What’s in a name? (Or… where am I?)


I want to put you on a plane…

…heading in to Rhode Island. Specifically, you are flying toward T. F. Green Airport.

If you head on over to the Green Airport web site, you will find information on what many local people already now… it’s a growing airport that is starting to reach slight hassle levels of business, but for the most part is an incredibly smooth operation free of many headaches that major airports present. Click on the link for directions and you will find the details about getting to the airport. Some of my favorite portions of those directions include the following:

  • “easy to follow directions to T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, RI”
  • “From Providence, Northern Rhode Island, Massachusetts and points north Take I-95 South to Exit 13”
  • “From Providence Travel time approx: 10 minutes Travel distance: 8.5 miles”

Why are those some of my favorite portions? Well…

I don’t care what airline you are using for the flight you are on as you head in to Green Airport. Every one of them… every one of them… will have someone getting on the intercom to welcome you to Providence. T.F. Green Airport is located in Warwick, Rhode Island… not Providence. This has been a pet peeve of me, and all Rhode Islanders for… well… forever.

State Assemblyman Tom Umberg would probably join us in having a problem with this. In fact, Umberg’s head would probably explode. Oh, he’s not from Rhode Island. Not even from New England. Umberg is out in California.



Without doing too much research… Green Airport gives me enough evidence to continue with my story… there are plenty of places that are named for cities and states that don’t reflect their true location. As far as airports, the one in Syracuse, New York, isn’t really in Syracuse as my memory recalls. It’s in North Syracuse. The city of Syracuse owns the property that it resides on, it is technically Syracuse, but it is not in the actual geographical city limits of Syracuse. None of this stops T.F. Green or Hancock International from being designated as PVD and SYR when it comes to airport codes.

Naming accuracy also doesn’t stop the New York Giants and New York Jets from playing home games in New Jersey.

Recently, the Anaheim Angels began using a new name—the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim—a name so silly and stupid it almost defies any attempt to turn it into a joke. It’s just that dumb.

Back to Tom Umberg.

Umberg thinks that professional sports teams that use the name of cities and states that don’t reflect the true location of where they play most of their home games should be required to print disclaimers on their tickets. (Yes, it would seem he’s serious. Yes, the only thing dumber would be changing the name of your team from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.)

Stop me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s infinitely more important to know where you are when your plane lands as opposed to what city a ballpark is in.

Going to a conference in Providence? Well, when you land at Green you’re still approximately 8.5 miles away. See? That’s important when you rent your car and try to get travel directions set up. But, if you buy a ticket to see a home game of the Jets, Giants, Angels and so on… well I can’t think of the time that you would do that and not know where the stadium basically was. Sure, you might need directions to get there, but I don’t think it’s a surprise that you’ll be using the George Washington Bridge or head out of the Los Angeles city limits.

As a side note to all of this, I have decided to refer to the Angels as the California Angels from now on. That was the name of the organization years ago. (In fairness, I should disclose that they also were the LA Angels once before as well, but never with their little appeasement offering to Anaheim tacked on to the end.) I would just continue calling them the Anaheim Angels, but: (1) I grew up with them being the California Angels and kind of like looking back at those days, and, (2) since they don’t want to be from Anaheim, I can’t exactly force them to admit that they are.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m trying to plan a family vacation. We’re flying from Warwick to Anaheim. Wish me luck.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the early days of the In My Backpack web site, I was trying several different ways to present material.

My journal entries were referred to as “A Momentary Lapse…” for a period of time, which eventually transitioned to “Are you chewing gum?” for a bit. After a few restarts, modifications, and relaunches, the Now Playing area took over.

One of occasional segments—appearing perhaps ten times a year or so—was called Random Thoughts, which I described as…

Too long for “A Momentary Lapse…”… Not enough for a full article… Need to get them off my “ideas to work on” list…

This essay was originally created and presented as a Random Thoughts entry. I’m bringing it back as a From the Backpack offering because I’m curious about the content and the effort. But, worth noting, it may still seem a bit incomplete, needing more development, and may or may not have gone through some additional edits and re-writes beyond my usual finds when searching the archives.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com