Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What's In A Name? - My Thoughts On The Generals Current New Personas

We are a week into the 2012 tour and the confusion I expected has already begun. As anyone who has seen tweets given by fans during the game will tell you most are confused by where the Generals are, and what's up with the black, white, and yellow running across the court.

U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Marie Brown
America now knows what fans in the Middle East, France and some of our boys and girls serving our country already knew. As of right now the Globetrotters new nemesis are the International Elite and World Select. 

I don't know the reason for this name change. It's strange that they're doing it considering the Washington Generals only resumed using that name 4 years ago. After a 12 year stint playing as the New York Nationals. 

I think part of the reason might be because the story line for this tour, is that the Globetrotters are playing a championship game. Some might find it hard to think a team which hasn't won since 1971 would climb the ranks to play in a championship game. 

Arguably, that might be true. But it isn't like a game between the Generals and the Globetrotters didn't stretch believably before. Even the kids in the audience picked up pretty quickly on what was going on. The Elite and Select don't play any differently so even if people didn't realize they were the same team as before (and have the same coaches), it would take minutes to realize it was the same show it has always been.

That isn't even counting that in some venues the Trotters will be winning this championship twice in one night.

Although it's possible I'm hoping it is that reason because if it is, then it would likely mean the Generals returning next tour. 

Whatever the reason, like it or not the Washington Generals seem to have currently hung up their green and yellow for black and yellow, or white and yellow depending on when you watch. 

This was probably the Globetrotter management's call. Not to pick on them, but I can't imagine the Washington Generals, who own their team's name with pride wanting to change it. And all the name changes before have pretty much been the Globies call. 

I think that is a bad move because as both Dan Gilbert and the Old Spice Man have recently shown, people know the "Washington Generals" name. It's become as iconic as the Globetrotters themselves. Hell, I can attest even after 12 years as the New York Nationals, the majority still associated the Washington Generals name with the Globetrotters put upon foils. 

I know that neither team wants the Generals to overshadow the Globetrotters. The business plan for both teams pretty much depends on them having a lower profile. But I don't see how being well known as being the team that loses consistently to the Globetrotters could do anything but help everyone involved. 

That being said, and although as a fan I hope that this name change isn't going to be another New York Nationals decade or longer change. At the end of the day, I don't really think it matters. 

They may not have the same name, or the same outfits. But just like when they wore red and became the New Jersey Reds, or maroon to become the New York Nationals. Their mission was and still is the same. 

It's to help the Globetrotters look good. To be the brunt of the comedy bits and to entertain the fans. And as reviews and fans who have been in the game will attest, they are as good as ever at being the world wide visiting team to the most famous basketball team on earth. 

So no matter what color their uniforms, or what the name is on the uniform. In the ways that really matter, they are still the Washington Generals. And the players of the Global Select and International Elite are continuing to do the teams legacy proud.

In the end, that's all anyone could ever really ask for. 


  1. It concerns me when people actually think it is real basketball. The Washington Generals will never win another game. The refs, the clock, the score is controlled by the Globetrotters. When the game is close a "show play" is called. I will say that the Generals are made up of kids with good overall games and some of the Globetrotters would not last 10 minutes in a real game. In the end it is all fun for the kids but oddly enough I still come across adults who think that it is real basketball.

    Former General

  2. Im glad this comment was posted. I agree! The Generals are real athletes- the Globetrotters would be nothing if it weren't for the "SHOW" ...with the Generals!