Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 12/6/12

On Tuesday, Yahoo! Sports reported that the New Orleans Hornets will change their name to the Pelicans for the 2013-14 NBA season. The team has not confirmed the report, meaning that this is likely a trial balloon to see how well the name catches on in the public. Based on early internet reaction, that balloon would seem to be deflating. Everywhere you look, someone seems to be poking fun at the Pelicans. But you know what? I think Pelicans is a fine nickname, and I hope Tom Benson sticks to his guns with the change. For one, it is refreshing to see a newly-branded pro sports team in this era with a plural noun for a name. Magic? Heat? Thunder? Every name in the WNBA? I’ve had enough of that stuff. You may note that “Hornets” already fits this description. The trouble with that nickname is most people still associate it with Charlotte. Say “Hornets basketball” and the first thing that comes to mind is Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues and Alonzo Mourning hooping it up in teal. There is a movement in Charlotte for the current franchise to get the name back — the Bobcats were named for team founder Bob Johnson, who didn’t exactly do anything worth getting named for. New Orleans seems willing to play ball with Charlotte getting the Hornets name back. It has also been noted that a pelican is not a particularly fierce bird, but how violent are cardinals or orioles? No one has any issue with those team names, though both have existed for well over a century. The same is true for the Pelicans — New Orleans’ minor league baseball teams were known as the Pelicans from 1887-1959, with a temporary one-year return in 1977. The last incarnation of the Pelicans is notable for a couple of reasons. They were a minor-league team that played in the Superdome. They also produced a pair of future major league managers — Jim Riggleman and Tony La Russa. Are there cooler nickname possibilities than the Pelicans? Obviously. Anything with such a goofy-looking bill will always be viewed somewhat comically. But the pelican is Louisiana’s state symbol, and hasn’t been laughed off the flag or the state seal just yet. Plus, let’s be serious — we’re talking about a league where a team was named after a dinosaur in Jurassic Park, and not even the kind that ate Wayne Knight. And where Jazz play in Utah. And where Lakers, whatever a Laker is, play in Los Angeles. Honestly, Lakers is probably the worst nickname in sports, and it isn’t even close. We’re just used to it. We can get used to Pelicans, too.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Andrew Luck: Colts were 'gutsy' to keep Pagano, Grigson

White Sox suspend Chris Sale for 'destroying team equipment'

Report: Cubs pushing hard to land Aroldis Chapman

Report: Lesnar, Jones tested positive for same substance

Todd Bowles: Geno Smith 'can be a good starter' for Jets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Former 49ers OL: Gabbert will likely start over Kaepernick

Report: Le'Veon Bell recently completed DUI probation

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Olympic village in Rio deemed 'uninhabitable' for time being

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

10 NFL players set to become household names in 2016

Lou Holtz regrets making immigration 'joke' at RNC

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker