Why the Patriots?
By Chris Meiman, Hall curator |
2/26/14 10:00 AM
How did the Patriots become the Patriots? We know it was chosen in a public contest of sort. But exactly how the winner was chosen may be up for debate. We have been researching this issue and reviewing newspaper clips dating back to the birth of our local gridiron club.
The long-and-short of it is that the contest appears to have been a “submit-your-idea-for-a-name” and not a “vote-for-one-of these-names” kind of contests. According to the Boston Globe
, the “Patriots” name was chosen by team owner and founder Billy Sullivan and the rest of the ownership group from the list of fan-submitted candidates, which included: Patriots, Colonials, Pilgrims, Puritans, B
, and Hubs, amongst others. Seventy-four different people nominated the Patriots name and each won tickets to a game (see Boston Globe
There is, however, some discrepancy as to who actually chose the name as the Globe
says that the ownership chose the name, and an earlier report said that the group had favored an “historical” sounding name all along (see Globe
dated 1-12-60). However, early Patriots media guides (1963-67) say that the name was chosen by a panel of sportswriters from the contest entries.
This from the 1965 Media Guide: “The name Patriots was among many selected in 1960 by New England fans. The various names were submitted to a panel of sportswriters and "Patriots" emerged as the winner. Seventy-four fans had picked Patriots. Phil Bissel
of the Boston Globe
soon produced the insignia.”
Then there is this from former team publicity assistant and longtime Northeastern Sports Information Director Jack Grinold
in the book, The Most Memorable Games in Patriots History: The Oral History of a Legendary Team: