Finally, a Naming Rights Story That Really Works

Jan 21, 2010 at 10:46 am
I'm ordinarily not a huge fan of selling naming rights. Selling the rights to the name of a stadium is how we end up with things like Qualcomm Stadium and 3Com Park at Candlestick Point and Great American Ballpark. Of course, that last one sounds okay until you realize Great American is the name of an insurance company and not a description of the stadium itself. 

Even worse is the naming of events and segments after companies. That's how the kickoff of an early Ohio State - Michigan game becomes, "The Cialis Saturday Afternoon Opening Drive. Do some opening and driving of your own this weekend with Cialis!." (The second you see that idea used, let me know, by the way. I am sooo going to sue.) 

But I have to admit, the Lane Kiffin Memorial Sewage Treatment Plant just might force me to change my stance on naming rights. 
See, an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee has filed paperwork with the city to rename the Kuwahee Wastewater Treatment Plant the Lane Kiffin Sewage Center.

Now tell me that isn't fantastic. 

The attorney, Drew McElroy, filled out the necessary forms, wrote a check for $262, and mailed the whole shebang off to the Knoxville City Council just last week. He's currently waiting to hear back from the Public Properties and Facilities Naming Committee. 

Straight from the horse's mouth: 

"It dawned on me--Lane Kiffin told us that he hoped the fans would understand. I thought 'Well, naming the wastewater plant for him would let him know, I think very clearly, we do understand,'" McElroy, an off-and-on season ticket holder said. "We want to memorialize his stay here, and I think this would be doing it appropriately."

I am, as of this moment, throwing all my considerable clout behind this idea. Well, okay, so maybe considerable isn't quite the right adjective. Still, Mr. McElroy, is you're reading this, know that the full clout of an internet sports columnist for an alt journal in St. Louis is on your side. I would also be willing to wear a gorilla costume and hand out flyers or something. 

McElroy did go on to say he would be happy if even just a part of the facility was renamed, rather than the whole thing. Even just a cesspool would be enough. 

Me, I'd hold out for the whole thing. Then again, the Lane Kiffin Memorial Fecal Separation Tank does have a certain ring to it. Hell, I'll bet we could do better than that, even. The British managed to convince everyone to call toilets Johns, right? Well, I'll bet if we all set our minds to it, within just two or three generations all cesspools everywhere will be known as Lanes.