The New Orleans Hornets made it official Thursday, announcing the franchise will change its name to the New Orleans Pelicans beginning for the 2014 season.
The name, when it was leaked a few weeks ago, were mostly negative as no one thinks a pelican is especially tough. The franchise pushed through the catcalls about the name and stuck to it.
Historically, this name does actually make sense. Louisiana is "The Pelican State" and then the video of a pelican eating another bird began making its rounds. They are trying to look tough with this logo too. Really though, like say Jazz when they were in New Orleans or Lakers when they were in Minneapolis, this name is unique to the location.
As the Hornets Pelicans explain:
The Pelican has been a symbol of Louisiana since the 1800s, hence its declaration as the state bird, its prominent representation on the state flag and the state's coined nickname, "The Pelican State."
Revered as a skilled hunter and loyal protector, the brown pelican possesses a speed, precision and resourcefulness unmatched by others within its species. It represents the essential qualities embodied by any successful team.
That is reason enough, I guess.
The Pelicans' new logo will incorporate the Pelican into the fleur-de lis (much like the current Hornets logo does) and the team will also embrace the Crescent City nickname for the city, incorporating that into logos and merchandise for the team.
The team's colors will be blue, gold and red. It will be itneresting to see what the franchise does incorporating all these elements into the uniforms, likely to be unveiled this summer.
For now, the franchise will play out the rest of the year as the Hornets and complete the transformation this offseason.