When Payson Goes Big League

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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Enough negativity with all this talk of droughts and water shortages and empty wading pools.

It's time to put on our Scott Flake Payson Concrete and Materials power-of-positive-thinking caps and drag this burg kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

I envision a time when the Rim country will be awash in water. Here's the scenario: Just as we wrest the rights to the Blue Ridge Reservoir away from the American Indians, the drought will come to a merciful and screeching halt.

Builders will have a field day, making forest land swaps and placing subdivisions on top of subdivisions. As Payson sprawls ever closer to the Valley, the unthinkable will take root.

At first the growth will be dismissed as preposterous. But then the Rim country will actually reach the Valley, bumping up against Mesa, and the preposterous will turn to the inevitable overnight.

In search of new revenue sources and a less-jaded fan base, the Valley's two most pathetic professional sports franchises -- the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals -- decide to take up residence in the Rim country. The $12 beer has arrived.

In the world of economic development doublespeak, a stadium is no problem. We simply re-do the recently re-done Payson Event Center.

Phoenix may have the BOB, but we'll have the JIM-BOB or maybe the BUBBA, or how about the BRA (for Ballpark and Rodeo Arena). It will, of course, be enclosed -- a good thing because we will no longer live in one of only three pure air ozone belts in the world (a small price to pay for the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, don't you think?).

The good news is: by connecting with the Valley, we will proudly become part of the World's Longest Continuous Smog Cloud.

But with the stadium done and those two sorry franchises packing their moving vans in the dead of night, we are left with one final challenge -- to come up with new nicknames for the Diamondbacks and Cardinals.

Check that. Cardinals' owner Bill Bidwill never changes the name of the Cardinals. Period. He could move the franchise to Neptune and they would still be the Cardinals.

So the Rim Country Cardinals it will be. And to get the discussion started, here are some thoughts on renaming the Diamondbacks.

  • It worked for the 49ers, so why not the Payson 84ers in honor of the year of the first rodeo in Payson. The new name ties nicely into the adjacent 1884 Steakhouse.
  • The Packers are named, we must assume, after a type of occupation historically prevalent in Green Bay. Since a lot of people up here work at Wal-Mart, our new baseball team could be the Rim Country Associates.
  • Saints we ain't, but you could sure as heck make a case for the Rim Country Sinners.
  • Cowboys is already taken, so how about the Payson Buckaroos?
  • If Miami's professional basketball team can be known as the Heat, why can't Payson's baseball team be called the Drought?
  • We aren't exactly a race of Giants, but I could see us being called the Payson Potbellies.
  • There's already Red Sox and White Sox in the baseball world. But we could be the first Dirty Sox.
  • This is American Indian country, but the Indians, Braves, Warriors and Redskins are already taken. So maybe we'll have to go in a different direction and call ourselves the Payson Cavalry. You have to admit, the Diamondbacks recent season does bear a striking resemblance to Custer's Last Stand.
  • Ask many people the first thing that comes to mind after the summer we just had, and they're likely to say, "Fire." The Flames and the Inferno are already taken, but we could be the Char or the Backburns.
  • The Hornets are gone and so are the Sting, but with the West Nile Virus invading Rim country horses, we could sure make a case for the Bite. And let us not forget our greatest claim to insect fame, the Bark Beetles.
  • We've all heard of the Oklahoma Sooners. But up here, where we live on Payson time, we could be known as the Laters.
  • And then there's the Purdue Boilermakers, another team named after an occupation. How about the Payson Cabinetdoormakers, also known as the Noisemakers. And, of course, to give the subdivision pilots equal time, we could also consider the Noisebusters.

Of course if Randy Johnson and Richie Sexsen don't come back next season the whole deal is off. Our standards may not be high, but they're higher than the recently-ended season.

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