The Buzz Being Brought Back
There is nothing more important than winning. That is an entirely different, and more important, issue. This is simply about a name that has belonged to the city of Charlotte since the Revolutionary War.
For months insiders have told me that changing the Charlotte Bobcats name to the Charlotte Hornets was inevitable. Will Brinson of CBSSports.com reported on Friday night that those wheels are firmly in motion, as digital assets for the name are being acquired and a new website domain was purchased by the NBA earlier this week.
I prefer Hornets over Bobcats for two major reasons. First, it’s the nickname that put Charlotte on the map nationally in the late 80’s. Greensboro and Greenville are great cities, but without the Hornets coming to town in the late 80’s, Charlotte would feel just like those towns. It wasn’t the city’s decision to abandon the name. It was a shamed owner, George Shinn, that left town with his tail between his legs. The name isn’t synonymous with him, it’s synonymous with Charlotte.
But the other reason might be the biggest. Even though Charlotte should be grateful to Bobcat Johnson for quickly bringing the NBA back to town, the franchise has gotten off to an awful start in its first decade. The name Bobcats is synonymous with losing and one man’s nickname. Quite frankly, Johnson was one of the worst owners in American professional sports history. Changing the name back to Hornets does not make the team any better on the floor, but it does eliminate a name that conjures up thoughts of futility on and off of the floor.
Sure, putting a product on the floor that the community can get excited about is far more important than your nickname. But changing your name to the Charlotte Hornets is a branding move that the community can be proud of, while getting rid of a moniker that only embarrassed them.
It’s time to turn off the lights in Time Warner Cable Arena and watch a caped creature named Hugo fly down from the rafters. Now, on to this winning thing…