The New Orleans Pelicans will come into existence next NBA season when the Hornets nickname is retired.
The franchise decided to go with something more Louisiana, and since the pelican is the state bird, it appears on the flag and the state’s nickname is “the Pelican State,” it seems appropriate.
But it does lack some credibility. Pelicans are not your typical bird, and they also aren’t your typical bird of prey, which usually flashes from the sky to pounce upon its victims. Eagles, hawks, falcons and osprey (seahawks) are almost regal.
Not to say pelicans can’t be majestic, flying over water and scooping up meals of fish, crustaceans, tadpoles and turtles or diving directly on top of them, stashing the food in the pouch of their oversized bill.
Pelicans are also smart -- they’ll hunt in groups, trapping their prey. Pelicans are adaptive -- they’re found on every continent but Antarctica.
But pelicans don’t seem like they should be a pro franchise’s mascot or nickname. A college team? Maybe. Something like the Mad Pelicans? Angry birds could work, but not the New Orleans Pelicans.