04 December 2012

The New Orleans Hornets are becoming the New Orleans Pelicans

Ever since Tom Benson announced his purchase of the turbulent New Orleans NBA franchise, the Hornets, he was clear in his intent to change the name to something more New Orleans-oriented. After all, the franchise was originally the Charlotte Hornets and when they moved to the Big Easy thanks to their scumbag owner becoming a hated public figure, and they never changed the name. But it was reported today by Marc J. Spears that the team will be known as the New Orleans Pelicans as early as next season. Here is my analysis.

Initially, I was not completely on board with the team name of Pelicans. My personal choice among the finalists for the name was the 'Brass', obviously for New Orleans' rich history of music (the other finalist was 'Krewes' who are groups of costumed paraders in the city for Mardi Gras). I mean, of course they should be the Jazz for obvious reasons or possibly the Voodoo or maybe even the Rajin' Cajuns like our friends at Louisiana-Lafayette but I was not feeling Pelicans when I first heard the news.

Then I learned that not only is Louisiana officially known as the "Pelican State," there was a minor-league baseball team named the Pelicans that played in various forms from 1887 until 1977. Funny fact about that 1977 team, they played in the Superdome and their shortstop was named Tony La Russa. So once I realized through my ignorance that the Pelican has a strong connotation with New Orleans and the state as a whole, the more the Pelican nickname grew on me.

Now for another question, will the Charlotte Bobcats become the Charlotte Hornets again? It would make sense, after all, Charles Cornwallis referred to the city as a "veritable nest of hornets" back in the day. And owner Michael Jordan has been on the record that he was interested in bringing back the Hornets moniker if it were to be available, so one can only hope.

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