What to Call the Hornets

AN ORIGINAL ©MIKE LUCKOVICH CARTOON FOR NEW ORLEANS MAGAZINE

When the city’s first NBA franchise was mercilessly yanked from here and sent to Utah, our bitterness was intensified by the decision that the relocated team would keep not only the New Orleans squad’s Mardi Gras-themed colors, but also the team’s name. Thus, in the greatest incongruity in the history of sports, a team domiciled in Salt Lake City became known as the Utah Jazz.

Feeling the sting we long proposed that, as an act of revenue, if New Orleans ever got another franchise it should call itself the Tabernacle Choir, or “the Tabs” for short.

Tempering our anger, however, has been the fact that when this city did get another franchise it already came with a name borrowing from its origin in Charlotte, N.C., where the name “Hornets” has some historical significance. During the Revolutionary War British troops came under fire from revolutionary forces. The British general famously described the activity as being “a veritable nest of hornets.”

Now the team’s new owner, Tom Benson, has said that he wants a name with more local color. That has touched off many recommendations. Recently in our blog on MyNewOrleans.com we joined the discussion and offered the following suggestions that, at least, reveal that we have moved on from Tabernacle Choir:

4 Reasons Why the Hornets’ New Name Should Be “The Buzz”
1. We are a town that buzzes with buzz. New Orleans is such a lively city; there always is a buzz, as in “things are buzzing.” The name suggests the city’s vivaciousness.

2. Buzz also links to the name “Hornets.” The one negative to changing the nickname is that it muddles the franchise’s 24-year history tracing back to Charlotte. For the sake of statistics and history, it’s good to keep a connection with the past.

3. By using that name, we can still have Hugo and the Honeybees and the Arena can still be called “The Hive.” Those names are part of our history, too.

4. Buzz also links to the city’s NBA history. Buzz has four letters – as does Jazz ­– and ends with the double “z.” No other name does so much by connecting the two franchises that have been part of the city’s NBA history yet still resonating the pulse of the city.

Reaction to the suggestions was mostly favorable; though what surprised us most were the responses we got from Charlotte:
The Hornets name belongs in Charlotte – PERIOD!
It’s our heritage!

Bring Back the Buzz (To Charlotte)!!!!!!
– Posted By MAMA BUZZ

You have no “history.” You just have the memories that were brought over from Charlotte. Do yourselves a favor and have a name that actually means something to your city and give us back our name.

Bring the Hornets back to Charlotte.
– Posted By CHARLOTTEAN49

Well, we are still bitter that New Orleans kept the Hornets name. It’s ours, the city of Charlotte’s, and George Shinn robbed it of us and gave it away to NOLA. Give us our name back.
– Posted By CLTHORNETS

Note to people of Charlotte: We totally empathize with your feelings. We are reminded every time we see a Utah Jazz score.

(There is even a Charlotte-based website called BringBackTheBuzz.com, which remembers the early days of the franchise in that town.)

New Orleans Buzz would celebrate the city’s basketball roots but still give Charlotte the option to maybe one day getting back its team name. As for Salt Lake City, you can keep the Jazz. We have got rhythm, and no one can take that away.
 

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