What is your favorite Sacramento pro sports team nickname?

Leading Off: And certainly don't call them River Rats

Published: Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 - 6:34 pm

Plenty of folks out there must be misusing the River Cats' name …

Rivercats …

RiverCats …

rivercats …

River cats

Oops, that's going to cost me $4.

Zak Basch, the River Cats' executive in charge of public relations, is hissing mad – or whatever it is cats do when they get angry.

A news release arrived last week with this statement: "Effective immediately, all members of the local and national media, River Cats corporate partners, full- or part-time River Cats staff, and season, flex, and mini-plan ticket holders will be fined $1 for spelling 'River Cats' incorrectly."

It must be a joke, we figured – until we received an invoice from the team for the "improper usage of 'River Cats,' " requesting $1, due in 30 days. (It's tax deductible, Basch pointed out, because the fines go to the River Cats Foundation.)

As of Wednesday, Basch said the team had sent out nine invoices and had received "no less than $6 so far."

Like any good PR man, part of Basch's job is to get folks talking about the team. And this ploy – "Dead serious. This RiverCats BS has gone on long enough," Basch wrote in an email – has created a bit of buzz on the Internet.

All of this silliness leads us to something even sillier: the name.

What is a River Cat, anyway? The closest thing we could find is fishing cat. According to Wikipedia, the fishing cat "lives along rivers, streams and mangrove swamps" of South and Southeast Asia.

Though we could find no connection to Sacramento, it was selected from the 4,000 names on 6,000 contest entries when the team moved to West Sacramento. According to a Nov. 23, 1999, story in The Bee, 87 people suggested River Cats.

Or maybe it was Rivercats or River cats or even rivercats.

Check out the team's uniform: RiverCats.

Today's poll

What is your favorite Sacramento pro sports team nickname?

• Capitals

• Kings

• River Cats

• Other

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday's results

Which team will have the best record in April?

• A's: 48%

• Giants: 52%

Total votes: 171

Call The Bee's Tom Couzens, (916) 321-1097. Follow him on Twitter @tomcouzens.

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