x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

NBA's Pelican grief is much ado about nothing

Followers of the Hornets fear the NBA franchise will not induce as much fear if it is named after the bird. But NHL sides such as the Penguins and the Ducks have won the Stanley Cup.

Fans do not believe the Hornets are going to be scarier by being renamed the Pelicans.
Fans do not believe the Hornets are going to be scarier by being renamed the Pelicans.

Pity the poor pelican. What did that unsightly bird ever do to deserve such derision?

Nothing that warranted this. Not all this indignation.

Alas, it came to light last week that the new owner of the New Orleans Hornets wants to change the team's nickname to the Pelicans.

Fans were aghast, asking who is going to be afraid of playing the Pelicans? The Anchovies? A pelican would be doing well to frighten off a sickly seagull. The only thing truly scary about a pelican is that it is so completely ugly.

It is rather a dopey name, but it is not like sports are not rife with silly monikers. The NBA alone is rampant with curious nicknames.

What exactly is a Laker? And do they really have any in Los Angeles? Think the image of New York Knickerbockers gives opponents sleepless nights? Those were guys who wore trousers rolled up to the knee. Were they supposed to have scary shins or something?

Professional sports long ago gave up on fear-inducing nicknames.

Brooklyn call themselves the Nets. The only thing a net can do is catch a fish. Just not as well as a pelican. The Indiana Pacers? Yeah that is scary. Named after the cars at the Indianapolis 500. They start up and then get out of the way.

The NHL has the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks. Both have won the Stanley Cup, but I would not want to see a penguin or duck tangle with a 30-pound pelican.



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