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Skeeters Change Name to Space Cowboys

The Sugar Land Skeeters always seemed to have a distinctly Houston vibe to them even if they were half an hour from dowtown. They started from basically nothing with no major league affiliation, built a really cool ballpark in a suburb of the sprawling city, and gave themselves a nickname that says, “You’re going to need bug spray in our open air stadium playing games in the dead of summer.”

But, now that the franchise is a Triple A affiliate, and for the home town Astros no less, it appears Skeeters was a bit too cutesy for their tastes. And, well, not spacey enough, we guess?

While the new nickname won’t officially be announced until January 29, Mark Berman of Fox 26 reported last night that the team has chosen to replace Skeeters with Space Cowboys.

Insert sad trombone sound here.

Now, setting aside for the moment the Steve Miller references (better than the Sugar Land Maurices, we suppose), we understand the importance of NASA when it comes to our entire region. Teams and companies have leaned in hard when it came to naming themselves. One of the city’s nicknames is Space City. Since Johnson Space Center became Mission Control, it has absolutely been a point of reference and pride for the city.

Of course, it, along with Tom Hanks’ now famous phrase (incorrect though it may have been) in Apollo 13, has also provided us with the laziest headline generator in history whenever something goes wrong. And we mean anything. Whether it is climate change or a generally meaningless loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves (eye roll), we apparently have a problem. Sigh.

But, with the Skeeters Space Cowboys, we do wonder, were there any other ideas on the table? It sounds a little like they wanted the Cowboys, but, well, you know. We’re imagining the conversation in the marketing room:

How do we say Texas and space?
Damn, I wish Dallas didn’t already have the cowboys.
Wait! What about SPACE COWBOYS!

*cheers and ovations*

Look, as cliche as it might be, the idea of a cowboy (yee haw, Texas!) in space is not lost on us, but really? In a city that literally put a man on the moon, that’s the best we’ve got? Please, dear lord, tell us they are not thinking of an astronaut with a giant foam cowboy hat as a logo.

And, hey, we love NASA. It really is synonymous with Houston (even if New York got a space shuttle and we didn’t — sorry, still grumpy about that). But, these aren’t the Houston Space Cowboys. It’s Sugar Land. And no offense to this sweet (pun intended) suburb, but what exactly does it have to do with NASA? Best we could tell, a SL native is an astronaut. But, even that is tenuous at best given that most people from Sugar Land likely tell people they are from Houston. A Sugar Land native is like a Clear Lake native, but at least Clear Lake actually has, you know, NASA.

Honestly, we just liked the Skeeters. It was a sassy, a wink-wink insider joke for locals like us. Space Cowboys is like a nickname for people who have never been to Texas. They hear Space Cowboys, imagine some tumbleweeds drifting across the diamond before a guy in boots and a big ol’ hat yells out “play ball, y’all!” Maybe they can put a working oil well in the parking lot and a cattle pasture next door to check off ever item on the “how to display what it is like to be in Texas” cliche list.

Ah, well, it’s just a team name for a minor league franchise. But, had they consulted us, we might have suggested borrowing another lyric from Texas native Steve Miller and gone with the Midnight Tokers. Now, there’s a name we can get behind.




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