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Monday, October 20, 2014

Gymnastics team settles on ‘Fierce Five’ nickname after Jalen Rose complains

The US women’s gymnastics team that won gold in the team competition at the London Olympics has changed nicknames after hearing complaints that the “Fab Five” moniker was already taken.

Jalen Rose was a prominent member of the University of Michigan’s 1991 basketball team whose five incoming freshmen — Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson, and Rose — were dubbed the “Fab Five.” The Fab Five comprised what is considered to be one of the greatest recruiting classes ever, and they even had a documentary made about them.

Rose expressed disappointment that the media didn’t display more creativity when nicknaming the women’s group, which until recently went by the same nickname.

“To use the nickname just points and screams of lazy journalism by the national media, that’s really what it is,” Rose told Jamie Samuelsen of 97.1 FM in Detroit. “It’s no fault at all of the young gymnasts. But I really wish they would have come up with an even more creative tag for them and their gold medal pursuit.”

Not only is Rose trying to protect the reputation of his legendary Michigan crew, but also his financial interest; he reportedly was granted a trademark to the “Fab Five” phrase last year.

The women’s gymnastics team responded accordingly and decided to change nicknames to the “Fierce Five.” The name was apparently selected by gymnastics team members Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney.

“I guess (Fab Five) was taken by some basketball team or something,” Maroney said, per USA Today Sports.

“We went through a bunch ‘F’ words and came up with fierce and we thought that was perfect,” Wieber said. “We’re all so fierce on the competition floor.”

And Maroney just made me feel incredibly old with that comment. The 16-year-old wasn’t born until December of 1995, well after the last “Fab Five” member played for Michigan.

I actually agree with everything Rose said, and I’m pleased he directed his frustration to the lazy media rather than the gymnasts, who as he pointed out, had nothing to do with it. Rose has said some pretty dumb things during his time as a media member, but he was on point with this one. And the good news is the women’s team now has its own nickname that won’t be confused with the Michigan squad.

UPDATE: As Heather Pritchard points out to us via Twitter, Maroney said last week that she preferred the Fierce Five:

“There have been Fab Fives in the past but I like Fierce Five because we are definitely the fiercest team out there.”

H/T Lost Lettermen



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