Hmm, interesting stuff. Here's what the official site has to say:
The Naming of the Pacers
When professional basketball came to Indianapolis in 1967, one of the key decisions would be what to call the new American Basketball Association franchise.
According to Indianapolis attorney, Richard D. Tinkham, the nickname “Pacers” was decided on through a collective decision of the original investors. Tinkham, one of those investors, recalled that the nickname was a combination of the state’s rich history with the harness racing pacers (investor Chuck Barnes was a horse racing enthusiast) and the pace car used for the running of the Indianapolis 500.
Tinkham said the “Pacers” decision was an easy one, but the real debate was whether the team should be called the Indiana Pacers or the Indianapolis Pacers. Since one of the original ideas for the team was to have it playing throughout the state with its base in Indianapolis, the official team name became the Indiana Pacers.
"Pelicans...in the lottery again"
This is the worst name in all professional sports. I will laugh at them when they are announced at BLF.
It's not that bad. New Orleans Pelicans. It rolls off the tongue well. It's unusual and there's a local connection, not the typical 1-2 syllables, i like it much better than "Thunder" and such.
Given that the Pacers are essentially referring to race horses, as Gnome and I have discussed before, if they ever decide to re-brand the team and get away from the famous Pacer "P", the obvious choice would be a new logo incorporating a race horse in some fashion. It could be done well, or it could be lousy depending on what they come up with, but it's a viable alternative if they ever decide to really change our brand one day.
Just feed them alka seltzer and they will go away....or maybe that was for sea gulls?
Not sure what the supposed consensus criteria are for team nicknames - I mean, an animal should be somewhat feisty, but other than that what should be considered so bad about the Fever or the Liberty?
After all, I suppose none of them evoke the fear and awe of a Lake or a Nugget.
Back to Bob Johnson and the name Bobcats. It was during the press conference when the name was introduced, Johnson mentioned he liked Bobcats because he felt like he was putting his name behind the success or failures of the team. Later in the press conference I remember him saying something to the effect of everyone knowing who the buck stops with in regards to the Bobcats.
So yes, that was a product of Bob Johnson's ego!
Brass. The New Orleans Brass. Is that not a clear winner?
Will Michael Jordan pickup the name Hornets for the Charlotte franchise? I could only hope so.
Name That Team
Have the sports leagues run out of mascots?
By Sam Eifling|Posted Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2003
The new NBA franchise in Charlotte needs a mascot, and the city fathers have uncapped the suggestion box for the public. One of the informal guidelines is no insect names—the city had its heart broken by its last team, the sharply named Hornets, who blew town to play in New Orleans. So, what creature has emerged as the early front-runner? Some heretofore unused beast? Nope. The people have spoken, and they're clamoring for the Charlotte Cougars, the lamest idea they could have possibly come up with.
No, really. Cougars steadfastly conforms to every tried-and-staid rule for how to name your sports franchise. For one thing, the leagues long ago reached the saturation point for large felines. Major League Baseball puts up the Tigers, the NHL sports Panthers and Predators (tigers of the saber-toothed variety). The NFL fields Lions, Jaguars, Bengals (barely), and the Carolina Panthers, who play home games a wind-aided punt from the site of Charlotte's planned basketball arena. Twenty-five years ago, North Carolina supported an ABA team named the Cougars, and there's already a Women's Football League team in Greensboro that shares the same nickname.
More disheartening, though, is the mascot cul-de-sac that "Cougars" would signify. Two of the last four NFL expansion teams were cats, and another was the "Texans," hardly a revelation. The NBA's latest growth spurts brought the laudable Raptors and Timberwolves but also uninspiring singular nouns like Heat and Magic. Major League Soccer (10 teams, no animals) is big on these kinds of mascots, too, offering up the United, Burn, and Galaxy. The neophyte WNBA sports the Sun, Sting, Lynx, Mercury, Liberty, Storm, Shock, Fever, Fire, and Sol.
A proper mascot shouldn't be singular or adjectival (can United players exist separately?). Animals are usually a safer bet, but really, Cougars? Can't we as a civilization uncover mascots with more panache than another round of conspicuously plush animals?
Actually, we can. The Charlotte Regional Sports Commission has received more than 750 different name submissions thus far, mostly at its Web site. It has been passing along the realistic candidates to the team ownership, which is headed by Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson. "Cougars" has lots of support, but some of the less obvious offerings are sheer delight. Sarcastically, perhaps, "Charlottans" has been proposed. E.B. White might have been flattered with "Spiders." Charlotte's per capita donation to its arts council is the highest in the nation, so there were artsy suggestions—"Sculptors," for example.
The city also boasts the country's richest banking center outside of New York City, so someone chipped in "Bankers"—and, hey, why not? Just as the Hornets' home court was known as the Hive, the Bankers could play in the Vault, and arena sponsorship would be a shoo-in. Bankers is a copy editor's dream—abundant financial puns, on down to the bank shot. There's also the ironic acknowledgement that the NBA isn't a league of fearsome predators so much as it is a league of somnambulant millionaires pushing the ball up the court like a loan application across a desk.
Regional animals are overrated, anyway. Just look at the latest baseball expansion teams. What kind of personality can you possibly ascribe to a Devil Ray? Would fewer than 95 percent of Diamondbacks fans run like hell if they encountered the real thing? "Hornets" worked because it was more legend than local fauna. When Charles Cornwallis led troops through downtown Charlotte in 1780, his boys were peppered with shots from militiamen hiding behind trees and bushes. He kvetched later that it was like walking into a nest of hornets. Charlotte residents still revel in the association—though it should be noted that their first choice for that team was the singular and nauseatingly generic "Spirit." In one of its few laudable acts, team ownership overrode them.
Admittedly, the Hornets fit the city so marvelously, that nothing, not even "Bankers," could live up. But the healing won't begin by snaring yet another feline into mascot captivity, stuffed toy sales be damned. The Charlotte bosses still have time (the NBA wants a proposal by early April) and plenty of options. If all else fails, they could always just roll out "Wildcats."
I actually like it for two reasons:
1) It's unique, and 2) It ends with an "s" (I hate names like Heat, Thunder, Storm, Shock, etc.).
I'm just glad they didn't go with another lame "it's plural, but it's also singular" name that was supposed to be all new and hip. I totally forgot to put the Heat in my earlier post. At least they have the little tail thing on their T which is kind of cool.
Besides, pelicans are ****ing mean.
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People just don't like it because it's different. When there are posts like "What do pelicans have to do with basketball" it makes it really obvious. I hate singular names so I always disliked Krewe and Brass, but Brass would be the worst. When they are on a losing streak, what will they be called?
Since we're talking about the Hornets name going back to Charlotte, maybe some old-timers can answer this question: Why did the Charlotte Hornets trade Alonzo Mourning? I've never understood the trading of a young All-Star center who immediately made them a playoff team.