Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Should The NBA's "Bobcats" Change Their Name?

As you may have heard, Michael Jordan has reached an agreement to buy the NBA's struggling Charlotte Bobcats franchise from the billionaire founder of BET, Bob Johnson. After selling BET to Viacom for $3 billion in 2003, Johnson founded the Bobcats as an expansion franchise in 2004. He has reportedly lost millions on the team every year since, while it also underperformed on the court.

This sale has prompted a call in the Charlotte Observer newspaper today (which you can read HERE) to change the team's nickname.  Apparently fans there have never taken to the "Bobcats" as a mascot, in part because of a widespread belief that Bob Johnson named the "Bobcats" after himself.

This Charlotte Observer column has spurred suggestions of alternative names from all over the country today, some serious and some not.  One I liked was that they adopt the name of the old ABA team that played in Charlotte from 1969-1974, the "Carolina Cougars." I like the alliteration myself. ("That would appeal to people over 45 who remember the ABA," said Michael Wilbon on ESPN's PTI program this afternoon, to which co-host Dan Le Batard countered, "maybe women over 45.....")  Another couple of names that Le Batard suggested made me laugh out loud: "The Charlotte Letter" and the "Charlotte Hornets 2: Electric Boogaloo."

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