Here comes some news as fresh as fish flopping in the drooping lower jaw of an aquatic bird. The New Orleans Hornets are changing their nickname to the New Orleans Pelicans.
New owner Tom Benson stated last year that we wanted to change the name, so we’ve known this was coming for a while. As it turns out, Benson already owned the name Pelicans and chose it over Krewe and Brass. A while back, Benson was trying to foist the Voodoo nickname away from the Arena Football club, but he was thwarted–presumably with a doll made in his likeness.
Since this is right up our alley, you might be wondering what the Sport Change take on it is. Well…Sport Change likes it, sort of. Pelicans is infinitely superior to the other name ideas thrown around, but it’s not really ideal for a pro team in the Big Four. In the context of the NBA, I would rank it somewhere between 14th and 19th best in the league, which is where the Hornets are. Similar to the Bobcats, Pelicans is a likable but cute nickname that would be better suited to a minor league, collegiate, or semipro club.
It could’ve been even worse. Sport Change followers will know our stance on non-singularable/non-pluralable (as we call them) nicknames such as Heat, Magic, and yes–Jazz. They’re some of the worst of all. If Krewe, Voodoo, or Brass (ugh) were selected, they would’ve likely ranked in the bottom ten of all monikers in the Big Four.
Despite our loathing of the NS/NP, Sport Change once reluctantly suggested that the Minor League Baseball Mobile BayBears change their name to the Mobile Krewe. Reluctant even at a low level. Brass is a name that came out of left field, and thank god it was scrapped. I remember when the great website Uni-Watch solicited suggestions from readers, and came up with possibilities. Of those, I certainly favored the Pelicans above the rest. Here was a conceptual drawing:
Not bad, really. In reality, Tom Benson’s wife Gayle wants the colors to be red, blue, and gold. I guess she gets to pick. At least those are nice colors!
What was lost?
Well, we lost the opportunity for the great NBA moniker swap. In that scenario, we had Hornets going to Charlotte, Toronto taking the Bobcats, Utah taking the Raptors, and yes, the Jazz going home to NOLA. Jazz would’ve been the only NS/NP nickname that Sport Change could’ve tolerated in New Orleans.
We also lost the Fleur de Bee, one of the greatest sports logos of our time. I may have to purchase a Fleur de Bee t-shirt now out of reverence. Just as soon as they go on mega sale.
What was gained?
Well, I’d say that there’s a damn good chance that MJ will follow through on his suggestion that Hornets returns to Charlotte. That’s a good thing. The Charlotte Hornets will always hold a candle in my heart, but that may be tied to being at an impressionable age during the heyday of Alonzo, Larry, and Muggsey. It will be good to see the name returned.
What broke even?
In the event of the Hornets buzzing back to Charlotte, we’ll be losing the Bobcats. That will be a sad day. I can’t help but love the fuzzy, scrappy, inept kitties in North Carolina. Of course, as I said before, Pelicans is very similar to Bobcats in a lot of ways. In essence, we’re trading Bobcats for Pelicans. Whatevs. I’m just glad it wasn’t the Brass. Brass. (vomits)
Thoughts? Comments? This is another news break. For those of you awaiting the posts that have been promised: they’re coming soon. We’re tackling every nickname in NCAA Division I sports. Stay alert.