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Sunday, May 29, 2021

frozen over
You’d think New Jersey would be more appreciative of the only major-league team to bring championships to the Garden State. But instead, podunk Assemblyman Craig Stanley, a Baptist deacon, is pushing a bill linking the funding of a new arena for the NHL Devils to a name change for the team, citing Satanic symbolism.

“This is an age where symbolism is very important,” said Stanley, whose resolution to rename the team is to be introduced in the Assembly next month. “With the team coming to a new city, Newark, I thought it was a good time to do it.”

Not that it matters to a zealot like that, but of course, the Devils’ name isn’t derived from the Judeo-Christian-Islamic devil at all:

Legend has it that the Jersey Devil — with bat-like wings, a forked tail and oversized claws — terrorized Pine Barrens dwellers in the 18th-century after being born the 13th child to poor South Jerseyans and morphing into a dinosaur-like beast.

The team’s mascot is no beast, though. It’s a 7-foot-tall, red, cartoonish figure with horns and a goatee.

The NHL’s Devils acquired their name in a 1982 fan contest after a group of New Jersey investors brought the team east from Colorado, said Lamoriello. There is no chance that the name will change anytime soon, he said.

This issues comes up every so often. I seem to recall a move years ago — before the team became a consistent winner, and crowds were especially sparse — to ditch the Devils moniker and redub the team the “New Jersey Gulls”.

The Tampa Bay area has it’s own demon-reminiscent franchise, of course. And just as predictably, the holy rollers came out of the woodwork as soon as the Devil Rays were christened (pun intended) 10 years ago.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/29/2005 09:48:07 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink |

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