The Rome Braves and the Rome News-Tribune are sponsoring a contest to help name the team’s new mascot. The catch? You don’t know what it looks like and neither do we.
Will he or she be more human or Muppet? For that matter, will the mascot be a he or a she?
“It hasn’t been born yet,” explains Mike Dunn, general manager of the Rome Braves.
The rules are simple: Come up with a unique, exciting name for Rome’s mascot, then fill out the official entry form and mail it to the Braves. You’ll need to explain, in 25 words or less, why your name should be chosen.
Anyone can enter the contest although it is aimed at students in Northwest Georgia. The entry form will appear in Young Romans each week through Jan. 28. The deadline to get them to the Braves is Feb. 4. Only entries made using an official form, or a photocopy of it, will be accepted. And entries should be sent only to the address provided on the form.
After the February deadline, the judges will choose a name based on its creativity and originality. In other words, you’ll need to come up with the idea on your own — no “borrowing” names allowed here.
Here are some suggestions to consider:
* Perhaps a name that incorporates Northwest Georgia’s rich Native American heritage.
* Maybe a name that embraces the environment of the region, such as the three rivers, or the Seven Hills.
* Or maybe even a name that mixes either of the above and some local baseball lore from the old textile mill days.
* Of course, there’s that out-of-the-blue name, too. For example, the Chattanooga Lookouts’ mascot is named Louie; the Asheville, N.C., Tourists call their No. 1 fan Ted E. Tourist.
So have a little fun when thinking of your suggestion.
“I think (the winner) will be the most creative and the name that fits the mascot,” said Dunn. “It’s supposed to be a fun, crazy, zany kind of thing. There will be names that will be pretty off-the-wall and that’s the fun of it.”
There’s also a prize incentive for coming up with a great name. The winner will get a personalized Rome Braves jersey and two box seats for the 2003 season, in addition to several other great prizes.
“It’s great because it will have a bunch of stuff, not only the tickets and the jersey. We’re still compiling stuff to go into this prize pack,” said Dunn. “The child can come to the games for the whole season and have his or her own jersey. It’s just a good prize.”
The winning name will be announced at the unveiling party for the new mascot, to be held at the Rome Braves stadium in mid-February. The person who submitted the winning entry also will be profiled in the Feb. 18 edition of Young Romans.
“This is now Rome and Northwest Georgia’s team,” said Dunn. “This gives the children the opportunity to bring the first player to the game.”
And that’s just part of the excitement. You’ll see the new mascot in the community prior to the Braves’ first home game in the new stadium on April 11 vs. the Savannah Sandgnats (the Braves open the new season at Savannah on April 3).
“Around the year it will be a fun aspect of our operation,” Dunn added.
For now, put on your thinking caps and see what great names you can come up with for what is sure to be the Rome Braves’ first MVP — Most Visible Player.