inspired dishes and drinks, including green chile vodka, at various restaurants around the city. So saddle up and walk through the flames with NMSU’s newly named football team!
University of New Mexico Lobos
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
As a nod to the TV series Breaking Bad, which was set in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico’s board of governors could decide to change the nickname of the university to honor Walter White and Jesse Pinkman’s rise to power from cooking crystal meth.
The new nickname could be marketed like crazy, with t-shirts, hats, Walter White night (where everyone dresses up as their favorite Breaking Bad character), the possibilities are endless.
Albuquerque is famous for the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. Held every October, the festival draws over 500 balloons each year and is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.
However, instead of going with a safe name like “Ballooners” I decided to give the rival university a more fitting name for their fan base (as a playful show of distain). I hope they enjoy it, it suits them well!
The New Mexico 66 would be a name to recognize Route 66 which passes through the ABQ. The logo could feature all the things it leads travelers to, like the old volcano on the west side of the city to the Rio Grande and the city in between. I’m thinking the volcano could be on the left side of the logo with the 66 in the center, the Rio Grande passing through the second six and the city skyline in between the two. It could be pretty cool I think.
What do you think of these names? Too corny? Right on? Let us know in the comments and tell us the nicknames you came up with!