What’s In A Name?
The Pelican Brief was a great movie. One of the few instances where the movie adaption was actually better than the book. John Grisham in the 90’s was tough to beat, but to follow one of his best works with a cast starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts was pure genius. It’s a shame what Grisham has done as of late, but I digress.
Pelicans, neither an intimidating animal nor relating to sports in any fashion, are now rumored to be the newest mascot in the National Basketball Association. I’m sure owner Tom Benson has his reasons — the state bird of Louisiana is indeed a pelican — and we are forever grateful that he bought the franchise from the death claws of David Stern, but this is simply ridiculous. I thought the ABA names were a thing of the past.
That’s not to say the NBA has 29 other menacing mascots: I still don’t know what a Pacer is, a Piston can stay under the hood for all I care, Magic isn’t scary, I can just close my door if a Bobcat is loose, the only Wizard I fear is Saruman, a Knick is just another name for shorts, I can cut down a Net at any time, my barber is solid with the Clippers, Nuggets are meant to be eaten and Jazz music is very soothing.
The New Orleans Pelicans though? The only positive development coming from this report is the fact that Charlotte may be getting the Hornets nickname back (finally a good move by Michael Jordan!). Just imagining the poor Pelicans PA announcer “…and the Kings turn it over! Pelicans ball! (insert Pelican noise here).” Or what the uniforms will look like, or if by some chance they actually have a Pelican mascot carousing the arena. In other words, WHY DO THIS!?
This leads me to the Golden State Warriors, a solid, neutral mascot. Warriors is one of the more popular mascots in sports. It’s an ample name, and the term “Warrior” itself is rather subjective. It’s a solid mascot, even if it’s passed around more than Rita Ora. It’s not necessarily menacing or frightening, but it’s not the Jazz, Nugget or Pelican either. It’s on the same level as a Athletic or a Giant: we know of it, we just don’t really understand it.
No, I’m not calling for a drastic mascot change. I don’t think the Golden State Bears (kinda already taken) or the Bay Area Moguls (not bad actually) would really work, but this issue isn’t a moot one either. I, for one, really like the name “Warriors” and think of it as unique to our Warriors, for better or worse (mostly worse). The mascot may not be changing, but the region/city before it might be.
Despite what city officials or lawyers may say, Joe Lacob plans to open his Bay Area basketball mecca in 2017 in San Francisco. Long rumored to be in the works, Lacob (and Guber) will finally have their own home, free of the name of the man that they had to outbid to own this very team. The 17,000 seat, privately funded arena will cost upwards up $1 billion.
Goodbye Oakland, Hello San Francisco. Much to the disdain of Oakland residents the Bay Area’s only professional basketball team will be hopping across the bridge to a shiny, bright new palace. The Warriors are the first sports team from the Oakland trio (Warriors, Athletics, Raiders) that have successfully made an agreement to move said franchise. The other two want to move, they just haven’t yet.
The “Golden State” meme is tiresome and boring. We are not the only team in California and the fact that the Bay Area is nowhere to be found in their name is despicable. This is the Bay Area’s team, not California’s. Yes, we’re in California, but so are the Kings, Clippers and Lakers, and two of those three have more impressive pedigrees than the Warriors.
When the Warriors move to San Francisco so should that tiresome and boring meme. The “Golden State” meme should be thrown out and the proper, correct “San Francisco” should replace it. It’s only natural and it’s only right. Forget wrongly representing the state, represent the city you’re now playing for. It always irked me that we weren’t representing us, but instead representing what we’re largely not.
This franchise isn’t immune to the “San Francisco” name. The Warriors played in the Cow Palace in Daly City (just south of the city) from 1962-1964 and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium from 1964-1966. The Warriors occasionally played games in the Oakland Coliseum Arena after its development in 1966, all while being known as the “San Francisco Warriors.” The team finally changed to “Golden State” in 1971.
The Warriors are long overdue for a new arena and the name change should coincide with the move. Oakland-ers shouldn’t argue because the team was never technically theirs. The hovering fear of having a team from Oakland will no longer be a problem. From the NBA’s perspective it’s an easy call, from ownerships perspective it’s an easier call.
We’re not dealing with a befuddling, pointless name change such as what’s going on in New Orleans. We aren’t the Bobcats, Pacers or Magic, we’re the Warriors. The move to San Francisco in 2017 should bring along the San Francisco name. That’s where the games will be played, that’s the city ownership chose to represent and that’s the city fans should accept. The Warriors should and will stay with us, it’s time to return to our 1960‘s glory.
Make the San Francisco Warriors happen again.