Names are the name of this game. And everybody, it seems, wants to play.
When it was first suggested here a few weeks ago that the first step toward respectability for the Cal State Northridge football team was a respectable name for its home field--referred to between yawns all these years as North Campus Stadium--the hope was for a few helpful suggestions.
What we've been flooded with, however, are enough names to write our own phone book. Who says nobody out there cares about CSUN football?
Reader Kerry A. Mayer of Northridge would like to see North Campus Stadium renamed one of the following: Northridge Downs, North Valley Stadium, Northridge Field, Campus Downs, Matador Stadium or Matador Downs. Or they could call it Hugh Downs and invite the ABC newscaster to originate his 20/20 show from there, bringing even more notoriety to the football program.
Robert Birch of Northridge offers the following: "First is the long list of rejected pretenders, such as Blood and Sand Bowl (The Tyrone Power-Rita Hayworth fizzle of 1941 might not augur well for the '80s), the Sun Also Rises Stadium (sexually frustrated, alcoholic authors should not be celebrated in sports, and besides, some of the Matador players do eat quiche), Cape and Sword Stadium (the Matador metaphor was beginning to wear thin by this time), Burrito Bowl (that's about as much Spanish as most Anglos will tolerate anyway), etc.
"Second is the list of runners-up," he wrote. In this group, Birch lists: "Oasis Stadium (the nearby street, Zelzah, is alleged to be a biblical word, meaning 'oasis,' and it was the name for the area originally by the first settlers), Nortecerro Stadium (that one's rather obvious and bland), Morada Stadium (the word means 'sojourn,' which is very apt. It also works well with the Matadors).
"But in the end, the one that won me over was Good Sports Stadium, which is really all the players should strive to be, win or no win."
Writes Joe Wohland of Northridge: "How about calling the football stadium Devonshire Downs?
"I have enjoyed the Matador games for years now without the Coliseum-type atmosphere and prices that a large stadium would bring."
Sorry, I still like Hugh Downs.
Sam Cohen of Calabasas suggests: "A motivating name for the stadium could be Victory Stadium."
And we heard from Merle Kousins-Adler of Northridge, who writes: "My husband . . . thinks the name should mention Matador to tie in with CSUN. Matador, as you know, means bullfighter. Also, someone who kills. Not a pretty idea.
"We could incorporate our state nickname, Golden State. Or should we mention wind and rain? Do you think any of the enclosed names can charm fans and fool opponents?"
She then offers: International Stadium, BigTime Stadium, Continental Stadium, Sunshine Stadium, Sunlight Stadium, Sun Ridge Stadium, Inter-Ridge Stadium, SunShire Stadium, Shire Ridge Stadium, Wind Ridge Stadium, Sunny Wind Stadium, Northwind Stadium, Champion Stadium, Green Ridge Stadium, Wind Bowl Stadium, North Bowl Stadium, Sunny Land Stadium, Community Stadium, Matador Bowl Stadium, Matador Pasture Stadium, Matador Meadow Stadium, Matador Valley Stadium, Matadores Stadium, Peoples Stadium, Citizens Stadium, Torero Stadium, Toreador Stadium, Toreador Stadium, Highlander Stadium, Tartan Stadium, Valley Hi Stadium, Golden Valley Stadium, Golden Matador Stadium, Golden Ridge Stadium, Gold Bowl Stadium and Golden Sun Stadium.
Plenty to choose from there. But my favorite, I think, has got to be Citizens Stadium. That way we could refer to Northridge's star running back, Mike Kane, as Citizen Kane.
I think we've gone as far as we can go. The effort has been tremendous, the imagination awesome, the results phenomenal. I think all we can do at this point is to turn the results of all this labor over to Northridge officials and let them make the final decision.
The people have spoken. There is no longer any excuse for asking a team to get excited about going to battle in some place called North Campus Stadium.