[Ads-l] Antedates for "Team X"?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 19 04:57:51 UTC 2019

"Team Tara" emerged circa 1995. It is interesting because it is an
early example of a moniker based on a personal name, specifically, a
first name. Team Ferrari and Team Ford employed personal names, but, I
think, the two should more accurately be viewed as company names in
this context.

Ben Zimmer indicates that "Team Aniston" vs. "Team Jolie" emerged in
2005. "Team Macca" vs. "Team Heather" emerged in 2006 with "Team
Heather" based on a first name.

By 1995 "Team Tara" referred to the women's U.S. national basketball
team which was coached by Tara VanDerveer.

By 1997 "Team Tara" developed an additional distinct sense. It
referred to a group of people who were close to Olympic skater Tara
Lipinski. The group varied in size and composition. The following
people were sometimes included: Lipinski's parents, her coaches, a
choreographer, an agent, and Tara herself.

This group consisted of Tara Lipinski's strongest supporters and
advocates. Thus, I think, it would be a natural evolutionary step for
"Team X" to expand to include fans of X in general; however, I do not
have any evidence that this expansion occurred with respect to "Team

LH highlighted a valuable distinction when examining instances of
"Team X". Does it refer to a literal team or some other aggregation?

The first meaning of "Team Tara" clearly referred to a basketball
team. The second meaning of "Team Tara" referred to a close group of
supporters of Tara Lipinski. This assemblage diverged from the
traditional notion of a team, I think, by including the parents and a
business agent (at least sometimes).

Date: November 1, 1995
Newspaper: The Atlanta Constitution
Newspaper Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Article: U.S. women ready to work for gold
Author: J.C. Clemons (Staff Writer)
Quote Page F3, Column 4 and 5
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
Talk about having your eye on the prize. Tara VanDerveer, coach of the
women's U.S. national basketball team, is anything if not focused.
. . .
Here's a look at Team Tara, which will make up the nucleus of the
Olympic roster:
[End excerpt]

Date: March 18, 1997
Newspaper: The Daily Item
Newspaper Location: Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Article: Despite one poor score, Lipinski's stock jumps
Author: Jo-Ann Barnas (Knight-Ridder Newspapers)
Quote Page B4, Column 5
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
It was one mark -- and this was only qualifying -- but Team Tara
undoubtedly hopes it won't be encountering Liliana Strechova again
anytime soon.
[End excerpt]

Date: January 30, 1998
Newspaper: The Baxter Bulletin
Newspaper Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas
Section: TVBook
Article: Skating figures to be highlight of Olympics
Author: By Mike Hughes (Gannett News Service)
Start Page 3, Quote Page 4, Column 2
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
Lipinski and her mother moved to Delaware, then Detroit. Her retinue
-- at one point including three coaches and a choreographer -- was
dubbed "Team Tara."
[End excerpt]

Website: The Neophyte Historian
Article title: Review: Edge of Glory by Christine Brennan
Article author: Megan
Date on website: September 25, 2011
Website description: Personal blog of an aspring historian.
Accessed theneophytehistorian.wordpress.com on November 18, 2019


[Begin excerpt]
Those who are fans of Tara Lipinski will abhore this book.  “Team
Tara” (Brennan’s name for the tight-knit group of Tara’s parents,
coaches, and agent) was notorious for being picky about who talked to
their little star.
[End excerpt]

On Sun, Nov 17, 2019 at 9:36 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> > On Nov 17, 2019, at 5:45 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > Ben Zimmer's "Word Routes" column indicates that "The general form of
> > 'Team X' dates back to the 1970s at least", and he gives the example
> > of "Team USA" in hockey.
> >
> > https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/team-conan-the-latest-pop-culture-posse/
> >
> > I executed a few searches to explore the distinctive ordering
> > displayed in the schema "Team X". There are quite a few examples of
> > "Red Team" and "Green Team" in the newspapers.com database, but it
> > appears that instances of "Team Red" and "Team Green" are relatively
> > uncommon. Below is a citation.
> >
> > I recognize that "Team (Nation)", "Team (Person)", "Team (Character)",
> > and "Team (Company)" differ from "Team (Color)”.
> The key difference between these uses is that in the ones I had in mind or the metaphorical ones in Ben’s columns (“Team Rhys”, “Team Drunk-Crying-in-Public”, “Team Walt”, “Team Conan”, “Team Pam"), as opposed to the earlier uses with the inverted word order (“Team USA”, “Team Ferrari”, “Team Green”), there’s no literal team.
> >
> > Date: October 3, 1951
> > Newspaper: The Record-Argus
> > Newspaper Location: Greenville, Pennsylvania
> > Article: Sports Notes
> > Author: Bill Antill
> > Quote Page 8, Column 3
> > Database: Newspapers.com
> > https://www.newspapers.com/image/12422587/
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > On paper, teams look good. On the field, they are disappointing.
> > Teams that whip one opponent readily fail to defeat to elevens which
> > were beaten by that same team. For instance, Team Green may wallop
> > Team Red. Team Red licks Team White. Team White turns about and sets
> > down Team Green. Records are deceptive.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Here is an example circa 1928 (unverifed) of 'team "white"' and 'team
> > "black"', Interestingly, the passage quickly reverts to "white team"
> > and "black team".
> >
> > Year: 1927 to 1929
> > Periodical: The Classroom Teacher
> > Volume 5
> > Quote Page 111
> > Database: Google Books snippet; metadata may be inaccurate; search for
> > 1927 reveals a snippet specifying 1927 as the copyright year;
> > HathiTrust matches show the year as 1928 and 1929
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > The players are seated, and one half of the room represents team
> > "white" and the other half team "black." The leader has a large card
> > which is white on one side and black on the other, and he tosses this
> > card into the air so that it will fall on the teacher's desk. If the
> > card falls with the white side up, the white team then tries to make
> > the members of the black team laugh and one point is scored for the
> > white team for every member of the black team who laughs.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Garson
> >
> > On Sun, Nov 17, 2019 at 12:16 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> >>
> >> I’m referring to the use of “Team X” where X is a character in a TV series or (by extension?) in a book, in whom those who profess to be on the “team” have a rooting interest. See for example the end of this excerpt from “Cult of the Literary Sad Woman”, Leslie Jamison’s cover essay in this weekend’s NYTBR:
> >>
> >> I needed blueprints for my epic sadness, and no one captured epic sadness as well as Jean Rhys, especially — and unapologetically — in her 1939 novel, “Good Morning, Midnight.” The novel’s antiheroine, Sasha, tries to drink herself to death in a cheap Paris hotel room — haunted by her lost youth, her botched romances and the ghost of her infant son, who died at 5 weeks old. As soon as I read the first scene, in which a stranger chides Sasha for crying at a bar (“Sometimes I’m just as unhappy as you are. But that’s not to say that I let everybody see it”), I knew which team I was on: Team Sasha, Team Rhys, Team Drunk-Crying-in-Public.
> >>
> >> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/books/review/leslie-jamison-sylvia-plath-joan-didion-jean-rhys.html <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/books/review/leslie-jamison-sylvia-plath-joan-didion-jean-rhys.html>
> >>
> >> I first remember coming across this use in blogs and reviews discussing Breaking Bad (“Team Walt”, “Team Jesse”, “Team Hank”, as in https://www.reddit.com/r/breakingbad/comments/1ie6hp/team_hank_or_team_walt/ <https://www.reddit.com/r/breakingbad/comments/1ie6hp/team_hank_or_team_walt/>) and similar popular series with (sorta) bad guys and (sorta) good guys demanding empathy, but I’m sure it’s popped up elsewhere on the web (and beyond).  Presumably its origin is a transference from “Team USA” and other sports contexts.  I don’t have access to the OED today for some reason, but I would be (pleasantly) surprised if there’s a relevant lemma there.  Maybe it’s been discussed by Ben and/or in Language Log posts.
> >>
> >> Afterthought:
> >> D’oh!  Of course it has been:  https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2043 <https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2043>
> >> Anyway, nice work, Ben!  But I wonder if the extension to high(er), or at least older, culture is a new thing.  Team Rhett vs. Team Ashley? Team Jules vs. Team Jim? Team Edgar vs. Team Heathcliff?  Team Macbeth vs. Team Macduff? Team Hephaestus vs. Team Ares?  Team God vs. Team Satan?
> >>
> >> LH
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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