Monday, April 22, 2013

Wrong! Don't leave Buzz behind - Bring it back!

A lot of people have been buzzing - even fuming - about Robert Kutrow's post on O-Pinion last week that the Charlotte Bobcats should "Leave the Buzz Behind" rather than pursue a potentially costly change to its NBA name from Bobcats back to the Hornets, the name of its first NBA franchise. Said Kutrow, 19, a student at UNC Chapel Hil, and Myers Park High grad: "An NBA franchise based on a nostalgic cultural appeal is not a functional business model.... Our loyalty to Charlotte basketball, whatever it may be called, should be rooted to a sense of pride in place rather than a set of brash, 90s colors and a logo. We don’t need to be called the Hornets to play like a hornet’s nest of rebellion."

I beg to disagree, said reader Andrew Collins, a 31-year-old citizen from Wilmington, who graduated from UNCC in 2004, is now a landscape architect. Here's his rebuttal.

The Hive is Real

I am glad the Charlotte Bobcats are doing their due diligence on a potential name change back to the
Charlotte Hornets. As a corporate entity they should be. But the argument that marketing figures and
profit margins should determine a city’s identity only grazes the target.

In the era where “corporations are people” and so-called social media is hijacked by a cadre advertisers
and companies seeking to influence every decision an individual makes, sports serves as a release from
the burden of modern day life. An emotional high of joy and sorrow that ebbs and flows with the teams
of the city.

Sporting events are all about the fans, of actual people supporting a team that represents them. This is
why teams take the name of a place, of a city, of a culture. Fans show up for the swing of emotions, not
for the $10 hot dogs, or the 2-minute dance routines. The corporate suites are there only because the
diehards bring life to the event. We show up to be moved, to rise to our feet in pure joy, elation and
unbridled emotion. The human element still counts for something.

The Hornets name connects to this city; it represents a well documented identity for the people of
Charlotte. This is evidenced by the grass-roots movement, by the sheer fact that we feel compelled to
write op-ed pieces and compelled to respond in kind. Our very act of conversation of the topic is proof
that the feeling and emotion about the Hornets name is genuine.

The point is that as humans we actually care about our identity, and about our city. About where we
came from, who we are, and where we are going. What would the Browns be without Cleveland? The
Red Sox without Boston? Why should the city of Charlotte sell out to un-feeling marketers and cold
numbers? We don’t have to be Baltimore’s Colts, or Brooklyn’s Dodgers. We have a choice in the
matter. Is $12 million worth your soul? Is it worth the soul of a city?

Sports and life exist to be enjoyed and to be meaningful. This is why we play sports and why we
watch games. This is why we shuttle our kids to t-ball games, why we flip on the television on Sunday
afternoons, and why we gather every two years as a nation to watch our fellow citizens, ourselves,
compete in the Olympics. The name Hornets symbolizes the people of Charlotte; it is the image in the
city’s mirror. And that is priceless.


Unknown said...

not to mention that even after the nostalgia dies out, i would still bet that there would be more money made off of Hornets merch than Bobcats merch.

Better colors, better nickname, and an emotional tie to both.
The name "Bobcats" and the related colors, however, have no such tie to our community like "Hornets" still does (even after so many years)

John Morgan said...

This piece is every bit as perfectly-stated as last week's anti-Hornets post was frustrating. Well done, Andrew.


Beelieve that.

Charles said...

Good to see the Disturber giving coverage to the most important issues of the day.

Steve Schley said...

I think the "disturber" has enough gigs of memory on their servers to cover everything the people of the Charlotte area are interested in.

As for the article...couldnt have been said better.

Will87 said...

The hornets name does mean a lot to the residents of this area, and this change would bring money to a desperate franchise as well as giving them a defining name that honors our forefathers, and since we are crediting our scholarly backgrounds I'm an MBA student about to graduate and this would be a previously lacking cotr competency.... but the bottom line is We want OUR name and colors back!!! Charlotte Hornets

CharlotteObserver said...

Bring back the name, Buggy Whip or Spats, for them, it meant so much and tells of a former glory Charlotte use to have when we were growing with so many horses and buggies coming into town, or folks dressed up to the nines to go out.

Why just imagine how it will inspire us to go go back in time.

Why do we do this waste of time mess over and over when we should should be focused on the real matters.

Chris said...

A-MEN!!!! Well said brotha!!!

Toby said...

Thank you for the well written op-ed.
This issue goes well beyond nostalgia. It’s about identity, history and how to treat your customers. It’s about colors and slogan and merchandise and every aspect of marketing you can name, but let us not forget it’s about cutting losses and not wasting any more time and money on a bad idea. The Bobcats name and all it embodies was simply a VERY bad idea.

Christa Thomas said...

Well written piece!

Charlotte Observer: "Why do we do this waste of time mess over and over when we should should be focused on the real matters."

What exactly are the real matters?

A wonderful thing about sports is that for the a small amount of time, we can forget about all the crap that is going on in the world. We can come together, and cheer and laugh, and hang our heads when we lose - but we do it together. There is such a unity when a city comes together to cheer on a team. The pride, the enjoyment, the fun. We will always have plenty of time for the "real matters", but for a couple of hours we will get to just enjoy cheering on a team that means so much to people. Sure we need to focus on building the team, and acquiring new players, but what does that mean when a city could care less about their existence. I mention I am a Bobcats fan and people will laugh and ask. "Why?" Let's bring back something that has a meaning.

Charlotte Hornets!