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Tossing around a few ideas
Readers respond to notion of renaming the Hornets
By Angus Lind
Staff writer/The Times-Picayune
This just in from readers who responded to last Sunday's column, "The Rename Game," about the possibility of another moniker for New Orleans' newly acquired NBA team, such as CrabNets or Cornets -- or should the Hornets keep buzzing around in their new home town?
The "suggestion that the Hornets get a new name more appropriate to a team based in New Orleans is inappropriate," wrote Earl J. Higgins of River Ridge. "The NBA has a long history of inappropriate team names, and the New Orleans Hornets should keep their name.
"Many years ago, before most people now alive were born, the Minneapolis Lakers (What's a Laker?) moved from the Land of 10,000 Lakes to the Land of No Lakes, Los Angeles. They are still the Lakers. The name Jazz brings up a vision of music played in joints filled with booze and tobacco smoke. We all know how appropriate this name is for the team from Salt Lake City, home of Brigham Young University, which prohibits both booze and tobacco.
"The name Hornets should be retained," Higgins said, "because it is appropriately inappropriate."
(There is nothing this columnist appreciates more than sideways thinking and that is a grand example.)
"If, however," Higgins continued, "the newly moved team wishes to emphasize the NBA's policy of inappropriately named teams, the Hornets, following the tradition of the Jazz's move from the birthplace of jazz to Utah, should become the New Orleans Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The inappropriate musical name is appropriate to NBA tradition."
(So, Earl, would we then be the Choirboys?)
Reader Sid Harl had similar thoughts: "Since Utah has adopted that most New Orleanian of names, the Jazz, we should rename the Hornets the Mormons or more appropriately, the Latter Day Saints."
(Hmmm. The LDS squad. Too bad it wouldn't be the LSD squad.)
Gus Varvaro of Thibodaux suggested the nickname Swampers. His reasoning? "All of the residents in our south Louisiana area, including the New Orleans area, live in or near swamps. The players moving to our area would also become swampers as we are. Being real swampers they would not hesitate to swamp their opponents and would really know when they are swamped."
(Gus, I've lived here all of my 57-plus years and I've never heard the term "swampers" used in any fashion. Lots of swamps and swamp dogs and swamp rats but no swampers. So I went to the "Dictionary of American Slang" to see what it had to say about that term. A "swamper" is defined as "a truck driver's helper." I'm not sure why he is called that, but right now Hornets is looking pretty good.)
"You got me started and I've got one and it's good," wrote Steve Allen, who identified himself as "the sax player." "I thought of it before I read your paragraph about the Cornets. Are you ready? And promise not to take credit? The New Orleans Horns. You are going to get a bunch of these e-mails. Mine's the best."
(Steve, I promise on my dead parakeet's grave. Rest assured that I will not take credit. It's all yours.)
"If all the players are fathers, married or not, the team could be called the Crawdads or Crawdaddys," was the thought of Jack Murray.
(Jack, they could, but they won't.)
Even on the New Orleans Hornets.com Web site, the fans from both Charlotte, N.C., and New Orleans are speculating about the once and future name. The "Snack Board" is where the trash talkers reside and they have been raking one another over the coals. Some of it is flat ugly.
Among names disgruntled Charlotte fans have suggested for the new New Orleans franchise are New Orleans Crooks or New Orleans Swamp Mongers (there's that swamp motif again).
In response, it was proposed that a new Charlotte franchise should be named the Charlotte North Carolwhiners.
Cheap shots at other cities is one of the easiest games to play, so to the person who observed that "New Orleans is the only town in America dumb enough to associate itself with a French heritage," I say this:
Congratulations. Your IQ just reached double digits.
Enough trash talk.
Let the man who said it best say it best one more time. Here's reader Bill Malone with the final word on the nickname:
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just leave it alone and let ‘em play. I'm just glad we've got a team."
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Columnist Angus Lind can be reached at email@example.com or at (504) 826-3449.