October 30th, 2015
|06:35 pm - Morning of the Pelicans. evening of the Blues|
MORNING OF THE PELICANS, EVENING OF JAZZ, AND THE NIGHT OF BLUES
(A philosophical yet frivolous rant about the sport teams’ nicknames)
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful city of New Orleans and a basketball franchise named “Jazz” playing in that city. One might think, a perfect name for a team located in the birthplace and the cradle of the great American art form also called jazz. Unfortunately, when the franchise relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979, it took its nickname with it.
Now, don’t take me wrong! There is no doubt that the Mormon country can appreciate good arts and especially music. Take, for example, the fabulous Mormon Tabernacle Choir that has gained not only local but an international reputation, too. And there is no doubt either that the city has appreciated the art of basketball, too. Utah “Jazz” was drawing great crowds, especially when they were a good team contending to take it all. But jazz? How popular is it in Utah? Does it really belong as a nickname to the franchise located in Salt Lake City? I’m not so sure. Wouldn’t it be better if the nickname stayed at home, in the Big Easy, where it so perfectly fits?
Anyway, for many years New Orleans was void of professional hoops. But then, in 2002, Charlotte “Hornets” relocated from North Carolina to Louisiana again taking the franchise nickname with them, just like “Jazz” did it, too, some 33 years earlier. Again, the “Hornets” did not seem the best moniker for a team playing in New Orleans. So, when a year ago the franchise decided to change its name to the “Pelicans”, well, that’s where the story really begins. For, to be frank, I’m not sure how I should feel about it.
On one hand, for certain, pelicans are gorgeous and magnificent creatures definitely adding an elegant touch to the already abundant beauty of the ocean. Also, they provide an ample motivation for my pups during our daily roams on the beach. Each and every morning the ladies (that’s how I call my dogs) pay homage to pelicans, responding to them with a healthy chase. Truly, pelicans are the sacred birds representing gentle side of the Divine. Thus, whenever we see them, I am honored and I honor them back with a deep bow and a chant of sutras dedicated to their Buddha Nature.
But, on the other hand, the question is not really about whether or not the pelicans are divine. Obviously they are; that’s already been established. The question is about a nickname chosen to represent your basketball team. With all due respect, and as much as I love pelicans,
choosing them to represent your franchise is just plain stupid I doubt wisdom of choosing "pelicans" as the nickname for your favorite franchise.
Just think about it! Pelicans do not exemplify toughness, speed, zippiness, agility, or sharpness of the execution that your team will surely need to advance deeply into playoffs. In any of these respects, they are like gracefully made toy-snow-plows plowing through the puffy fluffy clouds. They are themselves a bit too puffy fluffy, not exactly in the game shape. No way that a pelican will scare someone or inspire dread in your opponents. For, frankly, pelicans exemplify chicken-shit. I see it each and every day on the beach, when the fly away in fear on the first sight of my dogs. In this respect, pelicans are like extremely shy unicorns. No one would confuse a unicorn for a mule or a bear who loves to bang inside like Shaquille O’Neil; no one would confuse a unicorn for a battle horse like Timmy Duncan; no one would confuse a unicorn for a high flying mustang like a superb rebounder and in your face blocker Andre Drummond. And that's what you need to win playoff games.
Now, to be clear, comparing pelicans to unicorns may seem unfair. To unicorns. For, at the very least, the unicorns are cute. In fact, they are so cute they are practically chicks’ magnets. If you have a friendly unicorn willing to put up with your shit at a bar, if you sit next to him, you are guaranteed to meet a girl or two, kind of by osmosis. Also, for some mysterious reason, telling stories about unicorns may take you a long way, too, provided that you are a good story teller and know how to use your lips and tongue. It is even better when the unicorn tells the story and you just shut up, si and listen. When it happens, things tend to progress rather quickly. Thinking about it, maybe that’s a problem with the unicorns. At the beginning, yeah, you have so much exposure that you can barely count your blessings, provided you are not completely drunk and you can still count to 1 or 2. But, before you come to your senses, the girl is comfortably spread on the unicorn’s back tightly holding on to his horn. And, at the end of the night, the unicorn takes the girl home in your car, dropping you off on the way, because you are way too drunk to drive.
Knowing all of this, would you call your team the unicorns? Well, maybe you would if you plan to win a championship of the little league while conquering the hearts of the kindergarten kids. Or, perhaps, you would do it if you wanted to entertain not so little girls at a so called “gentlemen’s club”. But, ladies and gentlemen, let’s be real. We are taking here about the major league, the NBA; we are talking here about the professional basketball team that is supposed to play at the elite level. So, let’s face the facts. The unicorns are agile, cute, mysterious and maybe even sexy. But will they instill fear in your adversaries’ hearts? I doubt it. In this respect they are more like white doves or Easter bunnies. If you plan to win an NBA championship, would you call your franchise “White Doves”, or “Easter Bunnies”? Hell no! And same goes for the “Unicorns”.
But, like I said, pelicans are even worse! In terms of cuteness, even penguins and dolphins are better. Not to mention the unicorns. In terms of pure ragged looks, mavericks and warriors kick pelicans’ ass. In terms of sharpness of the execution, the spurs clearly take a cake. In terms of brute strength, I would go with the bulls or the grizzlies. In terms of stamina and endurance, the pistons got to occupy the top shelf. Or, alternatively, perhaps we should put timber-wolves up there. This might have an extra advantage. Truly, scratch a timber-wolf’s tummy and he becomes a pussy cat.
By contrast, imagine, that your girl is waiting for you late into a night. You return home looking like a huge, puffy fluffy, creamy-wet pelican. Can you hope for a clean inbound pass and a fast break? No! Most likely the game will quickly deteriorate into a prolonged defensive battle. And can you hope to get lucky and eventually prevail? Can it help you to win a close game that has serious playoff implications? Frankly, for even the cutest pelican, the first base seems like the absolute ceiling.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that, in the last game of the last (2014-15) season the New Orleans Pelicans beat the San Antonio Spurs. A good game that was hanging in the balance till the very end when the Pelicans prevailed 108 – 103. The game had tremendous playoff implications. Because of this win, for the first time in the history, the team from New Orleans made the playoffs. Congratulations are surely in order. In addition, the game eliminated Oklahoma City Thunder from the contention and also totally reversed the order in the Western Conference. In particular, the Spurs were reduced from #2 seed to #6. Consequently, two of the strongest teams in the league, San Antonio “Spurs” and Los Angeles “Clippers”, meet in the first round of playoffs.
After this great victory, the Pelicans promptly proceeded to be swept by the eventual champs Golden State “Warriors”. Frankly, it was not even close. And, by the way, the nickname "Blues" is still very available.
blowing blue note
on half empty bottle of beer.
yet still a good old friend
this evening blues.
In that case, I'm looking forward to see your new lj-entries ;)