An Oklahoma-based fantasy football player invited readers of espn.com's UniWatch column to submit designs for a hypothetical Oklahoma City NFL franchise, since there's been some chatter that Oklahoma City is emerging as one of the more viable homes for a re-located or new team. The organizer has picked a team name, the Oklahoma City Roughnecks, but I decided right off that I was going to violate the rules of the contest because I just don't like that name much and I've had an Oklahoma City team in my mind for 45 years.
So behold, your Oklahoma City 89ers...
The name probably sounds funny to most ears, but the old minor league baseball team from Oklahoma City used to be called the 89ers (after the people who rushed into the state when it was opened to settlement in 1889) and I actually saw that team play at the Tacoma Cubs in old Cheney Stadium in the summer of 1968 as a field trip with my Colt League baseball team. For whatever reason, I was fascinated by that visiting team, the city and the name, so that fall, when us Bierbaum kids decided to "add" expansion teams to our pretend pro football league, I came up with the improbable idea of creating an Oklahoma City 89ers in the pro ranks.
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