Thursday, May 08, 2003

What's in a Name?

Twins 17-15 Braves 21-11
Well the 3 finalists for names for the new Charlotte NBA team have been announced. There is no apparent attempt to make it seem like a STATE team. All would be for a CHARLOTTE team. That seems interesting to me. In Minnesota all the professional teams are the "Minnesota somethings...". Only the semi-pros and below are named for a the St. Paul Saints or the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Seems like in Minnesota there is always an attempt to make Pro teams appeal to "Greater Minnesota".
But I digress. As usual. The three choices are:
Charlotte Flight ("first in flight", Wright brothers...get it?)
Charlotte Bobcats (Are there a lot of Bobcats around here?)
Charlotte Dragons (totally beats me. Seems like there would likely be a few bobcats around, but Dragons?)
Either way it goes, I hope whatever they choose for a name will work well in some other part of the country as well. Charlotte so very recently drove away the Hornets, and I really see no compelling reason why this team will stay any longer. When we were visiting here in June 2002 they were still seeking approval for a new NBA team. The compelling reason we kept hearing for why a different team would survive here was related to the location of the stadium. "Oh, those Hornets couldn't make it here because the stadium was in the wrong place". Hmmm. The new stadium, I'm given to understand, will be in the downtown area. I've been in the downtown area in the evening. Sidewalks all nicely rolled up...
I asked Kristen, a frequent contributor of comments, what she thought about the new name choices. She writes:
"The Flight" ...sounds about as obtuse as "The Wild," but not as shamelessly commercial as "The Mighty Ducks." That one is just too much. What ever happened to naming teams after something that everyone is at least somewhat afraid of? The Timberwolves, Da Bulls, Da Bears, The Vikings... I know that the Yankees engender more disgust than fear, and no one in Buffalo is actually sure what a Bill is, unless it's in a mailbox, but why can't we have real names and mascots anymore. What kind of mascot would "The Flight" have? A big glider? Could we at least use the name of an animal? Maybe that would upset PETA too much.
Kristen didn't know about the "Bobcat" and "Dragon" choices. She's been out of town for several days. But reading her comments, I'm thinking maybe she'd vote for the dragons. It's a scary animal-type thing, but not real, so could PETA get that upset? I'm sure they'd figure out how.
At the risk of going on too much on this topic, I'd like to point you to an article in the Columbia State Newspaper about this. On Sunday, the article was largely about the extensive, expensive, process of choosing a $10,000 worth of research. And the speculation:
"Some suggested a nickname that would tie in with the local Revolutionary War history, like Militia. Some suggested a nickname that would tie in with North Carolina being the home of the Wright Brothers, like Aviators.
Some suggested a nickname that would tie in with the cat family established by the local NFL team, like Bobcats.
Some even suggested a nickname that would blast the owners of the city's first NBA team.
The Shinn-kickers?
Probably not."
Have a good day. It finally stopped raining. For now.

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