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The SU Intramurals name game

An intramural name not only must reflect the team's personality but also elicits chuckles (and envy) from fellow players.

They know it’s not politically correct. But hey, it rhymes. It’s funny. It’s original.

And here, it’s OK to fashion a slightly offensive, definitely hilarious team name.

So “The Fightin’ Whities” live on. Ironically sporting black T-shirts, the band of Caucasian males participate in the ‘B’ division of intramural basketball.

The name has two meanings. First, they’re all white. Second, they are proudly alluding to underpants, the article of clothing that unites us all.

"There’s nothing more fierce than a good pair of Hanes."
Carson Artz,
The Fightin' Whities

“We all wear tighty whities, so we thought that was a common bond,” Carson Artz said. “There’s nothing more fierce than a good pair of Hanes.”

Indeed. Wacky — and sometimes borderline offensive — team names are the craze in Syracuse’s intramural sports scene. Sure, some players could care less. Many basketball players admit they don’t even know what their team name is. They’re here to play. Period. Buzz off.

But for countless other teams, half the fun is representing a quirky pseudo-franchise. Intramural sports are an escape from the mundane routine of classes. The team name is essential, a reflection of your team's personality. Wit and intimidation must fuse into a name that elicits chuckles (and envy) from fellow players.

Ian Smith, the Fightin' Whities point guard, understood this.

His friends' team name last year was "Showtime," playing off of the Syracuse basketball team's promotional slogan. Stale and unoriginal to Smith. So this year, he fired a mass text message to his teammates. Smith asked each of them to submit a name. Most of the suggestions were inside jokes that nobody else would understand.

Then Brian Flynn offered the "Fightin' Whities." Case closed.

"We just wanted to have fun with it," Smith said. "I'm not sure how the minority players feel about it. We just thought it'd be funny being a bunch of white guys."

So far, all the feedback has been positive.

"No news is good news," Smith said. "We don't want to hear anything from the NAACP."

Clever name for sure. But possibly no team name trumps the “Mexicutioners,” the team Adam Beilman plays for.

None of the players on the team are actually Mexican. But when a team member noticed a Mexican boxer once went by that nickname, they couldn't resist. This had to be their name.  Last year, they lost in the “C” division championship. This year, new team-branding has given the squad hope of "B" league glory.

Beilman's team is rocking T-shirts featuring a logo that Beilman drew of a Mexican in an oversized sombrero.

“This is my advertising major coming in handy,” said Beilman, hands on hips, during his team’s season opener. In the game, the Mexicutioners’ opponent, the "Blazers," didn’t exactly reciprocate a zest for hooping in style. One player was wearing a Cookie Monster shirt. One was in purple. A handful were in white shirts. A passive, uninspired approach. Divided in a confusing mixed bag of shirts without numbers, the Blazers were called for a slew of technical fouls before the game. All teams are mandated to wear the same color with numbers for the officials' benefit in calling fouls.

Not that the Mexicutioners took advantage of the freebie free throws. They missed nearly all of their technical foul shots and eventually lost a 47-46 heartbreaker. Beilman lamented that his team models its free-throwing shooting after Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku, its defense after Jim Boeheim’s patented 2-3 and its offense after, well, Colgate.

But it doesn’t matter. For the Mexicutioners, it’s about having fun. The heart of intramural sports.

"If you win, you don't get a trophy or anything like that," Beilman said. "You get a T-shirt. It's about having fun and continuing to play the game."

Adam BielmanMeet 'That Ref'

As the head official for intramural basketball, Adam Beilman is in the heart of SU's intramural sports scene. You could say, he has seen just about everything.

Official Intramural updates

Check out schedules, standing and enrollment info for intramural sports throughout the school year.

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