April 15, 2021. The Albany NLL team removes the covering, pulls back the curtain, and unveils their team name: the FireWolves.

On the surface, the name was already cool. Wolves are known as fierce creatures, but also intensely loyal ones. They travel in packs, and protect their own. Plus, of course, if you add fire to something, it automatically adds a certain intensity to an already intense name.

That all being said, what I didn't realize was, there is a whole extra layer of what went into creating this branding, and the team's commitment to embracing the indigenous history of the region is something that deserves a deeper look.

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Pull out your Scrabble boards.

The Mohican used to refer to the area around the Hudson River as Pempotowwuthut-Muhhcanneuw, or the "fireplace of the Mohican nation". The fireplace implies community, and the gathering of those the area to share meals, experiences and more.

Albany FireWolves' Team President, George Manias, joined "The Wolves' Den" for the first episode, airing Saturday at 11AM right here on 104.5 The Team. In describing this history, Manias explained how moved he was by this history, and how important it became to him to embrace the idea of "coming together" as a community in the branding of the newest member of the National Lacrosse League.

So, we have the fire, and we have a great deal of local indigenous history involved in the use of "fire" in the name. Not to mention, it's also a hat-tip to the Albany Firebirds, a football team that played in the AFL's development league from 2002 through 2009. It was imperative for the team not only to embrace the history of Albany, but also, Albany sports.

Why Wolves, though? For Manias, it was as simple as this: wolves are fierce, and they're loyal, two traits that he aims to see from the team, its staff, and its fans.

With the season beginning on Saturday, December 4th, it's important to become part of the "pack" before the season gets underway. Before that though, don't miss "The Wolves Den" coaches show each Saturday at 11AM on 104.5 The Team. You can also visit us at the Recovery Sports Grill for the show each Thursday, beginning at 6PM.

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