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

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

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

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

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