Tom Benson, owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, announced that he is renaming his basketball team The Pelicans. The 86-year-old businessman also released the two other names in the running. Pelicans won over both The Krewe and The Brass, both of which have more cultural relevance to the city than the state bird.
Cynics suspect that Benson’s announcement is a publicity stunt to compensate for his star player Anthony Davis’s absence from the court (ankle injury). However, a longer list of names that the Hornets organization was considering leaked to reporters, suggesting that the renaming effort was both calculated and exhaustive.
Fortunately, Marz Media obtained the memo of names that did not make the cut. And this Thursday’s Top reconstructs why those names did not make it to Mardi Gras.
REJECTED NEW ORLEANS NBA TEAM NAMES
New Orleans D-Boys
This suggestion came, in jest, from the mailroom guy at team headquarters, but Benson liked how the name could establish the identity that they began to form with defensive stopper Anthony Davis. One of Benson’s consultants—a listener of rap music through his teenage daughter’s bedroom door—explained that 1) the term is synonymous with low- to mid-level drug dealer and 2) no group of black men should be referred to as boys…ever.
When Benson relented and suggested D-Men instead, the committee was split between the nickname sounding blasphemous or gay.
New Orleans Crawfish
Since many professional athletes have trouble understanding irony, it was decided that oversized men should not be named after diminutive crustaceans.
New Orleans Whodis
Eliminated for a myriad of reasons; while the nickname reaches out to the more “urban” community, the more “traditional” citizens of The Big Easy thought it was a spinoff of the New Orleans Saints catchphrase, “Who dat?” Further, the committee decided to avoid jokes by opposing teams who might pretend not to recognize the band of scrubs they were playing. Also, the city grew tired of the team song 11 years ago.
New Orleans Flash
The committee agreed that this name would be more fitting for their developing WNBA team, which will in turn have the most well-attended home games in the history of American sports.
New Orleans Po’ Boys
Despite some NBA players still identifying with financial hardship after they’ve struck it rich, the committee thought this name would alienate the working- and middle-class. No one seemed to be too thrilled about the sandwich association, either, especially after Benson shouted down the suggestion of the New Orleans Muffuletas.
New Orleans Murderers
Despite its inherent intimidation value, the committee decided, after calls from the NAACP (how the found out is still under internal investigation; the mailroom guy denies any relationship, but he’s still being watched), that nicknaming the team the Murderers would contribute to the glorification of violence in the community. Benson plumb didn’t understand the connection until his committee said there would be protests if the name moved forward. Benson pouted about having to abandon the idea of having fans too afraid to not support his team, until his assistant cheered him up with, “WHO DAT SAY YOU CAN’T OWN THE WHOLE CITY?”
New Orleans Delta
Didn’t make the first cut; the organization has neither the time, energy, nor money to get into a licensing dispute with one of the country’s most complained-about airlines.
New Orleans Purchase
Benson’s favorite for the first few rounds, the committee discouraged him from telegraphing his intentions to unload this financial hemorrhage of a sports team, thus maintaining some leverage for the next time Seattle calls.