My only reservation with Parrish is the reference to Robert Parish which alot of people may assume. He is from Shreveport and played for the Charlotte Hornets in the mid 90s.
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Trew 2 the Game #18: Mascot Name Battle Royal
Hey readers! Mark your calendar for November 5th, before the Pels take on the Suns at the Arena, I’ll be doing a live podcast recording of Trew 2 the Game and will be joined by other writers and comedians. Would love to see you at Little Gem Saloon at 5:45! RSVP here on Facebook.
Nobody really knows how we got here. But the team has 5 finalists for the name of our precious mascot which the general public has been voting on since last week. Whether or not the data will be revealed to the general public remains unclear – will this be one of those WWE “Who should be the special guest referee tonight” polls that are in no way whatsoever actually decided by fans? Or are the Pelicans really listening to the fans here? I’m not sure it matters as all of the names are good enough – but there’s absolutely some front runners as far as your Rebrand Therapist/President of Pelicans Nation is concerned.
Before we get into the real deal discussion, let’s pour out some liquor (or whatever you got, high school readers) for the without-a-doubt best possible choice but also in many non-basketball ways, the worst possible choice: Pistol. In a world where the Washington Wizards are still the Washington Bullets and crime doesn’t exist, an homage to one of the greatest basketball players of all time who has some very legit connections to the Crescent City is the blue ribbon way to go.
Jackson (as in Jackson Square, as in rhymes with Pelican)
Pellie (as in Zach Lowe)
Beak (as in Beakman’s World)
Wingman (as in Pelicans have wings and the mascot could help navigate social interactions within the arena)
Google “Jacque NBA” and you’re getting a zillion results of Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn. It’s tempting to go with Jacque to see how mascot search engine optimization matches up with head coach search engine optimization, but Jacque scores the lowest in the “rolls off the tongue” category as well as dead last in the “easy to spell and pronounce correctly” category.
Google “Jacque New Orleans” and the restaurant that people seem to have a love/hate relationship with, Jacques-Imos, dominates the page. High brow food, low brow decor (which is the point, I know).
You can eat dinner in the bed of a truck if you want, which is cool, but this isn’t enough to pull Jacque from the bottom of the list. It’s also the mascot name “most likely to be misspelled” which ranks it dead last.
Jacque Pros: Rhymes with “block”…the name of the shrimp from Finding Nemo was Jacques…kind of rhymes with “shot”…is French.
Jacque Cons: Is often phonetically converted to English as “Jacob”, “Jake” or “Jack” and those aren’t good names for Pelicans who may jump on trampolines and dunk basketballs…Rhymes with “jock”.
“Pierre the Pelican” or “Pelican Pierre” or just “Piiiiierre!” all score high in the “rolls off the tongue” category. The issue with Pierre is that the name belongs to another New Orleans sports figure, Saints running back Pierre Thomas, as well as Pelicans draft pick Pierre Jackson. Neither of those Pierre’s are huge enough stars to tip the scales but it’s enough to knock off a few points. Is New Orleans ready for another Pierre? Would #23 have his feelings hurt? What happens when Pierre Jackson finally suits up for the Pelicans and he turns out to be the greatest point guard of all time? We’d probably have to have another mascot naming contest.
The bottom line is Pierre is not exciting. Have you seen the silhouette of the mascot? It looks pretty exciting. I try not to get worked up over silhouettes but it happens every time.
Pierre Pros: Possibly tie-ins with the phrase “pier”…this sentence is potentially cool, “Pierre is in the Party Perch”.
Pierre Cons: This sentence is potentially terrifying, “Pierre is in the Party Perch”.
The 1984 World’s Fair was a really big deal. New Orleans was the place to be May 12th-November 11th and Seymour (the pelican) was the face of it all. Seymour remains a sort of icon for the crescent city to this day – t-shirt shops love slapping Seymour on 100% cotton. Walk into any antique shop on Magazine Street and you’ll likely find an old program, shot glass, plate or poster with Seymour doing his cool left elbow lean. Seymour is a high status guy – not very intimidating but who says names need to be intimidating (this isn’t American Gladiators). The team got a lot of unfair lip about nobody being afraid of a Pelican. Seymour (World’s Fair version) isn’t intimidating in the “you don’t want to get into a fist fight with this guy” way, but he’s quite intimidating in the “how much power and money does this guy have” way. He might be bigger than Mr. Bingle.
It’s fitting that Seymour is on this list. He doesn’t deserve the victory though, as I imagine the marketing arm of The New Orleans Bensons don’t feel up to replacing that Seymour with a new Seymour. With the exception of creating some buzz amongst the World’s Fair faithful, Seymour is on this list as merely a nostalgia piece.
Seymour Pros: New Orleans natives above the age of 50 will be excited…could possibly lead to another World’s Fair happening in New Orleans but this time inside the Arena…once a season the halftime show could be a re-creation of the World’s Fair.
Seymour Cons: New Orleans natives above the age of 50 will potentially be too excited…the value of all World’s Fair vintage merchandise comes into question…an onslaught of “see more” puns.
It starts with a “P”. It’s a head nod to basketball history in Louisiana. It’s simple. Why isn’t it #1? Pete finishing second in my poll has more to do with how great Parrish is. There is nothing wrong with Pete. Ironically, it is the least flashy of all the finalists.
Pete Pros: The “kid” version of the mascot could be Petey…Pete could have floppy hair to continue with the Maravich connection.
Pete Cons: How many Pete’s do you know and how much money do they owe you?…mascot may be tempted to do some Maravich-esque tricks and this may lead to mascot embarrassment, a very difficult condition for fans to have to go through.
In the spirit of “what the hell is going on with this New Orleans basketball franchise” (see 95% of articles regarding our rebrand posted over the past year from people who don’t understand New Orleans), Parrish is the perfect fit. If you’re unfamiliar with what a parish is, this is for you.
Parrish is absolutely the weirdest choice of the bunch. Enough alliteration is at play here though to take it seriously. After staring at the 5 finalists for a couple of minutes (okay, it was a lot longer than that) Parrish got stronger and stronger while the others shrunk. Louisiana is the only state with parishes. New Orleans is the only sports franchise with a name as historically relevant as the Pelicans. Parrish is the only one standing after the mascot battle royal.
People visiting from the other cities are going to be confused about what Parrish is. But you know what? Add it to the list. New Orleans is the greatest city in the world with lots of traditions that are so foreign to non-natives. I’m happy with all the finalists but I’m most happy with the weirdest choice of them all.
Parrish Pros: Everything
Parrish Cons: None.
Chris Trew is a New Orleans based comedian who tours the country wearing Pelicans gear. On Tuesday November 5th before the Pelicans take on the Phoenix Suns, join Trew and writers from Bourbon Street Shots for a special live podcast recording at Little Gem Saloon on Poydras at 5:45p! RSVP here on Facebook