Bears are well represented: both the Chicago Bears and the Memphis Grizzlies decided that the ursine family had fierce, intimidating qualities they wanted to emulate.
The cat family is even better represented: The Detroit Tigers, The Detroit Lions, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Charlotte Bobcats, the Carolina Panthers (as well as the Florida Panthers hockey team), and the Cincinnati Bengals all wanted to associate themselves with the grace and power they saw in cats.
In fact, the tiger is considered such a ideal athletic role model that ten different universities have named their athletic teams after them: Auburn, Clemson, Princeton, Colorado College, LSU, Memphis, Missouri, Morehouse, Riverside City College, and Towson.
Horses are also considered symbols of magnificent athleticism as well: the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts are the only professional teams with equine names, but college teams with such include the SMU Mustangs, the University of Central Missouri Mules, the Colby Mules, and the Muhlenberg Mules, and the Laredo Community College Palominos.
The canine family -- known for its endurance and cunning -- is honored by both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Phoenix Coyotes. Among the more famous college teams using such mascots are the Yale Bulldogs and the Georgia "Dawgs."
The weasel family numbers the Michigan Wolverines and the Wisconsin Badgers among their admirers.
There are a number of teams which wanted to show that they could fly, at least metaphorically: the Baltimore Ravens, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Seahawks, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Saint Louis Cardinals, the Atlanta Hawks, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Anaheim Ducks.
There's even an insect represented, by the Charlotte Hornets, and a dinosaur, by the Toronto Raptors.
So what's the matter with gorillas? Are they not fierce and strong enough to merit their own team?
Imagine having that fellow on the front of your uniform? Wouldn't he be more intimidating than, say, a raven or a hornet?
Look at these two:
Do they not resemble two ferocious linemen going at it right after the football is hiked?
Nor are there any athletic teams named after chimpanzees or baboons. Why not? Each creature is fierce in its own right. Baboons have been known to kill leopards, and chimpanzees are famous for their inhuman strength.
One would think that these primates' vaguely human aspect along with their formidable strength and ferocity would attract a slew of teams which would want them as mascots.
So why are there no athletic teams named after these creatures? Honestly -- I'm completely baffled.