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Teams that Relocated but kept their Nickname


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On 5/16/2020 at 10:50 PM, ManillaToad said:

Seems like a bit of a stretch

I remember it being because religious groups felt wizards were people using black magic. Also, anyone can change a Wikipedia entry at any time. That's why you should never use it as a source in a college level paper or when writing for an academic review.

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7 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Oilers only played 1 year in Memphis. 2nd year, they played at Vanderbilt. 

 

. . . primarily because they were playing before lots of empty seats and visting fans in Memphis in Year One.

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12 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Oilers only played 1 year in Memphis. 2nd year, they played at Vanderbilt. 

5 hours ago, leopard88 said:

 

. . . primarily because they were playing before lots of empty seats and visting fans in Memphis in Year One.

Whoops, thats my bad. They had intended to play 2 yrs in Memphis, but moved after some dismal attendance.

 

11 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

I remember it being because religious groups felt wizards were people using black magic. Also, anyone can change a Wikipedia entry at any time. That's why you should never use it as a source in a college level paper or when writing for an academic review.

Wikipedia is actually surprisingly accurate, especially for things like this.

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55 minutes ago, sportsfan7 said:

Wikipedia is actually surprisingly accurate, especially for things like this.

I guess the coverage about the issue depends on who was talking about it. I was in Ohio so the commentary about the change was limited compared to DC and Maryland.

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6. Philadelphia Athletics → Kansas City Athletics → Oakland Athletics
The Philadelphia Athletics were founded in 1901 as a charter member of the American League. The team took their name from the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association, who in turn took theirs from the Athletic Club of Philadelphia/Athletic of Philadelphia/Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia/Athletic Base Ball Club/Philadelphia Athletics of the National Amateur Association, National Association, and who played 1 season as a charter member of the NL. The Athletics of the AA had been replaced by the Philadelphia Athletics in the Players’ League. The team retained the Athletics moniker after both relocations, despite replacing the Kansas City Blues in KC. Before settling on Oakland, A’s owner Charles FInley had threatened to move the team just about everywhere, from a signed agreement to move to Louisville (voted down by the AL owners, as well as move to Oakland proposed less than 2 months later) to a “cow pasture” in Peculiar, MO (29 miles South of KC with a population of 458 according to the 1960 census). Since Athletics doesn’t lend itself well to any tangible object, an elephant has been used as a secondary logo and mascot. This stems from New York Giants manager John McGraw’s quip that Philly A’s owner Benjamin Shibe had “a white elephant on his hands”. A’s manager Connie Mack presented McGraw, his friend, with a stuffed elephant before they faced off in the 1905 World Series. By ‘09 the elephant was appearing on team sweaters and meandered over to their jerseys by 1918. In 1963, however, owner Charles Finley changed the elephant to a mule. Ostensibly, this was because the mule was the state animal of Missouri, but it is likely that Finley thought the his Democratic fanbase would associate the A’s elephant with that of the Republican Party (the mule is a close relative of the donkey, the traditional symbol of the Democratic Party). The Athletics name, and their matching elephant, have clearly stood the test of time as a classic nickname.
 

On to the top 5! Any Predictions? I did this for the top 10, but nobody took the bait. Maybe since there's more clarity now someone will give it shot.

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2 hours ago, sportsfan7 said:

On to the top 5! Any Predictions? I did this for the top 10, but nobody took the bait. Maybe since there's more clarity now someone will give it shot.

 

Pistons and Rockets, no doubt. 

North Stars to Stars is probably another, but that is a change of name, IMHO.

 

After that, maybe some defunct franchises, like the ABA Pittsburgh to Minnesota Pipers, ABA Los Angeles to Utah Stars, or even the NFL Boston to New York Yanks (which actually had a Bulldogs moniker in-between in their 1st year in New York). 

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2 hours ago, B-Rich said:

 

Pistons and Rockets, no doubt. 

North Stars to Stars is probably another, but that is a change of name, IMHO.

 

After that, maybe some defunct franchises, like the ABA Pittsburgh to Minnesota Pipers, ABA Los Angeles to Utah Stars, or even the NFL Boston to New York Yanks (which actually had a Bulldogs moniker in-between in their 1st year in New York). 

First 3 are correct, but I only did franchises that still exist.

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5. San Diego Clippers → Los Angeles Clippers
Originally the Buffalo Braves, the team rebranded as the Clippers after relocating to San Diego, after the sailing ships seen in San Diego Bay. Clippers owner Donald Sterling opted to move the franchise to LA without league approval, but a compromise was struck and Donald Sterling was never involved in anything controversial again. Clippers still makes sense as the team name in LA, instead of the ships sailing in San Diego Bay, they now sail in South Bay (Now if only this was reflected in their branding, with I don’t know, maybe something, anything, relating to clippers, or ships, or sails, or the ocean, or water in general).
 

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4. Minnesota North Stars → Dallas Stars
The Minnesota North Stars were founded in 1967 as one of the 6 expansion franchises in the NHL. The team name comes from the state’s motto “L'Étoile du Nord”, French for “The Star of the North”. Being located in the State of Hockey, the team was quickly embraced and they couldn’t build an arena fast enough. The seats were still being installed as fans arrived for the inaugural game. However the teams poor play forced them to merge with the even worse Cleveland Barons (At a meeting to discuss the merger, Montreal GM Sam Pollock allegedly said “If you put one pile of garbage together with another pile of garbage, all you have is a larger pile of garbage”. I seem to recall sh-t replacing garbage in the quote, but Google says differently). The Barons only came about through the relocation of the California Golden Seals (Nee #1 Bay Area Seals, nee #2 Oakland Seals, nee #3 California Seals. Yes, the Franchise only played 11 seasons in the NHL, but managed to have 5 different names). The Barons are technically regarded as folding making them the most recent major sports team to fold (RIP to the gone and already forgotten Tampa Bay Mutiny, Miami Fusion, and Chivas USA). The former owners of the Barons, the Gund Brothers, later took half of the North Stars team to become the San Jose Sharks. After a loss to the Penguins in the 1991 Stanley Cup  Finals, including an 8-0 thumping that was the worst loss in Stanley Cup history since the Ottawa Senators beat the Dawson City Nuggets 23-2 in 1905, the franchise dropped their iconic N* logo for the ST*RS one. This would be more convenient to adapt to a new city and it was, when the North Stars moved south to Dallas and became the Stars a few years later. As much as North Stars worked in MN, it also works in TX, the “Lone Star State”.
 

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The Stars are an interesting example because Stars is a great team name in general and the Stars look great now (although I wish they looked to the pre-Edge era for inspiration), but North Stars is better in every way and it's really too bad that we have the Minnesota Wild now instead of the Minnesota North Stars. 

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14 hours ago, Ark said:

The Stars are an interesting example because Stars is a great team name in general and the Stars look great now (although I wish they looked to the pre-Edge era for inspiration), but North Stars is better in every way and it's really too bad that we have the Minnesota Wild now instead of the Minnesota North Stars. 

I don't mind the Wild, but I would rather have the North Stars. I think the N* jerseys for the North Stars might be the best NHL set not in use anymore.

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Not much to say about the next one.

 

3. Fort Wayne (Zollner) Pistons → Detroit Pistons
Originally owned by Fred Zollner, the owner of Zollner Pistons, the team spent time in Fort Wayne known as both the Zollner Pistons and Pistons. The team moved to Detroit and kept the name. The name still makes sense in the Motor City.
 

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2 hours ago, Ark said:

I wish the Pistons still had the horse logo. Now their uniform is good but pretty generic. They had it just right in this era:

 

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I actually like the era before, with the Teal and Gold Horse. I think that red and blue is an overused color scheme, although I think the NBA has the fewest teams in it.

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As much as I like the horse logo, I think the Pistons logos were better in Fort Wayne. They abandoned this guy when they moved.

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Also, you gotta love this Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons alt logo. It manages to say everything and nothing at the same time.

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2. San Diego Rockets → Houston Rockets
The Rockets were named so because San Diego was “a city in motion” and the Atlas Missiles were being constructed there at the time. The team relocated to Houston after only a few years where Rockets took on an even greater meaning, as Houston was home to the LBJ Space Center (Manned Spacecraft Center at the time of the Rockets arrival) and is officially nicknamed “Space City”. This was a good upgrade and didn’t require a rebrand.
 

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Last One!

 

1. Rochester Royals → Cincinnati Royals
The franchise began as the Rochester Seagrams, Rochester Eber Seagrams, and then Rochester Pros, before the team settled on Rochester Royals. The name appears to have come from a name-the-team contest or because Seagram, their owner and sponsor, had introduced Crown Royal (yes, that Crown Royal) a few years before. Either way, they retained it when they moved to Cincy, which is known as the Queen City. The team switched to Kings after moving to KC to avoid confusion with the MLB team. It might be the only nickname that made more sense after the move.
 

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Waited until it was complete to give a final report and comments (I did make one comment earlier on the NFL Oilers playing 2 years in Memphis). 

 

Overall, this was a very entertaining read, and rather good reasoning in your order.  I enjoyed the series, even if it did take a while 😉.  As noted along the way by myself and others, however, there are a few factual errors and discrepancies.  This kind of thing will happen, however, when relying on Wikipedia:

 

On 5/21/2020 at 12:23 PM, sportsfan7 said:

Wikipedia is actually surprisingly accurate, especially for things like this.

 

But often times it's not.   I think you'll find from the "hive mind" that exists on this board (particularly among the older members like myself who lived during things like the relocations of the Clippers, Jazz, Colts, and Kings) that a lot of us have a wealth of knowledge and memories, often times from actual books and other publications, game programs, newspaper clippings, etc.  that are much more actual and reputable than Wikipedia.  So, don't be surprised  (or disheartened) if we point out or correct a few things. Again, pretty good work and I enjoyed it. 

 

My comments:

 

On 5/15/2020 at 8:50 PM, sportsfan7 said:

25. New Orleans Jazz  → Utah Jazz
The Jazz spent their first 4 seasons in New Orleans and one could be mistaken for thinking the franchise name comes from this city's rich Jazz history. Instead the name allegedly comes from the Webster Dictionary definition “collective improvisation” which one of the founders liked. After a few bad seasons the team moved to Utah, a state with an even richer Jazz tradition. This name makes almost no sense in Utah, although it did inspire the double-z craze in the area.

 

Well, not exactly.

 

The original quote was from one of the original owners and team president, Fred Rosenfeld, given at the name's formal announcement press conference.  His full quote is as follows:

 

"Jazz is one of those things for which New Orleans is nationally famous and locally proud.  It is a great art form which belongs to New Orleans and its rich history. Jazz can be defined as collective improvisation, and that also would be an appropriate description of basketball at its best" source: "Can You Name that Team?", by David B. Biesel, Scarecrow Press, 1991

 

The collective improvisation part is an "also", not a "reason for". 

 

 

On 5/16/2020 at 2:30 AM, sportsfan7 said:

23. Charlotte Hornets → New Orleans Hornets → New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
Hornets won, but it appears that the connection to British General Cornwallis’s quote that Charlotte was “a hornet’s nest of rebellion” was not discovered until later. However, there had been a minor league baseball team known as the Charlotte Hornets in 1892 and again from 1901-1972 and the WFL had a team known as the Charlotte Hornets for the second half of the ‘74 season and first half of the ‘75 season1. These Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002 and temporarily relocated as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets to OKC after Hurricane Katrina. In 2013, New Orleans surrendered the name to Charlotte and hoped that Utah would do the same with the Jazz. After Utah refused, the team became known as the Pelicans.2 In 2004, the NBA had returned to Charlotte and had yet another name-the-team controversy. Flight had won the contest, but owner Bob Johnson rejected it, claiming that it was too abstract and cited his opposition to the Iraq War. Johnson decided on Bobcats, which just so happened to reference his name. After New Orleans surrendered the name, new Hornets owner Michael Jordan petitioned the league for a name change, which occurred in 2014. The Hornets never belonged in New Orleans to begin with and the name didn’t really apply in Louisiana, although their state insect is the honeybee.3

 

1. I think you are giving a story/description here that you don't need to in regard to the "not discovered until later". Not sure where that factoid came from, but as I think you are trying to point out, the 'Hornet' realtionship to the Charlotte area goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War; there were long-standing athletic teams with the name; and there are other indicators, such as the fact that the Charlotte/Mecklenberg Police Department has been using the Hornet's nest on their badges and emblems since 1962, and other groups use the imagery as well:

 

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Anyone saying they didn't know of the unique connection between Charlotte and hornets at the time of the NBA team's naming was being disingenuous at best. 

 

2.  "In 2013, New Orleans surrendered the name to Charlotte and hoped that Utah would do the same with the Jazz. After Utah refused, the team became known as the Pelicans"

 

This is where your timing/chain of events and statements are incorrect, which I know from first-hand accounts. 

 

Tom Benson, upon buying the team from the interim owner (NBA), made one of the key points of his deal to buy the team his ability to change the name within a year -- not the league mandated normal time of two years.  Benson also never "hoped that Utah would surrender the name to New Orleans"  and had no interest in acquiring the name 'Jazz'; he had a soft spot for the name Pelicans, which was the name of the minor league ball club in New Orleans when he was growing up (he actually bought an AA baseball team, named them the Pelicans, and tried to move them to New Orleans in 1993, but was beat in relocation by the AAA Denver Zephyrs).  It was an open secret around town that was what he was going to change the name to Pelicans..  

 

New Orleans officially became the “Pelicans” on April 18, 2013, and wore the new jerseys and name for the 2013-14 season.  The NBA’s Board of Governors then announced July 18, 2013 that it approved the Charlotte franchise’s request to reclaiming the name “Charlotte Hornets”,  beginning with the 2014-15 season.  Charlotte then played one final season as the Bobcats in 2013-14, before making the change to Hornets (source).

 

As an aside, as I posted several years ago, back around 2007 (well before the team was purchased by Tom Benson), a former Hornets team executive executive had in fact worked out a deal with late Jazz owner Larry Miller to get the Jazz name back-- but the price (which he knew was reasonable) was considered to be far too high by the cheapskate then-owner of the Hornets, George Shinn, who wouldn't agree to it. 

 

3.  "The Hornets never belonged in New Orleans to begin with and the name didn’t really apply in Louisiana, although their state insect is the honeybee".

 

Honeybee reference is extraneous; a honeybee is NOT a hornet..

 

I think that the name 'Hornets', while having a terrific special meaning to Charlotte, is like "Yellow Jackets" in that it is a rather basic aggressive mascot that translates just about anywhere.  It's been used elsewhere in the past and present in the pros/minors (Pittsburgh Hornets AHL & IHL; Chicago Hornets AAFC, etc.),  by colleges (Sacramento State, Alabama State, Delaware State, Emporia State, etc.) and numerous high school, middle school, and playground teams across the country.

 

 

On 5/19/2020 at 1:24 PM, sportsfan7 said:

12. Philadelphia Warriors → San Francisco Warriors →Golden State Warriors
As far as anyone can tell, the Philadelphia Warriors were named after the Philadelphia Warriors of the old ABL, but no one seems to know how the original Warriors got their name. The team kept the name after moving to San Fran and changed their location to Golden State when they moved across the Bay. Overall it is generic enough that it doesn’t feel out of place in NorCal, which has a sizable Native populace. 

 

That 'sizable Native populace' is kind of a throwaway line.

 

'Warriors' is a lot like 'hornets' in that is a fairly common team name in this country; Hawaii is still the Rainbow Warriors; Marquette had that name for many years, and there are still plenty of smaller colleges using it (Hendrix, Sterling, Merrimack, Appalachian Bible, Wisconsin Lutheran, Reno Lake, and Walla Walla Community colleges, and Waldorf University), as well as numerous high schools, middle schools and playgrounds.   Most of them did have 'warriors' associated with Native American imagery,  and as we are talking about NATIVE Americans, it was, of course, appropriate ANYWHERE in this country.  San Francisco was just as appropriate as Philadelphia (though the 'war bonnet' chief's head-dress imagery used back then was not correct for either locale, as this was something done pretty exclusively by great plains tribes).

 

What's interesting is that in terms of imagery, while a lot of high schools retain that warrior=native american imagery, very few of the colleges still retain it, using things such as ancient Greek/Spartan, knight, or viking imagery for example.  From what I have gathered & researched, the San Francisco Warriors were gradually dumping all aspects of Native American imagery during the latter part of 1960s anyway and completed that process by 1969. 

 

 

On 5/20/2020 at 12:50 AM, sportsfan7 said:

10. Oakland Raiders → Los Angeles Raiders → Oakland Raiders → Las Vegas Raiders
... The nickname still seemed to apply in LA and the second stint in Oakland, but there was too much tradition to replace by the time they moved to Vegas. I think Raider is generic enough to work most places, but seems more suited to a team near an Ocean.

 

Good point. 

 

'Raiders' does not HAVE to mean a sea-going pirate-- look at college teams like the Texas Tech Red Raiders (a Zorro-looking guy on horseback), Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (a horse?!), Wright State (a wolf?!), Riviere University (a knight), and Colgate (a revolutionary war patriot).  Rummel High School near me uses a civil war-era cavalry raider, and there is some college I can't recall that used Viking imagery for raiders.  And some schools USED to use native American imagery for Raiders. 

 

The problem is the eye-patch and (to a lesser degree) the swords on the logo, which tends to evoke a pirate.  Nevada did have a Union cavalry regiment during the Civil War (which only saw action against "trouble making" local native American tribes, but, hey..).   All Las Vegas needs to do is to change their mascot to a horse-riding cavalry raider (who used sabres and swords) who also happened to have lost an eye in battle or a raid. Presto! Works perfectly. 

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Stick an eyepatch on this guy, Las Vegas! There's your Las Vegas Raider....

 

 

On 5/21/2020 at 9:03 PM, sportsfan7 said:

5. San Diego Clippers → Los Angeles Clippers
Clippers still makes sense as the team name in LA, instead of the ships sailing in San Diego Bay, they now sail in South Bay (Now if only this was reflected in their branding, with I don’t know, maybe something, anything, relating to clippers, or ships, or sails, or the ocean, or water in general).

 

As I noted last year,  San Diego makes a LOT more sense than LA in terms of the name 'Clippers'.

 

Clipper ships were fast three-masted sailing ships which were in use generally in the early to mid-1800s.  Decline in the use of clipper ships started with the economic slump following the Panic of 1857 and continued with the gradual introduction of the steamship, and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

 

Clipper ships were frequent visitors to California... but not to Los Angeles.  San Diego and in particular San Francisco were the destinations of clipper ships, due to (1) their natural harbors and (2) being commercial and military points of destination.  

 

Los Angeles had no such natural port; the closest thing to it was the slight bay at San Pedro, which was only a shallow mudflat, too soft to even support a wharf.  Sailing ships at that time either had to be anchored off-shore and their cargo ferried to shore in smaller boats-- or they had to be beached.  Neither was an attractive prospect, so sailing ships rarely called on Los Angeles. 

 

The Port of Los Angeles, with its wharves, docks and a man-made breakwater, didn't come into being until the early 20th century, well after clipper ships had been supplanted by steamships. 

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8 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Overall, this was a very entertaining read, and rather good reasoning in your order.  I enjoyed the series, even if it did take a while 😉.  As noted along the way by myself and others, however, there are a few factual errors and discrepancies. I think you'll find from the "hive mind" that exists on this board (particularly among the older members like myself who lived during things like the relocations of the Clippers, Jazz, Colts, and Kings) that a lot of us have a wealth of knowledge and memories, often times from actual books and other publications, game programs, newspaper clippings, etc.  that are much more actual and reputable than Wikipedia.  So, don't be surprised  (or disheartened) if we point out or correct a few things. Again, pretty good work and I enjoyed it. 

 

Thanks for the Feedback. I definitely had some fun researching this. It does seem like a lot of your comments are about NBA teams and I fully expected that. I didn't start following the NBA until a few years ago and it is still #4 out of the 4 major sports leagues in my eyes. I don't really have the memories for some of these relocations, especially NBA, so most of my info came from Wikipedia and some quick Google searches. You probably noticed that the NBA sections were a lot shorter. With all that being said, I greatly appreciate your feedback and made some comments on each below.

 

8 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Well, not exactly.

 

The original quote was from one of the original owners and team president, Fred Rosenfeld, given at the name's formal announcement press conference.  His full quote is as follows:

 

"Jazz is one of those things for which New Orleans is nationally famous and locally proud.  It is a great art form which belongs to New Orleans and its rich history. Jazz can be defined as collective improvisation, and that also would be an appropriate description of basketball at its best" source: "Can You Name that Team?", by David B. Biesel, Scarecrow Press, 1991

 

The collective improvisation part is an "also", not a "reason for". 

 

 

In the Utah Jazz 2017-18 Media Guide it claims that "The Jazz name was selected because of its definition in the dictionary: “collective improvisation.”" under Quick Jazz Facts in the History of the Jazz Name and Logo, but also mentions the city's history of Jazz. The way it seemed to come off to me was that it was submitted to the Name-the-Team contest because of the Jazz history, but was picked by ownership because of the definition.

 

8 hours ago, B-Rich said:

1. I think you are giving a story/description here that you don't need to in regard to the "not discovered until later". Not sure where that factoid came from, but as I think you are trying to point out, the 'Hornet' realtionship to the Charlotte area goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War; there were long-standing athletic teams with the name; and there are other indicators, such as the fact that the Charlotte/Mecklenberg Police Department has been using the Hornet's nest on their badges and emblems since 1962, and other groups use the imagery as well:

 

 

Looking back, I can't find were the "not discovered until later" part came from. I'm guessing it came from this quote "Afterwards, Shinn noted that the nickname had some historical significance; during the Revolutionary War, a British commander reportedly referred to the area around Charlotte as a "hornet’s nest of rebellion."" in a Mental Floss article. I am not sure where they got that from, but the way they word it makes it seem as if it happened to be a coincidence. Some more digging leads me to believe that it wasn't.

 

8 hours ago, B-Rich said:

This is where your timing/chain of events and statements are incorrect, which I know from first-hand accounts. 

 

Tom Benson, upon buying the team from the interim owner (NBA), made one of the key points of his deal to buy the team his ability to change the name within a year -- not the league mandated normal time of two years.  Benson also never "hoped that Utah would surrender the name to New Orleans"  and had no interest in acquiring the name 'Jazz'; he had a soft spot for the name Pelicans, which was the name of the minor league ball club in New Orleans when he was growing up (he actually bought an AA baseball team, named them the Pelicans, and tried to move them to New Orleans in 1993, but was beat in relocation by the AAA Denver Zephyrs).  It was an open secret around town that was what he was going to change the name to Pelicans..  

 

New Orleans officially became the “Pelicans” on April 18, 2013, and wore the new jerseys and name for the 2013-14 season.  The NBA’s Board of Governors then announced July 18, 2013 that it approved the Charlotte franchise’s request to reclaiming the name “Charlotte Hornets”,  beginning with the 2014-15 season.  Charlotte then played one final season as the Bobcats in 2013-14, before making the change to Hornets (source).

 

As an aside, as I posted several years ago, back around 2007 (well before the team was purchased by Tom Benson), a former Hornets team executive executive had in fact worked out a deal with late Jazz owner Larry Miller to get the Jazz name back-- but the price (which he knew was reasonable) was considered to be far too high by the cheapskate then-owner of the Hornets, George Shinn, who wouldn't agree to it. 

 

Benson in fact did hope that Utah would return the Jazz name to New Orleans. According to a CBSSports article "When Tom Benson bought the New Orleans Hornets, he gave immediate notice that he wants to change the name. He specifically mentioned that he wants the name "Jazz" back." It also appears that Benson wished to change the name to Pelicans because he held the rights to the name after his failed attempt at relocating the Charlotte Knights. From what I can tell, it wasn't so obvious that the name would be Pelicans. According to SI (pre-Maven days, when they were actually good) "... NBA attorney Anil V. George had filed trademarks for five potential team names: Pelicans, Rougarou, Mosquitos, Swamp Dogs and Bullsharks." I think its safe to say they made the right choice with Pelicans.

 

8 hours ago, B-Rich said:

3.  "The Hornets never belonged in New Orleans to begin with and the name didn’t really apply in Louisiana, although their state insect is the honeybee".

 

Honeybee reference is extraneous; a honeybee is NOT a hornet..

 

I think that the name 'Hornets', while having a terrific special meaning to Charlotte, is like "Yellow Jackets" in that it is a rather basic aggressive mascot that translates just about anywhere.  It's been used elsewhere in the past and present in the pros/minors (Pittsburgh Hornets AHL & IHL; Chicago Hornets AAFC, etc.),  by colleges (Sacramento State, Alabama State, Delaware State, Emporia State, etc.) and numerous high school, middle school, and playground teams across the country.

 

The Honeybee line was more of a joke. It was the closest "special meaning" I could find for a Hornet in New Orleans or Louisiana. According to an ESPN article, Benson himself said Hornets never belonged in New Orleans, "The nickname Hornets "didn't mean anything to this community," Benson said. "The pelican represents New Orleans, just like the Saints. They have incredible resolve. If they can do that, the team can do the same."" It is hard to nail down any reliable evidence, since this isn't a particularly fascinating topic, but their doesn't seem to be a large number of Hornets in Louisiana. A quick Google search for "European Hornets Range" (European Hornets are the only true Hornet species found in large numbers in the US) lead me here. The first 2 maps of their range don't include Louisiana, but I also saw some articles that seem to say that there are Hornets in Louisiana. All in all, Hornets is definitely very generic in New Orleans.

 

8 hours ago, B-Rich said:

That 'sizable Native populace' is kind of a throwaway line.

 

'Warriors' is a lot like 'hornets' in that is a fairly common team name in this country; Hawaii is still the Rainbow Warriors; Marquette had that name for many years, and there are still plenty of smaller colleges using it (Hendrix, Sterling, Merrimack, Appalachian Bible, Wisconsin Lutheran, Reno Lake, and Walla Walla Community colleges, and Waldorf University), as well as numerous high schools, middle schools and playgrounds.   Most of them did have 'warriors' associated with Native American imagery,  and as we are talking about NATIVE Americans, it was, of course, appropriate ANYWHERE in this country.  San Francisco was just as appropriate as Philadelphia (though the 'war bonnet' chief's head-dress imagery used back then was not correct for either locale, as this was something done pretty exclusively by great plains tribes).

 

What's interesting is that in terms of imagery, while a lot of high schools retain that warrior=native american imagery, very few of the colleges still retain it, using things such as ancient Greek/Spartan, knight, or viking imagery for example.  From what I have gathered & researched, the San Francisco Warriors were gradually dumping all aspects of Native American imagery during the latter part of 1960s anyway and completed that process by 1969. 

 

I feel like this statement may have been misinterpreted. As far as present day Native Populace, the advantage far and away goes to Northern California. The California Court System says, "According to most recent census data, California is home to more people of Native American/ Alaska Native heritage than any other state in the Country. There are currently 109 federally recognized Indian tribes in California and several non-federally recognized tribes petitioning for federal recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribes in California currently have nearly 100 separate reservations or Rancherias. There are also a number of individual Indian trust allotments." It appears that most of the Reservations are in one of 3 areas; Far Northern California, Central Valley, or Southeastern California. As far as Philly goes, there are 0 reservations in PA and DE and only 2 in Jersey. The number of Reservations in a state isn't a great way to way to measure the "Native-ness" of a state, but its the best method I could come up with. It is hard to get a historical count, but it seems that California has traditionally always had a large number of Native Americans. 

 

As far as the Headdress goes, the last appearance of it on the Mothership is the 68-69 season. It was out of place in San Fran, but was definitely much more tasteful than the caricature they had in Philly. As far as Native vs European imagery goes, the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL still use a headdress as the primary logo, Eastern Connecticut St uses a Shield and Swords and an assortment of truly horrifying mascots, Lycoming uses a sword (similar to the Tennessee Titans) and a Wolf as a mascot, Winona St and East Stroudsburg use a Spartan, Merrimack uses a Wordmark with a Titan as a mascot, Hawaii uses a stylized H with no mascot, Wisconsin Lutheran uses a knight, Bacone (formerly Bacone Indian College) uses various Native icons, and Lewis Clark St uses Lewis and Clark.

 

8 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Good point. 

 

'Raiders' does not HAVE to mean a sea-going pirate-- look at college teams like the Texas Tech Red Raiders (a Zorro-looking guy on horseback), Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (a horse?!), Wright State (a wolf?!), Riviere University (a knight), and Colgate (a revolutionary war patriot).  Rummel High School near me uses a civil war-era cavalry raider, and there is some college I can't recall that used Viking imagery for raiders.  And some schools USED to use native American imagery for Raiders. 

 

The problem is the eye-patch and (to a lesser degree) the swords on the logo, which tends to evoke a pirate.  Nevada did have a Union cavalry regiment during the Civil War (which only saw action against "trouble making" local native American tribes, but, hey..).   All Las Vegas needs to do is to change their mascot to a horse-riding cavalry raider (who used sabres and swords) who also happened to have lost an eye in battle or a raid. Presto! Works perfectly. 

 

I think the main issue is the eye-patch, which gives off a pirate-y feel. I think if they remove that they would be fine. I think the Raiders have one of the few NFL logos that it would be sacrilege to change in any major way (the Vikings, Eagles, and Cowboys also come to mind). This would change the Man in the logo from a sea-faring pirate Raider to a Wild-West outlaw Raider.

 

The top logo is for the Shippensburg College Raiders. It is the only college logo that would fit your description. The bottom is for the Canberra Raiders Rugby League team in Australia.

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8 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Clipper ships were fast three-masted sailing ships which were in use generally in the early to mid-1800s.  Decline in the use of clipper ships started with the economic slump following the Panic of 1857 and continued with the gradual introduction of the steamship, and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

 

Clipper ships were frequent visitors to California... but not to Los Angeles.  San Diego and in particular San Francisco were the destinations of clipper ships, due to (1) their natural harbors and (2) being commercial and military points of destination.  

 

Los Angeles had no such natural port; the closest thing to it was the slight bay at San Pedro, which was only a shallow mudflat, too soft to even support a wharf.  Sailing ships at that time either had to be anchored off-shore and their cargo ferried to shore in smaller boats-- or they had to be beached.  Neither was an attractive prospect, so sailing ships rarely called on Los Angeles. 

 

The Port of Los Angeles, with its wharves, docks and a man-made breakwater, didn't come into being until the early 20th century, well after clipper ships had been supplanted by steamships. 

I hadn't really done a ton of research on Clipper ships before this and I assumed they went to LA too. The 2 largest ports on the Pacific, by volume, in the US are LA and Long Beach. However, just because Clipper ships never historically visited LA doesn't mean the name is misplaced. The Vikings never made it to MN, nobody ever raided Oakland (or LA or Vegas), and Lions and Tigers never roamed Detroit, but nobody thinks those names are misplaced.

 

Thanks again for the Feedback.

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