Many sports team don’t play very well on the road. Many animals get killed on the road. A joke began in 1991 that a team was going to change its name to the Possums because “they play dead at home and get killed on the road.”
The joke has been popular in Texas (where “armadillo” often replaces “possum") and in other southern states.
OSU Mascot: The Possums
Argus Hamilton • Published: November 21, 1991
“Argus, we’re changing the name of OSU’s mascot from the Cowboys to the Possums,” one Phillips executive told me.
“Why the Possums? “ I asked.
“Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road!”
24 November 1991, Rockford (IL) Register Star, “Lightning lose eighth straight” by Mike DeDoncker, pg. 8B, col. 1:
The Rockford Lightning’s 0-8 start sent a joke through the MetroCentre stands last night.
It goes something like this:
“The Lightning are going to change their name to the Possums. They play dead at home and get killed on the road.”
Go for the Magic!
By Pat Williams with Jim Denney
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers
In fact, we were going to be like opossums: We’d play dead at home and get killed on the road.
Texas Football Humor
10/12/2002 8:56:55 PM
(6) Why is the Baylor football team like a possum? ......Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road
Tuscaloosa (AL) News
Have you heard the one… What good is a rivalry if you can’t have a little fun with it?
By Mark Hughes Cobb
Published: Saturday, November 23, 2002 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 22, 2002 at 11:00 p.m.
Q: How are the Tigers like a possum?
A: They play dead at home and get killed on the road.
What’s in a name? Not much with the NBA
By GARY STALLARD
Actually, all the Texas teams make sense. Houston’s Rockets (aerospace capital at one time); the Spurs (West Texas; Duh); and the Mavericks. (Although they were very nearly re-named “The Armadillos” just because they always got killed on the road.)
Runango Running Forum
By run_gme [us] Date 2006-10-09 12:05 PM
Dad went there and called them the Armadillos because “They play dead at home and get killed on the road.”
11/21/2007, 10:51 PM
Re: AGGIE JOKES!
3. What do aggies and armadillos have in common?
They play dead at home and get killed on the road.
by Mexmustang » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:46 am
I think that there are enough jerks playing at playing football in Dallas already.
Why are the Dallas Cowboys like an armadillo? “They play dead at home and get killed on the road?”
Bring on the Cats (Kansas State)
RPI WATCH: 1/13/2010
By BracketCat on Jan 13 2010, 6:00p
What do Big 12 teams playing away from home have in common with armadillos?
They both get killed on the road.
Straight Dope Message Board
07-04-2010, 03:49 PM
Added the Astros to my list last night. They did what they were supposed to do (lose to the Padres).
We’re changing our name from the Astros to the Armadillos, because we play dead at home and get killed on the road. :(
Arkansas basketball team should be the Armadillos! Getting killed on the road! #thankscraigoneill
10:57 AM - 17 Feb 2012
Ana Romero Garcia ATTENTION!!! The Dallas Cowboys just changed their name to “The Dallas Amadillos”..... Due to the fact that they get killed on the road like armadillos! ROADKILL!!! GO TEXANS!
August 18, 2013 at 2:47am
Cowboys Drill Saints 38-17
By Jay Walker September 28, 2014 10:39 PM
What’s that old joke about the team called the Armadillos because they get killed on the road?