Links: The Etymology Of A Redeem

by August 21, 2008

by Lang Whitaker

We’re less than 24 hours away from the big USA/Argentina game, with the winner advancing to the gold medal game. (And check back here in the morning to talk about the game live.) Talk about a shot at redemption: It was USA vs. Argentina in the quarterfinals in 2004 when Team USA got knocked out of the tournament.

Reee-wind! Actually, speaking of redemption, we got an email last week with some interesting news…

To whom it may concern,

My name is Rhys Anderton and I am a long time SLAM reader…….I hate it when people boast in Trash Talk but have to mention I have every issue except LJ’s no. 1 and Chamique in the Knicks jersey. Not bad for a 26 year Australian in the most isolated city in the world, Perth.

The reason I am writing is I need confirmation that the term “Redeem Team” was derived from right in little ol’ Perth, Australia.

When I was at college (we call it uni ‘Down Under’), one of the highlights of my day was to read Lang’s links every morning. Lang ran a comp on-line after the US lost in the 2002 World Champs in Indianapolis along the lines of finding a new name for the Dream Team as they could no longer be called that. I submitted Redeem Team and Lang published my name on-line and has used it ever since.

I had originally saved the Links page as a screen shot but my parents upgraded their computer and it was lost into cyberspace forever.

Is there anyway (ANYWAY AT ALL!) that we could find that particular page? If it helps, it was the old school Links page where Lang put all the links on the one page and did a brief recap around the League from the day before. I would say it was late 2002 early 2003.

Your most loyal Australian SLAM subscriber,

Rhys Anderton

Well, I went back and went digging through The Links, and sure enough, look what I found.

This is from The Links on August 6, 2004…

Yesterday I asked you guys to send in any ideas for a new name for the Dream Team, and we got a bunch of responses. Most people suggested The Cream Team, which is what we used in SLAM a few years ago when we did an article about how they should put Iverson and Marbury and those guys on the team. I don’t like that game so much right now because the Wu-Tang is kind of in hibernation, and the name can sound a little bit, uh, perverted. In other ideas…

Tommy Patron writes…
To replace the term “Dream Team”, there are several directions you could go in.
1) Derogatory — Pipe Dream Team, Media Hype Squad, Bling Team, No Shot in Hell, Sleep Team, or simply Bad Dream Team.
2) Accurately Descriptive — The Square Pegs, Same Player-Different Positions, Green Team, Players who will never be in the Three Point Competition, Zoned Out, The Line of Succession.
3) Tangential — The Wean Team, The Second Choices, My (Our) Non-Three Sons.

Rhys writes…
G’day Lang. Just a quick one about what Team USA should be called. Ever since they lost the World Champs, my mate has been calling them the “Redeem Team.” What do ya reckon?

Austin writes…
– Dream Individuals
– Bronze Bombers
– That Dream Where You’re On Stage In Nothing But Your Underwear Team
– Dream (Deferred) Team
– The Eastern Conference All Star team
– All-NBA 5th Team
These suck but I don’t care.

Blake writes…
How about:
– The Second Stringers
– The Third Alternates
– The Carmelo Should Have Been Picked Over Dwyane Wade’ers
– Where’s Shaq?
– Dream Team My Ass!
– The Scream Team
– The We’re Better Than Two Years Ago at the World Championship Team
– We Lost to Italy
– At Least We’re Not Coached by Del Harris
– AI’s nightmare
– Even Oympians Don’t Go to High School
– The Last Year Before Free Agency Squad

So, I’m thinking we’ll go with the Redeem Team. Has a good ring to it, and it’s not as suggestive as the Cream Team.

And so yes, Rhys, it does appear that you (and, in turn, SLAMonline) coined the phrase “Redeem Team.” I am willing to accept, however, that it may have been used elsewhere first. If anyone else can find evidence of Redeem Team being used in the media by anyone else prior to August 6, 2004, please send in the evidence. Otherwise, SLAM wins again. We shoulda trademarked that ish.

• In other Redeem Team news, Ryne and I went by McDonald’s the other day, and I received a commemorative Dwight Howard bag. But at what point did Dwight wear number 17? I don’t think you’re even allowed to wear numbers higher than 15 in International play, are you?

• Khalid passed along this link the other day, which purports that the frozen Bigfoot found in Georgia a few weeks ago was actually just a Halloween costume. But as I told Khalid, that story comes from Fox News, and we all know that means.

As for me, I still believe. I’m not sure why everyone’s so quick to write Bigfoot off a hoax. Why can’t there be 8 foot tall half-man/half-ape creatures running around the mountains just an hour outside of Atlanta?

• Here’s a great interview with the official illustrator of The Links, Joel Kimmel.

• For today I did my top five television sports theme songs. You can probably guess what’s number one.

• Back to the Olympics…here’s the top 20 Olympic gymnastics falls (via gawker). Number 16 is my fave…

• And finally, shouts out to Sho Nuff!