With the Black Eyed Peas' pop hit "Boom Boom Pow" playing in the background, the general manager for Schaumburg's new professional baseball team announced Tuesday the team has been named the Schaumburg Boomers, or prairie chickens.
"The nickname 'boomer' comes from a remarkable dance that the animal does," said general manager Andy Viano while a video of a prairie chicken played on a projection screen. "It will look like its ears -- but it's actually the feathers on its back -- stand up, (and) the air sacks on the side of the neck 'boom' out."
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Viano said the dance, which is done in matted-down prairie areas known as "booming grounds," are a way for male prairie chickens to attract a mate. He said there were about 12 million prairie chickens in Illinois about 150 years ago, but that the population has decreased to around 300 in the whole state.
"It will be fun for us to be able to raise some awareness for this fantastic creature, get people to learn a little bit more about it," he said to the crowd of about 150 people at a team launch party in the stadium formerly known as Alexian Field.
Viano said he and other team officials, including team owner Pat Salvi, wanted to pick a name that would reflect the history of the area and worked closely with Jeff Walk, the director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Illinois and an expert on prairie chickens, to "develop the identity."
After the logo was revealed, Viano also introduced guests to the team's manager, Jamie Bennett, a longtime pitching coach for the Gary SouthShore RailCats, another team owned by Salvi. Bennett was presented with a jersey with the word "Boomers" across the front in black and orange. He said he is happy with the new name.
"It's indigenous to the area, which I think is always important, something the community can relate to," he said. "And it's kind of got a good baseball sound to it. I love the name, the logo looks great. It has a good ring to it."
Salvi and Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson addressed the partygoers before the announcement to express their excitement with the Boomers' inaugural season.
"People are going to have great pride in the baseball franchise in Schaumburg, the way it runs, the way it looks, and people that come to a Schaumburg game are gonna say, 'Man, I brought my family out, we got a great bang for our buck and did we have a great time,'" he said.
Larson said he is really looking forward to opening day in May 2012, and that he, too, is happy about the name.
"It's unique," he said. "The mascot is colorful and I think it will attract attention. I'm pleased."