So, with Tom Benson, the owner of the team formerly known as the New Orleans Hornets recently changing their name to the Pelicans, Charlotte Bobcats owner and the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan is now applying to change his team's name back to the Hornets for the start of the 2014-2015 season. Besides the marketing buzz this provides, I do think it's a great idea for them. Many Charlotte fans really identified with the Hornets back during their time, and not so much the Bobcats.
I know there have been a lot of us Wizards fans who've been championing a return of the Bullets name and it's been said in a number of posts and comments. After all, just two years ago, the colors of the team have changed from the teal and gold to the red white and navy scheme that matches the Washington Capitals. The uniforms are also reminiscent of the striped jerseys that the 1978 championship team wore. The Bullet hand is back in the DC logo too.
I really became an avid Wizards fan when they were the Wizards, soon after the name change and when the then MCI Center opened, so I'm not all that passionate for changing the name back to Bullets. However, I know many of you want to see that name return and if the name changed, it's certainly not changing my fandom. I just want to see this team get to the playoffs next year with John Wall, Bradley Beal, a re-signed Martell Webster, Nene, Emeka Okafor, and of course, our new first round draft pick (who will be the third overall), whoever that ends up being. But still, it would be pretty cool to see them play in Bullets uniforms for what it's worth.
Going back to Charlotte for a second, I don't really know how much of a fan friendly owner Michael Jordan is for Bobcats fans as compared to how Ted is for us. But this one quote in the Cats' press release on the issue struck me:
This is a monumental moment for our organization. After undergoing an elaborate research process, we recognize that this is what our fans want. We believe that making this change would not only re-establish one of the most recognized brands in sports but would also unify our fan base by bringing together our loyal Bobcats fans with those who have fond memories of our city’s NBA predecessor. Our fans spoke and we listened.
From this quote, it seems that Charlotte wanted the Hornets back and this opportunity, meaning the name change of th Hornets to the Pelicans certainly made it great timing too to get this done as soon as possible. Ted certainly has been an owner that has been more open to fan feedback, at least when he was emailing fans on a daily basis. However, let's say Ted does similar research to what MJ did for the Bobcats. If our city really wants the Bullets back as bad as Charlotte wants the Hornets, should that be enough for it to happen?
Even if Ted does try to get the old team name back, there could be some push back from some who believe that this is agains Mr. Pollin's wishes. But his widow Irene said she was fine with it back in 2011. And then another team in our city, the Washington Redskins are under pressure to change their name because it can be considered a racial slur to the Native American community, though Dan Snyder has said that he'd never change the name to anything else. So if Ted was considering it seriously, would the Redskins situation be a reason for him not to? I don't think it should because they're two different situations.
I have a poll on whether MJ's announcement earlier today is a good case why as to whether Ted should do the same with the Wizards. Just want to see if what happened in New Orleans and now Charlotte could be influencing folks on what happens in DC.