As you've probably heard by now, the New Orleans Hornets may become the New Orleans Pelicans as soon as next season.
That news was met with a raised eyebrow here at Uni Watch HQ. In May, we ran a "rename and redesign the Hornets" contest, and one of the five finalists was by reader Chris Giorgio, who proposed rebranding the team as the New Orleans Pelicans (you can click on this image to see a larger version):
Giorgio's Pelicans design easily won the SportsNation voting among the five finalists, garnering 43 percent of the vote. (The next-highest finisher had 23 percent.) With the Pelicans now on the verge of becoming a real-world team, a quick interview with Giorgio seemed to be in order.
Uni Watch: Any thoughts on seeing your proposed team name come to fruition?
Chris Giorgio: I think it's pretty neat that they picked the name I came up with, but I'm not all that surprised. The pelican is a fairly logical choice, since it's the state bird and very common down there by the Gulf.
UW: Should they use your uniform design?
CG: Who wouldn't want to see their design on a uniform? If not my design, though, maybe using something similar would be cool and different.
UW: As you may have heard, there's already been a fair amount of fan backlash regarding the Pelicans name, presumably because pelicans aren’t intimidating enough or whatever. Your thoughts?
CG: I don't quite understand that. No one is up in arms about Cardinals and Orioles, and those aren't exactly "tough" animals.
Giorgio makes a good point about other bird-based team names. (Penguins, anyone?) Not only that, but a pelican can swallow an entire fish whole, which seems like it would strike fear into the opposition. Let's see a Buck or a Bobcat -- or, for that matter, a Hornet -- do that.