When the Hornets moved to New Orleans from Charlotte ten years ago, they brought the nickname with them.
Now under new ownership from Tom Benson and attendance consistently dropping in the last 3 years the team will look to re-energize it’s fan base and the organization as a whole with a new nickname the Pelicans.
The Pelican is the state bird and a former triple-A baseball team that played in New Orleans throughout the 20th century and since Tom Benson owns the name Pelicans, the transition should be seamless.
Now another writer here at The Farm Club, Randolph Scott, recently described the new moniker as “awful” and I beg to differ. Although I would have preferred “Krewe” or “Brass” as well, but it’s refreshing to have a nickname that has local cultural significance.
Scott said, “Benson initiated the change in name, finding inspiration in the state bird of Louisiana, now providing residents another reminder of the pesky bird that clutters the Louisiana skies.”
At least it has local significance. The Lakers nickname belongs back in Minneapolis, Cavaliers have nothing to do with Cleveland, last time I checked Bulls weren’t running the streets of Chicago or Raptors in Toronto, I could go on. There are limitless marketing strategies that New Orleans could use here as pointed out over at http://www.hornets247.com/2012/10/19/new-orleans-pelicans-the-full-rebrand/
Also I’d be one to take something out of Auburn’s playbook flying a Pelican across the arena in pregame festivities or like LSU and Mike the Tiger have an actual Pelican fans can go visit
Scott continued, “The newest mascot will try to assimilate itself among a plethora of iconic team nicknames, such as the Bulls, Grizzlies, Kings, Warriors and Thunder among others.
Fits in quite nicely, doesn’t it? No, the Pelican is not a ferocious animal, nor is it one of earth’s mystical elements.
It’s not even a leprechaun that can consume heavy amounts a beer. No, it is a bird. A dull, boring bird….But everyone knows that no animal demands respect as much as the Pelican does. With that said, a Pelican would simply get mauled if it were to get into any sort of skirmish with another team mascot.”
Sure they’ve been around, but “iconic”? hardly. In fact two of the teams mentioned could change their name tomorrow and the uproar would be minimal.
The notion that a mascot strikes fear into it’s opponents is a ridiculous one. I don’t think Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant has ever said, “ Oh no, we have to go play the Grizzlies tonight, bears are scary, I’m shaking in my shoes.”
One of the most storied and recently successful teams in all of sports takes it’s name from a colored pair of socks… Mascot fights? Really? I’ve only ever witnessed one between the Houston Cougar and Oregon Duck in 2007 but other than that mascots keep to themselves and who wants to fight a Pelican anyways?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen mascot intimidation or who would win in a fight playing into an expert’s pick of who will win a game and I don’t think it will start any time soon.
New Orleans is an eclectic city rooted deep in history with rich culture. The Saints have survived about 60 years now with a flower on their helmet and the new Pelicans nickname will only add to the lure of New Orleans. True fans will still back the team despite a name change.
Besides, in it’s ways of southern hospitality, the Hornets have given their name back to Charlotte who can now rid themselves of what I think is an even worse nickname: the Bobcats.
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