Your Guide to Fighting the Pelican Hate

Our resident rebrand therapist, local comedian Chris Trew, coaches on how to fight the Pelican hate and takes us through his journey on Twitter the day of the announcement in the latest Trew to the Game.

January 24th, 2013, the day the Pelican flew into New Orleans, Louisiana, inspiring most of the natives, annoying some, infuriating some more and igniting ignorance throughout major media. Let’s go through what happened yesterday and try to make some sense of it.

Oh boy. What a disaster this segment was, huh? Herm Edwards was so fired up he stopped what he was doing (desperately sending resumes to the CFL) and interrupted poor Antonio Davis. His primary reason for not liking the new name appeared to be “man, tha Superbowl is comin, they gotta do betta dan dat” which is not a good rebuttal for anything besides maybe “let’s convert all downtown restaurants into Arby’s” or “let’s schedule a Voodoo game for early February 3rd”.

Then they do my least favorite argument against the Pels which is “it sounds weird when you say it” and then they say it all weird. Bulls also sounds weird is you pronounce all slow and whisper-y. Booowls. Pretend like you’re whispering it to a sleepy child. Bewls. Chicago Bowls – see it sounds weird. Chicago BULLS – see, Bulls is a great name! Man, so many Bulls in the windy city. Bulls love wind.

Herm says we can do better because we have the Saints. Look, we love the Saints. But if our football team was called the Brass and then we tried to name a basketball team the Saints we’d be hearing the same reasons why the team name isn’t any good. When hearing the colors they’re all “red, blue and gold? That’s like putting a gold chain on a pelican.” No, it’s not. Also, what’s wrong with a gold chain on a Pelican. Sounds like a pretty cool Pelican.

Goodnight, Herm. You tried your best. Sorry we’re not named the New Orleans Herm Edwards’.

On to the logos

Not everyone is down with the “bird-de-lis” but let me talk you into it.

– You knew a fleur-de-lis was coming. We needed it. Is this the best possible way to do it? I don’t know. But pelicans definitely look tough when looking at you eye to eye and that’s what this one is doing.

– It had to be a pelican head – not wings – because wings could be hawks or blue jays or ravens or worse, falcons (yuck).

– It’s eating a basketball. You know who else eats basketballs? Nobody. Toughness.

– “Bird-de-lis” is a little weird right now, I’ll admit it. But at least a Pelican is a bird. Reminder, Hornets are not bees. What else could they have done? Fleur-de-bird? Fleur-bird-lis? Bird-de-bird? Fleur-de-P?

Strap in. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad from Twitter (some bad words here, kids)

First off, props to Chase for being the leaker of the day. All of his favorite sports writers should be thanking him, RTing him, Fav-ing him, etc.

One more time for Chase!

This is the graphic designer behind the logo. Some simple research shows he’s a –gasp– Grizzly fan! I wish there was some way to win him over.

That was easy. New Orleans is so charming. Side note on the “Let’s go Pels” chant that was forced at the press conference: What else were they supposed to do? Sit back and wait to see what would happen? No, you start making Pels sound less weird as soon as possible and I’m already on board.

This was the general consensus amongst outside fans. I opened up two search columns on Tweetdeck. One was “pelicans suck” and the other was “pelicans cool”. Both were equally active, though non New Orleans folks are still confused by the name Pelicans as if they think the team got in a room and said “what name is awesome, oh Pelicans, good enough, bye” as opposed to “what name is significant to this city?”

I can admit that this is pretty funny. I can also admit that this will get less funny in about 10 days.

I know, right? If Jay Z designed this logo the Pelican would have been just sitting there looking all bored and possibly a robot. “Plus the letter “P” standing there by itself would have been so bad. P? What’s that even mean? The letter P isn’t intimidating. P? Are you kidding me?”  Thank you, I’m Herm Edwards.

Amen, brother. 2014 All Star Game drinks on me, Scott Allen Hill.

Then you’re going to be rocking the most culturally significant NBA logo 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You’ll be the most popular guy in the bar in 2015 (NBA Finals).

Try “I’m already in line” sucka! Plus in 15 years I’ll be sporting my “A better dynasty than the Spurs” gear that has so many O’Brien trophies on it the shirt goes down to your ankles no matter the size.

Yeah, good idea. New Orleans shouldn’t put the words New and Orleans on things. Also, quit bringing up your log, man. Not cool.

“Racist owner? #I’mRollin”

Yeah, Chris Paul left because he knew the Pelican rebrand was coming. Also, he just left. Walked out the door on his accord. He wasn’t traded. Side note, I engaged the author of this tweet and he’s a Lakers fan who’s from New Orleans. So there you go, case closed.

I am furious I didn’t come up with this already. Dangit.

Good point, Shiek.

The video

It may be a little too Animal Planet for some but it gets the job done. Show this video to anyone who says “why Pelicans?” You may not like the name Pelicans but the question of “why” is ridiculous. 44 bonus points to the team for tying the name into raising awareness of coastal restoration too.

In Closing

It’s hard being the President of Pelican Nation but I take the job seriously. I welcome all debates. I will lead us all into the comfy Nest/Dock/Pier. If there is someone on your Twitter feed being all nonsense about the name then send them my way. I’ll come into your work, bring a meat and cheese plate and sit down to have a one-on-one with that person in your office who doesn’t get it. I’ll go on First Take. I’ll have a debate brunch with Chris Paul (but not his brother). I’ve got your back, my fellow Pelicans.

Spread your wings and fly!

Follow Chris Trew on Twitter, catch him performing comedy at the House of Blues on January 31st at 8:00p or The New Movement on February 1st at 10:30p. 

38 responses to “Your Guide to Fighting the Pelican Hate”

  1. Dude,awesome article. I was hating on cp3 pretty hard via twitter after that comment, but the racist owner hash tag takes the cake. Seriously good stuff,man! Keep it coming.

  2. Herm Edwards blows. I never really hear any name suggestions from the Pelican haters, either. I guess nothing beats a name that sounds like fried chicken batter; or high school, plain black and white, uniforms. I’d seriously like to see you do what they call debate on ESPN; whoever is loudest wins.

    • Here’s a name from a pelican hater…Hornets! Keep Our Hornets!..There is no logical reason to make this stupid name change and all it is doing is alienating and splitting the fan base.I wish Benson had never bought the team now. The vast majority of fans that I have talked to at the games DO NOT LIKE the Pelicans and it was boo’ed when they announce it tonight at the arena, I’m actually starting a petition to try and stop this insanity and with in 10 minutes I was able to get over 75 signatures with out even trying. Would of had more but the game was about to start.

      • A name that is truly ours.


        Are “Redskins” truly Washington D.C.?
        Are “Falcons” truly Atlanta?
        Are “Lions” truly Detroit?
        Are “Bears” truly Chicago?
        Is “Crimson Tide” truly Alabama?

      • If old Tom didn’t buy the team, they would be called the Seattle Supersonics. Talk about a stupid name!

      • Seattle Supersonics. Talk about a stupid name!

        On the contrary. Seattle is a Boeing town, and Boeing was building the SST at the time the franchise was formed. To be supersonic was to be modern fast and powerful.

      • I took his point to more the Seattle than the Supersonics . . . repackaging . . . if he didn’t buy it, then they leave, so deal with the renaming.

      • Yeah Jason, I got his point. But honestly, for me, this is just as devastating as if the team had been sold and moved. That would have been easier to take and deal with. Now we are being force fed a name that most of the fans do not like or want to support and everything about the franchise that I have followed for the last 25 years passionately is changing.People are tired of being compared to Charlotte but guess what?..Benson is taking another page right out of their book. We are going to end up in the same situation they are in right now with an apathetic fan base who can’t or won’t get behind the name to support the team. Lets face it our fan base isn’t that strong to begin with and the last thing we need is to give them any more reasons not to support the team.

      • This “most” is something I question. People who like it feel no one else likes it. People who do like it feel that most others do. This can be true for a number of reasons, but there’s a reason that double-blinds exist.

        In the short term, change is viewed far more negatively than positively, regardless of its character. In the long term, it really just does not matter in most cases.

        The emotional connection to teams and events are harder to convey, and not all memories can be rebuilt. This is tougher on some that most make it out to be, but I think most people just don’t really care in the long-term.

        If this was the way it had `always’ been, so if the Jazz were the Pelicans and never left, these conversations would not be happening. It’s because of the change. So, some people are talking about different things. Some are talking about the end state (Pelicans), some about the change (Hornets to Pelicans), and others are focused on non-options or events that would have lead to the team leaving New Orleans (Benson doesn’t buy, team stays the Hornets, team become Voodoo, etc.)

        Those are ok to talk about, but it’s done. It’s time to move on to the next phase of dealing with the change.

      • Harley. Again dude, goodbye. We don’t need people here saying they can’t support the team. Don’t then. But don’t insult our team itself because your angry over a name and colors. Go Pelicans! Go away haters!

      • Sorry Jason, I respectfully disagree. the reason I say most is because that has been my experience in dealing with the fans and I am out there asking and talking with them especially on game nights at the arena.People are walking up to me and telling me they feel the same way. Now while this may be unscientific random poll but If I talk with 50 people and 45 of them tell me specifically that they do not like the name what else am i suppose to get out of it other than the fact most people don’t like it? Believe me if it were the other way around I would be dropping this.

        Change always matters even in the long term. People do not tend to forget negative first impressions or impacts on their lives and will remember those and act according for a long time afterwards.

        I also do not think it’s done either. Benson just announced this change and before that it was all purely speculation. Could not very well mount any kind of opposition based on rumors until they actually formally announced it now could we? Two days after the announcement and we are just suppose to say too late to do anything about it now?

      • Removing all the specifics from this, if people are walking up to you and telling you what they think when you broadcast your opinion strongly, then they are more than likely going to agree with you. They self-select. It’s not a random sample, so it only measures a portion of the population, leaving unknown how large that portion is.

        That’s just polling science. Not a knock on your or your data, which I’m sure is accurate.

        It’s the scope of the inference I doubt. That’s all.

        I’ll put your petition in the Sunday post I do, and if you remind me I’ll do it every week from here until they say the name IS changed.

      • Whodat,
        You don’t get to dismiss me just because you don’t like what I am saying and I am not going to go away. I have just as much right as you to state my opinions and beliefs regardless of what you think. I am not attacking anyone personally and have posted in a thoughtful and respectful manner to all those involved, If you do not like my posts do not read or respond to them but if you do respond at least bring a respectful counter instead of telling me “I’m not a real fan and to go away” and maybe we can have a dialog.

      • harleyrider105 is absolutely correct here.

        We have each disputed what each other has said, but I think we’re both benefiting from this even if we don’t end up agreeing.

      • Thank you Jason and I understand and agree with why you doubt the scope. I’m not a professional pollster,never claim to be and I know that my “data” is at best is skewed because of those reasons you stated. Would love to have you post the link to the petition in your sunday posts and see what kind of reaction come from it.We both might be surprised

      • Just calling it like I see it. I can take normal just not liking it. But (on a previous article) to call us the “pelicants”, to get so caught up in the hatred of the name that you make fun of a team you were rooting for last week is ridiculous and I’ve had enough of having to hear it

      • Whodat,
        With all due respect I really don’t care that you’ve had enough of hearing it and you do not get to silence people just because of that.In fact you do not get to silence them at all.If you cant take opposing views then either respond with a respectful constructive opposing view point,of which “shut up and go away,your not one of us” is NOT, ignore the post or get off the boards. Just for the record..I do not hate this team..I hate the new name and the fact that it is being forced on us in the way that it has been,but not this team. I am a die hard passionate New Orleans Hornet fan who goes to every game and supports them and their sponsors. How about you? You have season tickets? You out there every game?

    • Dear, harley. I do not want you out. I want all the fans we can get. But what do you mean by “new team” there is a difference between a team, and a nickname. And the fact that you’re willing to give up on everything this team has over a name is ridiculous. I would be at every home game if I lived in NOLA, but sadly I do not. My only point to you is that the name is getting changed. Millions have been spent on this new brand, and a petition with 500 signatures isn’t going to change it. So you can either grit your teeth and watch the team get better and become title contenders. Or you can leave it all for a name

      • First thanks for the civil response.At least we are in agreement that the team needs all the fans it can get. Our main disagreement it seem comes from what appears to be our differences in what we believe the nickname means. For me the team name is more than just a nickname, it is the team’s identity and history in which fans associate and resonate with. The players come and go as do the management personnel,but that Identity is what remains. As far as the millions that have been spent so far, that doesn’t make it right or any better of a business decision…New Coke ring a bell?

      • Although I don’t agree with anything that Harley says when it comes to the rebrand I have to give him his props for staying in bounce & not over reacting like others have in the past, stated how he feels & didn’t go insane when someone says they don’t agree with you, kudos to you for being a perfect example on how to disagree with someone.

      • I ask you this Harley, if a name ties this much into a community and fan base, why not go with something that belongs to our state, our city. Something that symbolically has risen from the ashes just as we have. I’ve invested lots of money into buying gear and loving this name and this brand. But I love this one even more for what it represents. I ask you to give it a chance, see the unis, the way our first season goes with it. Your petition won’t work, but I do admire your hard work towards something you believe in. Anyway, please, give pelicans a chance

      • Something that symbolically has risen from the ashes just as we have.

        I’ve lived in South Louisiana all of my life, most in suburban N.O. Yes, I’m glad that pelicans survived the BP disaster, yes I’m glad N.O. survived Katrina.

        It’s still as dumb a name as Ducks, Geese, Ostrich and Emu, even though I wouldn’t want an angry one chasing after me.

        If they really wanted a more New Orleans name (the idea of which I think is silly), they could have kept the current name, bu with a different emphasis: HORNets.

      • Andrew, thanks for the props. I’ll admit that it is hard sometimes cause there are instances I really want to lay into someone but then I also come to realize there’s no point in that and we will never get anywhere by responding in kind like that. I’m really not here to piss anyone off or to cause trouble. and whodat to answer your question If there was such a name that could truly represent our city then I might be for it however too me Pelicans isn’t that name. As I have stated before people should not have to get used to it and have it grow on them in order for them to accept it as what is happening here

  3. Is there such thing as a Lakers fan who Isn’t a clueless bandwagon fan? A fan of a 17 win team saying one with three less wins sucks. LOL. I don’t care what anyone thinks about us.

  4. Been fighting a lot of hate where I live now in OKC.

    I just throw out the list of stupid NBA names that either are plain stupid, have no significance to their region….or have stupid WNBA logos…

    Knickerbockers (underwear?)
    Magic Mikes
    76ers (Understand the significance, stupid sounding name)
    Blazers (jackets anyone?)
    Wizards (Harry Potter)

    Didn’t even get to some, but that’s almost all of them.

    Pelicans sounds DAMN GOOD!

  5. All my concerns are about the jerseys now. I really don’t want them to look like the Hawk’s or Wizard’s or old Cavaliers’. But navy and red.. oh..

  6. Awesome article! I wasn’t to sure about the name change because I’ve been a Hornets fan since like 1993… but I really like the story behind the Pelican and what it means to N.O. It’s a perfect symbol of the city!

    I’m also a graphic artist and I love the new logo!!! One of my favorite nba logos was the Grizzles and the Pelicans logo was designed by the same guy.. AWESOME!

  7. I’ll always Be A Diehard New Orleans Basketball Fan… But I’m Still On The Fence With The Rebrand… I’M Hoping The Unis Can Sway Me… But Three Dark/Dull Colors Don’t Make For Great Appeal… One Of The Colors Should Have Been Brighter…

  8. This whole thing is a joke the Iron Shike and CPME putting their two cents why who cares.At the same time we’re a laughingstock and us local have to be dumbest people to accept this team name it should be a PR disaster good getting free agents.

      • Do you ever think about it i mean the colors are cool but a team name could blackball us from getting top free agents but then a again if you can play for the Bucks you can play for the Pelicans

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