|Verizon Center by Mark7912 via Wikimedia Commons|
by Peggy Robin
In DC we have so few opportunities to vote (no senators, no voting representative in Congress) that we should be grateful whenever we’re presented with a chance to vote on something, no matter how trivial. For example, in 2013 we got to vote for the name of the baby panda. Along comes another opportunity, to vote for a new name for the Verizon Center. According to CurbedDC Verizon is giving up the naming rights at the end of this term; there are four corporate entities in the running to take over the contract, at a cost of around $5 million per year. I’m not sure what bearing the popular vote will have on the matter, but if we’re being asked to vote, by all means let us exercise our franchise.
Here are the choices:
· The Impression Center (bid by Chris Foy's Impression Sports & Entertainment)
· The Scout Center (bid by Rob Yowell's Gemini Sports Group teamed with Scout Sports and Entertainment)
· The Shamrock Center (bid by Team Services Principal E.J. Narcise teamed with Brian Corcoran's Shamrock Sports & Entertainment)
· The Gemini Center (bid by Rob Yowell's Gemini Sports Group teamed with Scout Sports and Entertainment)
You can vote here: http://bit.ly/1c3ir0m
But before you press that voting button, first, a little lobbying against three out of the four choices (it's the Washington way):
1. “The Impression Center” is just lame. Who are they trying to impress, anyway? An impression is also a copy of something else – and that’s not a good image for anyone or anything in the Nation’s Capital.
2. “The Scout Center” would make it seem as if the sports complex has some relationship to the Boy Scouts -- but it doesn’t. It’s jut confusing. It would get even more confusing if the Boy Scouts were to hold their annual Jamboree in DC but had it somewhere other than the “Scout Center.” Let’s head this one off while we still can.
3. “The Shamrock Center” would make it seem as if the sports complex is run by a corporation based in Ireland, when it isn’t. However, if it does end up with that name, I say they should paint the building green. That would make it stand out and be a real DC landmark! If the name isn’t used on the former Verizon Center, I also think it would be good for wherever the Boston Celtics play. I just now looked it up: It’s called the TD Center. How boring is that? So let’s all urge the Team Services bidders to go up to Boston and try to slap that name on the TD Center.
That leaves The Gemini Center as the best name. Vote for it because:
1. The Gemini Space Program was a great part of the space race. Two men in a space capsule! With multiple orbits! That’s an accomplishment that deserves to be honored by having a humongous athletic and retail complex downtown named for it.
2. Gemini is the coolest of the twelve astrological signs; it’s the twins, Castor and Pollux, a pair of demi-gods in Greek mythology, one representing strength and the other skill. Here’s a mini-lesson on who they are (and why they are worth naming a building after): http://www.comfychair.org/~cmbell/myth/gemini.html
3. In addition to these two positive associations that spring quickly to mind, I can think of no negative associations that would lead me to make fun of the name.
Whether you are moved by any of these reasons or not, please vote – if only to prove that DC residents care enough about their city to express themselves whenever and however we can!
Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.