Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Petition to Change the Name of the Atlanta Braves…

…to pay respects to Cobb County’s most outstanding citizen.

By: Jimbo X

In case you haven’t heard, the Braves’ 2016 season will be their last playing in Atlanta. Come Opening Day 2017, the National League squad will begin play at SunTrust Park in Cumberland, Ga., which technically, is an unincorporated part of neighboring Cobb County.

Ever since the announcement was made in 2013, controversy has swirled around the move. The $1.1 billion stadium – anchored by one of those trendy, ultra-modern mixed-use entertainment district developmentswill cost Cobb County citizens and businesses almost $400 million. Concerns abound regarding the viability of transportation to and from the stadium, which is being constructed right next to one of the busiest Interstate junctions in the metro Atlanta area. Some have even accused the organization of engaging in “white flight” to attract more suburban – read: upscale Caucasians who are too afraid to drive to south Atlanta – to games.

Alas, while those disputes are likely to continue long after the Braves unpack their bags in Cobb County, an entirely different matter concerning the team’s migration remains sadly unmentioned.

Clearly, Cobb County has a very different culture and history than Atlanta. Seeing as how Cobb taxpayers will be splitting almost half the cost of the team’s relocation, I believe it is more than fair that – due to their financial contributions – they should be in charge of renaming the team, as well.

Of course, the geographical aspect is hardly worth debating. Yes, the team very much should be called The Cobb County Braves – reflecting the nearly million citizen strong taxpayer base, whose ranks swell from the ever-gentrifying streets of Marietta to the protected RINO habitat of Kennesaw (complete with its unabashed pedophile ex-mayor) to the starving Hispanic populace of Smyrna to the largely African-American working class purgatory of Austell to the meth-tastic environs of Acworth. But why stop there? If Cobbers are going to foot the bill for the pro sports team, shouldn’t they be in charge of said team’s nickname as well?

Make no mistakes, calling a team “the Braves” is – at best – kitschy cultural appropriation and – at worst – racist stereotyping. I mean, using a logo colloquially referred to as “the screaming savage,” in the year 2016? Get out of here with that, as the kids today call it, “noise.”

So, what can the team be rechristened as that reflects the rich, noble tradition of Cobb County that doesn’t also bring to mind the Trail of Tears and one of the more disappointing tracks off Arabia Mountain?

Oh, I think we ALL know that one thing – and one thing ONLY – personifies everything that makes Cobb County great. And that thing, of course, is the Big Boss Man.

Of course, the Big Boss Man – without question the most beloved Cobb Countian of all-time – has been known by several monikers over the years. The Guardian Angel. Big Bubba Rogers. For a while, he was even referred to by the namesake “Ray Traylor,” even though I’m pretty sure his actual birth name was Big B. Man. As a humble, dedicated jailor in Cobb County, a young Boss Man was responsible for virtually stamping out crime in Cobb County altogether in the early to mid-1980s. While muggings and drug running and all sorts of other lascivious behaviors ran rampant in Atlanta, Cobb’s homicide, larceny and sexual assault rates were among the lowest in the nation, all thanks to Boss Man’s tough-yet-compassionate stance on law enforcement.  “If you ever take a trip down to Cobb County, Georgia,” an old folk song declared, “you better read the signs, respect the law and order or you’ll be serving hard time.” Indeed, many believe it was Boss Man himself who is solely responsible for the long-held public safety aphorism, “for criminals, C.O.B.B. stands for ‘count on being busted.’”

By the late 1980s, however, the Big Boss Man – perhaps inspired by the crack cocaine epidemic engulfing the U.S. at the time – decided that his pro-civility message needed to find a national – nay, a global audience. Thus, he decided to join the world’s premier professional wrestling organization to extol the virtues of the law-abiding lifestyle – primarily, by handcuffing people and hitting them over the head with a billy club when the referee’s back was turned.

To help promote racial harmony, he aligned himself with both African-American entrepreneur (and self-professed “jive soul bro”) Slick and African nationalist Akeem – who, ironically, was a reformed motorcycle gang member from Louisiana. Who was also a Caucasian.

Just as tough on white collar crime as he was street crime, Boss Man soon turned his eyes towards combatting corrupt police officials in Canada and tax fraud in the accounting business. Having done his part to successfully rehabilitate violent criminals (largely via a series of “night stick on a pole” matches), Boss Man then ventured to the nation’s second largest wrestling operation, where he infiltrated a Satanic cult and briefly waged war against a violent insurgent group known for repeated gang assaults and vandalism.

After several years working in private security, Boss Man officially retired from the business in 2004. Unfortunately, his foray into politics was short-lived, as his bid for Paulding County Commission Chairman was sunk amid allegations that he once fed a mentally ill man his own pet Chihuahua and engaged in grave robbing, although local media conveniently left out how he also defeated Freddy Krueger during the same timeframe.

Tragically, Boss Man died in Sept. 2004. Equally tragic, Cobb County never formally celebrated the life and legacy of its favorite son, which makes the Braves’ migration the perfect opportunity to right the wrongs of yesteryear.

An inductee into the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame class, I believe Boss Man and the surviving Boss Man family deserves similar recognition from the Cobb County community on this, our twelfth Bossman-less year.

Rechristening the Atlanta Braves as the Cobb County Bossmen doesn’t just make sense, it’s the only thing that makes sense. In addition to the new moniker, the team’s uniforms can also be tweaked to reflect the Boss Man’s iconic azure regalia. The foam tomahawks can be replaced by foam truncheons. Instead of imitating the old Florida State war cry, the Bossmen faithful can instead imitate the sirens of a squalling police car. The entire park can be nicknamed “The Big House,” and the snack bar nomenclature writes itself: sidewalk slam sandwiches, night club nachos and, of course, the house specialty, the Big Boss Burrito, made fresh to (law) and order.

Participatory politics are often laborious and unnecessary squanderings of valuable time and effort, but for once, the democratic process may indeed result in something worthwhile. Over at the official White House petition page, I have created an online requisition for Cobb Countians – as well as those from afar who believe in the values and ideals promoted by the Boss Man – to formally ask President Barack H. Obama to change the name of the Atlanta Braves to the Cobb County Bossmen by executive order. Or any other kind of order, but come on, it’s just easier that way.

150 signatures are required before the petition becomes available on the site's front page. If the petition can gather 100,000 signatures before April 8, the White House will issue a direct statement regarding the renaming proposition. 

Please consider joining me in my efforts to formally recognize not just one of the greatest men to ever call metro Atlanta home, but indeed, ensure that future generations – by proxy of a Major League Baseball moniker – never forget the impact and valor of one Big Boss Man.


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