- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
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The New Orleans Hornets are reportedly set to become the New Orleans Pelicans. Everyone is laughing at the new name. Although the team may appreciate the respite from being laughed at because of its play, going unmocked is probably what it would prefer the most.
What the currently egged birds need is a PR campaign to let the public know why Pelicans is a great team name. Here are pro-Pelican talking points they can use.
Pelicans are more virile than you think
Picking a bird that is easy to kill might sound like a poor choice, but pelicans are actually no longer endangered in the United States thanks to bans on pesticides that were fatal to them. However, pelicans do still get stuck in fishing lines and injure themselves by flying into wires. Fortunately, the use of fishing lines and wires would be considered illegal defense in the NBA and no doubt whistled by several of the league’s more competent officials.
Louisiana is the Pelican State
In case you were confused as to why they adopted the Pelicans name, there you go. Granted, state nicknames might not seem like a great way to name a sports team. No one thinks the Atlanta Hawks should become the Atlanta Peaches or that the Utah Jazz should become the Utah Beehives or that the Chicago Bulls should become the Chicago Prairies. However, it is educational about the state of Louisiana. We now know that Louisiana is the Pelican State and not the Football State, the Mad Hatter State or the S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C! State. And it will stay that way as long as the state nickname doesn’t go up for a vote.
Pelicans have distinctive plumage
Young pelicans, or pelican chicks, retain a distinctive plumage for three to four years until developing their adult feathers. This is where you can feel free to make your own joke about Anthony Davis deciding to shave off his unibrow in three or four years.
No TMZ scandals
Pelicans breed on high, rocky cliffs and remote islands -- away from predators and, more importantly, away from paparazzi. That lessens the chances we’ll ever see compromising photos of Al-Farouq Aminu or Ryan Anderson.
Pelicans are heroic
Think of all the many hero pelicans in pop culture. There’s that one from “Finding Nemo” that helped save those aquarium fish, right? And then there’s ... huh. Well, “Finding Nemo 2” is coming out in 2016. Maybe the pelican has an even bigger role in the sequel. Plus, don’t forget that Nemo pelican was voiced by Geoffrey Rush. Imagine the nuance and depth an Oscar winner would bring to the role of NBA team mascot. Sure, the Suns’ Gorilla will jump through a ring of fire, but what is his motivation? And what does it say about gorilladom in modern society?
Pelicans will bite an old man in the crotch
It could have been worse
Pelicans are members of the order Pelecaniformes, which also includes cormorants, frigatebirds and boobies. All of those would be a far worse team name that Pelicans. Well, except maybe for the New Orleans Boobies. That would keep the bird thing going and also allow the team to make a fortune in Mardi Gras-related T-shirt sales. Hmm. Is it too late to change the team name to the New Orleans Boobies?