The ice arena at Saint Cloud State University was renamed last spring to the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, as a tribute to the man who was the architect of the “Miracle on Ice.”
That’s a long name for a sports venue, and people tend to come up with cute nicknames for sports facilities.
Jacobs Field in Cleveland was once warmly embraced as The Jake, for example.
That will not happen with the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, officials there declared today in issuing a media advisory against cute nicknames like “The Herb” or, even better, “The Herbie.”
The following is St. Cloud State University’s preferred usage when referring to the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
• First reference: Herb Brooks National Hockey Center
• Second reference or after: Brooks Center
• Social media: #BrooksCenter
Avoid using HBNHC except in instances of extreme space constraints. By request of the Brooks family, it is not acceptable to use The Herb when referring to the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
It’s the latter use that stirred Don Casey of Sartell to write to the St. Cloud Times this week about our tendency to want to shorten everything:
… I find the early references to St. Cloud State University’s Herb Brooks National Hockey Center as HBNHC bothersome. Even a year from now, how many outside this area will know what HBNHC is?
Worse yet, it minimizes the name of Herb Brooks. Brooks is arguably the best known hockey coach in U.S. history and was instrumental in bringing the highest level of collegiate hockey competition to St. Cloud State.
The university’s hockey area was appropriately renamed the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. That is a long name — one that virtually requires “shorthand.” But why not the Herb Brooks Center, or just Brooks Center (or arena)?
It should be a “short” name readily recognized by hockey fans everywhere — and one that retains focus on the Brooks name.
HBNHC seems more like something you’d see in a spoonful of alphabet soup.
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference has renamed its coach of the year award for Herb Brooks, too. Presumably, it should not be referred to as The Herb, either.