COMMENTARY | With the New Orleans Hornets mired in an eight-game losing streak, I'm happy to write about almost anything that's not happening on the court. When news broke that the NBA had filed for trademarks on five possible new names for the Hornets, I thought this would be a fun topic to explore. But after looking at the list of names, I couldn't even comprehend how bad most of them were.
This is the only name on the list that I like. The pelican is the state bird of Louisiana and New Orleans had a popular minor league baseball team named the Pelicans many years ago. I prefer the Brass to the Pelicans, but compared to the other names on this list, this is the only name I could feel even a remote sense of pride in over the Hornets.
In case anyone doesn't know what a swamp dog is, this colorful name is Cajun slang for an alligator. The name swamp dog actually has a small bit of relevant history in New Orleans sports lore. When the Saints had a surprise 10-6 season in 2000 and defeated the Rams in the playoffs, New Orleans' defense was nicknamed the "Swamp Dogs."
I feel like the Cajun version of Jeff Foxworthy as I go through these names that the NBA is trying to trademark for the Hornets. If you don't live in Louisiana and you've never watched "Cajun Justice," you probably have no idea what a Rougarou (pronounced roo-ga-roo) is. A Rougarou is the Cajun version of a werewolf. You can't make this stuff up.
I'll admit that Bull Shark is the most sensible, ferocious name among the trademark applicants. However, someone needs to tell Tom Benson that there is a serious problem with the name Bull Shark. Maybe Mr. Benson isn't as familiar with profanity as most sports fans. But Bull Shark sounds an awful lot like a common expletive for nonsense.
There are two very serious problems with changing the Hornets' name to Mosquitos. First, everyone (especially in New Orleans) hates mosquitos. There's no way the city of New Orleans can rally around the Mosquitos. Second, mosquitos suck blood. However, fans in other NBA cities will simply leave off the blood part when they chant the previous sentence.
When I originally heard the Hornets were considering changing their name to the Pelicans, I embraced the idea and changed my Twitter avi to the old minor league Pelicans logo. But I can't imagine the Hornets changing their name to any of these others. Tom Benson is a talented man, but picking team names is clearly not one of his strengths.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
More from this contributorCP3 or C-3PO?