Tom Benson, mayor-king of the city-state of New Orleans, announced last week his acquisition of the New Orleans Hornets, the basketball team equivalent of the prettiest girl in school you'll do anything to get her to win an NBA championship. (And no doubt disappointing Chris Trew, who has since moved on to coach the New Orleans Saints.)
Oh, and then Benson mentioned he wants to rename the team. "I would like all you to help me with this," he said. "We want to change the name from Hornets to something that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The Hornets don't mean anything."
With few words, Benson sends the entire city of New Orleans into what I'm calling a CITYWIDE MENTAL SPORTS EVENT.
Summoned by a common stimulus (Benson), brains started just throwin' out names for a goof, and radio and Twitter fart thinkers have thrown their suggestions in the ring, feeling free to free associate (New Orleans... hurricanes, crescents, rivers, fishes, Who Dats, footballs, sports, Sean Paytons, Who Dats, The Saints) and make whatever shitty joke that comes to mind, sometimes identically to other like-minded dum dums and almost always terribly. (These are all the worst ideas.)
But one name prevails. A name I, in no way representing a Gambit editorial opinion, am standing behind: The New Orleans Bounce. If there is credit to give for the name, several Twitter people arrived at it. Baton Rouge businessman Jared Loftus admits he didn't come up with the name but he created a campaign to get it on Benson's radar.
The name works. A basketball bounces. It's catchy. It designs well. It's the name of a local music genre (not unlike the team's former name).
Meanwhile, Utah is standing its ground in defense of Benson's suggestion he'd like the name Jazz back, please. Long known internationally for its thriving musical culture, the Beehive State has thrown down its Latter Day gauntlet (now with web poll!):
People in these parts — or those who’ve appreciated the team’s hoops history since coming to Salt Lake City — have grown quite fond of the unlikely pairing of Utah and Jazz. Is it an oxymoron? Sure. But it’s our oxymoron, so back off.
Fair enough, Utah. You win. You take your Karl Malone-ing, John Stockton assisting lil' name and keep it, for it is all of the sweetness you'll taste from the wellspring of awesome down here.
Mr. Benson, if you're nasty, please consider New Orleans Bounce.