All illustrations by Toby Morris
All illustrations by Toby Morris

SportsApril 6, 2019

Don’t worry, Crusaders fans, we’ve got your new name sorted

All illustrations by Toby Morris
All illustrations by Toby Morris

The Crusaders rugby franchise are looking into changing their name. Madeleine Chapman and Toby Morris have some ideas.

Sports teams have changed their names before. The Charlotte Hornets NBA team were the Charlotte Bobcats for over a decade. When they got their name back from the New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans became the Pelicans. If an NBA team can rename themselves the Pelicans then the Crusaders will be fine with virtually any new name.

But we don’t want just any name change, we want a good one. So here are some good options, illustrated beautifully by Toby Morris. Seriously, just hire him to design the new imagery, whatever the new name is.

Canterbury Strong

It’s co-opting a very American sentiment but I like the idea of the new name being a stance rather than a noun. Teams don’t have to be a ‘thing’, they can just be. Alternatively, since there has been talk of keeping the name and dropping the imagery, the focus can be on Canterbury rather than Crusaders, and something along the lines of Canterbury Strong could be used as a slogan. It showcases the resilience of the region without needing to detach a whole lot of historical sentiment.

Illustration by Toby Morris

Canterbury Rapids

There are no Hurricanes in Wellington but no one seems too fussed by that name. There’s rivers galore in Canterbury and ‘Canterbury Rapids’ actually flows (ha) quite well. It’s geographically relevant, inoffensive, and vague enough to not need intense new imagery. Just squiggle some lines on some red and you’ve got yourself a Canterbury Rapid.

Mainland Cheese

Hear me out. Mainland Cheese. It’s genius. I’m a genius. Think of the brand recognition, the built-in fanbase. I’m sure there are a lot of cheese fans who are ambivalent about rugby but connect the two and you’ll probably double attendance at every home game.

The soccer region of the South has labelled itself as Mainland Football, a handy compromise in the debate over whether ‘Canterbury’ really represents half of the South Island. Mainland is all encompassing and rolls off the tongue so nicely. It rolls off the tongue as the word cheese rolls right onto it.

Illustration by Toby Morris

You may scoff at the thought of a Mainland Cheese rugby team but I guarantee you’ll come around. Good things take time, you know.

“My idea for rugby team is change the name from Canterbury to Canerbury”

A suggestion from Spinoff editor Toby Manhire presented without comment.

Canterbury Cats

A safe bet that may sound boring or generic, but every name feels weird at first and then people stop caring. Look at the Blues. What’s a blue? At least with the Cats you have some logo options. My preference would be a panther-esque creature, inspired by the mysterious large cat (definitely real, definitely a panther) spotted every few years in Canterbury.

Illustration by Toby Morris

Maybe the elusive big cat will even be inspired to make an appearance at halftime. Imagine that!

Canterbury ft. Tasman

So all the Tasman fans can finally stop yelling about the Crusaders actually representing Tasman and the west coast too.

Canterbury Big Boys

For what are rugby players if not large adult sons?

Keep going!