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
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.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Posted by Fannie Flono at 4:32 PM