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Project 123: a work in progress [Jul. 9th, 2013|06:54 pm]
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So I've been hammering away at this little project intermittently (and ignoring it for months on end), but I think I've finally hit a wall and need some help.

Here's the story: when playing NCAA Football 12 for the Playstation 3, I took great delight in the create-a-school function.  You get to create your own teams, logos, uniform colors, stadiums, and customize the entire roster.  So I had a few favorite teams put in pretty quickly.

But then, I thought, why stop there?

At the time the game shipped with 123 actual college teams.  And you could replace any of them.  You could replace all of them, you know, if you were an absolute masochist with hours of spare time to oh yeah that's me.

When I first started I only whipped up a logo and some colors and a vague school/team name and concept for each addition, but the more I thought about it, that seemed to easy, too superficial.  No, I wanted the entire roster customized for each team, too.  That's ~80 players per team (around 9840 players, in total), with those names thematically linked to the school.  The Greendale Human Beings were pretty easy to populate, and their logos aren't hard to find; ditto the Hogwarts Wizards.  It started getting a little tricky with colors, both finding enough of them and deciding to only replace the last name, which I think really helps flesh them out (so you get names that teeter on the edge of plausibility: Lance Gold, Glen Salmon, Wendell Grape, Kelvin Mint, Roy Goldenrod...).  For more than a few rosters I used random name generators -- some my own, some others' -- and Wikipedia gave invaluable lists of the most inane and commonplace things with which to fill the benches.

So as I began creating a pretty healthy pool of teams, trends were becoming noticeable, which is fantastic, because I'm going to have to create conferences for these guys anyway.  There's more than a few comic-book-based teams, some historical people, a lot of food-related teams, even more critter-based schools...and quite a few that simply elude classification at the moment (particularly the Hanover Fists, a team of horrible puns: Terry Dactyl, Amos Quito, Rod Eale, Jerry Atrick, Dwayne Pipe...and oh, it goes on).

But I've hit a wall at 75 teams.  I just got an idea the other day for a new team (Vegetative State), but I'm still fifty-odd behind where I need to be, not even counting the fact that NCAA Football 14 just came out today (and my copy hasn't been unwrapped yet), and I still can't find out how many teams have been added for this iteration.

My adaptation criteria have dried down from "Would that make a cool football team with a neat logo?" to "Is there any way I can squeeze 80+ distinct players out of this concept?"  Vegetative State is not going to be a team filled with famous coma patients (I don't think there's quite broad enough of a pool to draw from, but also, ew) but people with the last names of vegetables.  I'm looking forward to seeing Chad Broccoli make a drive for the Heisman.

The teams have recruiting pitches and offensive/defensive stats that are randomized, first with dice, then with my Teambuilder template built into my Rando-tools.  It tends toward a bell curve, with A+ scores not possible.

So, anyway, if you have suggestions, I'm listening.  And here's what I've already got:</p>
School Mascot City State Coach Theme Notes
1 30th Century Legionnaires Metropolis NY RJ Brande names of Legion of Super-Heroes members
2 Acorn University Squirrels Marysville KS Rocky Squirrel names of squirrels
3 Alliance Rebels Hollywood CA George Lucas random Star-Wars-esque names
4 American Democrats Charlotte NC Franklin D Roosevelt names of prominent Democrats FDR is pulling double-duty
5 Apple Macs Cupertino CA Steve Jobs names of types of apple
6 Balboa Banana Grabbers Balboa CA Mitchell Hurwitz needs one
7 Baton Rouge Bees Baton Rouge LA Brian Billick randomly generated names with initials of BB
8 Beacon Hats Beacon NY Jervis Tetch names of hats
9 Bovine University Mad Cows Columbus OH K Green names of breeds of cow
10 Butterfly State Monarchs Coconut Creek FL Giacomo Puccini names of butterflies
11 Canine University Dogs Atlanta GA Snoop Dogg names of breeds of dog
12 Chromatic Rainbows Greensboro NC Roy G Biv names of colors
13 COBRA Rattlers Springfield MO Cobra Commander names of snakes
14 Cybertron Autobots Cybertron CT Sentinel Prime names of Autobots from Transformers
15 Empirical Scientists Cambridge MA Stephen Hawking names of famous scientists needs diversity
16 Fabric Fierce High Point NC Melissa Leapman names of fabric looks awful
17 Feline University Battle Cats Wren GA Anne Hathaway popular names of cats
18 Florida Fish Maitland FL Jacques Cousteau names of fish
19 Fort Knox Money Fort Knox KY Ben Bernanke names of world currencies
20 Galactic Empire Coruscant NY Darth Sidious random stormtrooper-like names Change school to Coruscant?
21 Galactica Colonials Galactica DC William Adama names of Battlestar Galactica characters needs better city
22 GI Joes Staten Island NY Larry Hama names of GI Joes
23 Golden State Worriers Golden CO Alan Rickman names of negative emotional states
24 Gotham City Batmen Gotham City NJ James Gordon random names of superheroes
25 Greek Philosophers Athens GA Coach Sophocles random Greek-esque names
26 Greendale Human Beings Greendale CO Dan Harmon names of Community characters
27 Hanover Fists Hanover KS Roger Warren worst pun names physically possible
28 Happy University Smileys Boulder CO Matthieu Richard names of positive emotional states
29 Hogwarts Wizards Salem MA JK Rowling names of Harry Potter characters
30 Ice Cream State Ice Angels Le Mars IA Blue Bunny flavors of ice cream
31 Justice League Happy Harbor RI Barbara Gordon names of Justice League members
32 Kansas Thunderbirds Topeka KS Tiny Moo names derived from Kansas cities/counties …just "Birds?"
33 Kansas City Cheese Kansas City MO Michael Palin names of cheese
34 Kansas State Orange Barrels* Manhattan KS Kirk Schulz names of buildings on K-State Campus not enthused with coach
35 Kappa U Pi Delta Sweethearts Sheboygan WI Ashlee Tindleman random sorority-girl names
36 Lompoc Flowers Lompoc CA Buddy Rose names of flowers
37 Meat University Sausages Hereford TX Oscar Meyer names of sausages
38 Memphis Watchmen Memphis TN Alan Moore names of watch manufacturers
39 Mendeleev U Elements Oak Ridge TN Dmitri Mendeleev names of elements I didn't make this logo and I feel lazy
40 Metropolis Supermen Metropolis NY Perry White random names of superheroes
41 Michigan Lakes Lake City MI Veronica Lake names of largest American lakes needs better city; better logo?
42 Microsoft Windows Redmond WA Bill Gates names of PC manufacturers
43 Mystic Falls Vampires Mystic Falls VA Damon Salvatore random vampirey names
44 NASA Astronauts Houston TX Gene Kranz names of NASA astronauts -1983 roughly
45 New Orleans U Jazz New Orleans LA Frank Sinatra names of jazz musicians should have Louis Armstrong coach
46 New York Avengers New York NY Stan Lee names of Avengers
47 Norwalk Fruit Norwalk IA Chiquita Banana names of fruit
48 Oa Green Lantern Evergreen City WA Guardian Ganthet names of Green Lantern
49 Panem Hunger Force Panem CO Suzanne Collins random Hunger-Games-like names
50 Pasta University Fightin Italians Johnston RI Chef Boyardee names of pasta
51 Peace University Treehuggers Austin TX Timothy Leary random pseudo-hippie names
52 Pharmaceutical Witch Doctors Trenton NJ Gregory House names of medications
53 Pokemon Mudkips Pallet Town MT Ash Ketchum names of Pokemons
54 Post-Apocalyptic Vault Boys Los Ybanez TX Stan Braun random post-apocalyptic-ish names I don't remember why coach/location
55 Presque Isle Lobsters Presque Isle ME George Wells names of natives of Maine
56 Reznor University Nailers Mercer PA Trent Reznor needs one (goths?) need to fix logo
57 Rock n Roll Hard Rockers Cleveland OH Elvis Presley names of rock 'n roll musicians
58 Roman Centurions Rome GA Julius Caesar random Roman-esque names
59 Russian Unicorns Moscow CA Michael Buble random Russian names
60 Sci-Fi Writing Classics Vancouver WA CS Lewis names of sci-fi writers better diversity
61 Seattle Coffee Seattle WA Juan Valdez names of types of coffee
62 Secret Society Supervillains San Francisco CA Lex Luthor DC supervillains new location?
63 Starfleet Redshirts San Francisco CA Zephrem Cochrane names of Star Trek characters
64 Symphony Band Cleveland OH John P Souza names of musical instruments
65 Toronto Pilgrims Toronto CA Bryan L Omalley names of native Torontoans
66 Typographic Caps Cupertino CA Johannes Guterberg names of fonts
67 Unicron Decepticons Kolkular ND Sentinel Prime names of Decepticons from Transformers coach: ?
68 United States Republicans Tampa FL Ronald Reagan names of prominent Republicans
69 Vehicular Hot Rods Pontiac MI Henry Ford makes/models of cars
70 Victorian Footballers Victoria VA Queen Victoria random Victorian-era-esque names
71 Washington Volcanos St Helens WA David Johnston names of volcanos too dark?
72 White House Presidents Washington DC Franklin D Roosevelt names of POTUS and VPOTUS FDR is pulling double-duty
73 Winterfall Dragon Slayers Winterfall MA King Torygg characters from Skyrim
74 Xavier Institute Mutants Salem Center NY Charles Xavier names of X-Men and ancillary groups
75 Yoyodyne Reds Grovers Mills NJ John Worphin names of Red Lectroids from Buckaroo Banzai
*Not a recognized
team name by
in-game announcers

There is a list of 4000+ teams that the announcers will actually say during a game, and every team listed above (save the Orange Barrels) is on that list.  "Green Lantern" is singular (or royal plural) for that reason.  Note also that the list is old enough it doesn't reflect recent cultural shifts like the nu52, the Jean Grey school, or the advent of Snoop Lion.

Problems: FDR is the coach of the Presidents and the Democrats.  Hank McCoy is both a Mutant and an Avenger.  Will add to this list as I find/remember them.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: bedsitter23
2013-07-10 01:33 am (UTC)

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With apologies to Monty Python, my first thought was philosophers but I are you already got it.

Maybe a team of dictators - Idi Amin, Ho Chi Minh, Robert Mugabe as your Heisman running back and Joe Stalin as your coach. The Fighting Joes? The Pyongyang Dictators? Yeah, we'll its a thought. </p>

Also, you could always do the Bruce's. G'day Bruce.

Maybe a team of all felons too. Lawrence Phillips. Mark Chmura. Aaron Hernandez. With all the arrests this year, you may have a team in no time.

[User Picture]From: sigma7
2013-07-10 01:39 am (UTC)

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I was thinking about something along the dictatorial/felon line, but...that seems entirely less fun, somehow. (Plus, I'd be brushing up on EA Sports's content limits; they're arbitrary and typically irreversible. I was having very strange trouble with the auto-content filter. You'll notice there's nobody named "Dick" or even "Dickinson.")

Bruces. Hrm. Legendary Bruces. This may have to be done. I would not play against a team of anything with Bruce Lee on it.
[User Picture]From: bedsitter23
2013-07-10 02:01 am (UTC)

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And Bruce Campbell of course.

For some reason a team of Genes (Eugene, OR) seems fun too. Not sure why. Gene Rayburn. Eugene McCarthy. Gene Shalit. Gene Simmons. Imogene Coca. Gene Gene the Dancing Machine.
[User Picture]From: sigma7
2013-07-10 01:02 pm (UTC)

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I think you won me over with Gene Rayburn.
[User Picture]From: bedsitter23
2013-07-10 05:59 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, probably should nix the felons. I read the other day you can't even order a Chmura jersey for any team.

I feel like Genes are doable even if you have to branch out to Geno Smith, Jean Lafitte or Billy Jean King.
[User Picture]From: bedsitter23
2013-07-10 06:03 pm (UTC)

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Or Spices and/or Condiments. Col Mustard could coach.

Or maybe Paul Simon is the coach and you're backfield or 4-3 d-line would be Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme.
[User Picture]From: sigma7
2013-07-10 06:10 pm (UTC)

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Found a lot of spices, but most of the condiments I came across are just ____ Sauce. I guess I could flip around the "Sauce"s to make "Sauce" a first name, since the game exclusively uses last names very often.

Paul Simon would be a good d-line coach -- there are actually offensive and defensive coordinators -- but he's already on the Rock n Roll team, I believe. Can't have that. The FDR/Hank McCoy thing is really getting to me.
[User Picture]From: kateshort
2013-07-10 04:02 am (UTC)

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How about the Carnegie Librarians?

oh for pete's sake they have five spellings for leprechauns but no librarians??? at least they have aardvarks...
[User Picture]From: kateshort
2013-07-10 04:05 am (UTC)

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Oh god they have Anchor Men? Koppel, Williams, Jennings, Couric, Olbermann, Maddow, oh you could have fun with that...

[User Picture]From: sigma7
2013-07-10 01:11 pm (UTC)

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That's a great one. It's on the to-do list.
[User Picture]From: sigma7
2013-07-10 01:11 pm (UTC)

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Not a single Fightin' Librarian. The mind boggles.

They apparently sifted through the most-often-used team names in online play and weeded through them for nasty content and other no-nos and consolidated them the best they could. Still can't believe there's no Orange Barrels or Pretty Birds.
[User Picture]From: former_callixte
2013-07-10 05:04 am (UTC)

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If you are not totally creeped out by creepy crawly things: how about insects? Or arachnids? The uber tiny town I went to grade school in had joke t-shirts in the only store in town: The Cleghorn Fighting Woodticks.
[User Picture]From: sigma7
2013-07-10 01:13 pm (UTC)

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Insects are good. Might boil that down to "Bugs" just for cuteness's sake. We could probably get 80 distinct arachnids without even trying (or even using spiders), but they might get too obscure for immediate recognition. We should be able to fill an acceptable college roster using only bugs. And I'm not sure that sentence has ever been said before.
[User Picture]From: barn_swallow
2013-07-13 02:58 am (UTC)

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I would totally watch sports if Damon Salvatore was coaching.

Also your links don't work for me but I assume that's because I don't have this game/platform? Or maybe because I'm on the LJ app on my phone.</p>

Obviously I will suggest more sci-fi and fantasy as themes: Game of Thrones (names of the heads of different houses?), Doctor Who (maybe mix names of characters with names of planets if you don't want to use straight character names), Whedonverse, SciFi originals (Coach Sharknado?), famous vampires.

[User Picture]From: barn_swallow
2013-07-13 03:02 am (UTC)

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Also Internet memes with Coach Nyancat
[User Picture]From: sigma7
2013-07-13 02:21 pm (UTC)

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I just found out that the maximum number of teams you can import into the game is 12, so...basically, all that was for nothing.

But Imma bookmark your ideas, because I could use them, and hey, maybe I'll do something with the whole list someday....

(And yeah, the web page is an architecture built on Flash, so it's...unfriendly.)