Well-played, Mr. Benson

17 Apr

 

“Lookit all mah proppity!”

Everyone reading this has probably, at some time in their lives, gone through the dreadful process of test-driving a new car.  Those of us who don’t have the kind of money with which one can buy the “perfect” car usually feel the need to point out the flaws we notice, in a misguided attempt to either justify walking away in a few minutes, or drive the price of the car down.  It usually goes something like this:

“This car generates a lot of road noise.  I didn’t expect that.”

“Check out this speaker system.  Go ahead, turn it up.  Cool, huh?”

“Yeah, that sounds pretty nice!  But this gauge cluster, it’s pretty cheap-looking.  What’s up with that?”

“The tachometer is very accurate though.  Check out this in-dash GPS.”

“Wow!  Give me directions to the Super Dome.  That’s cool!  What were we talking about again?”

Anybody that’s ever had to pay the bills knows by selling people things they don’t really want knows what I’m talking about.  At various times in my life, I’ve sold Kias, Kirby Vacuums, and stuffed Spidermen (don’t ask).  I’ll tell you what it’s about: distraction.  And there’s no doubt in my mind why Benson was able to make a fortune selling cars.

A week ago we were all wringing our hands about bountygate, and Drew Brees, and franchise tags, and deciding which credit card we would use to pay that last season ticket payment.  Then, out of nowhere, Benson swoops in and buys the Hornets, when everybody was looking the other way, and now?  Instead of talking about our franchise quarterback who is chillin in New York instead of working out with his teammates, we’re talking All-Star game, and rebranding, and how cool it was when Stern shut down Ed Werder (it was very cool, by the way, and the media crybagging about it makes it even better, and why the hell isn’t it on YouTube yet?).

You know what surprises me the most?  I’m okay with that.  I have something fun to be angry about, something positive to talk about with that guy from Nevada at my office who knows nothing about football but insists on talking local sports every morning.  It’s entertaining to talk about new names and look at terrible photoshops of black-and-gold basketball jerseys than it is to worry and fret over Drew Brees or player suspensions.  And if there’s one thing we love down here, it’s entertainment.

Props to those who are staying on topic this morning.  Really.  I still think there’s a load of fishy stuff going on at the league office, Drew Brees still insists that the accusations aren’t true, and we haven’t seen a shred of evidence to this day.  But I need to move on, just for a few minutes, and play in to Benson’s little crisis management strategy.

Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t trust Benson as far as I can throw his Mercedes.  I remember the months after Katrina, and I remember the league office stepping in and strongarming the old man into staying home.  (Hell of a reversal of roles, amirite?) I do believe, however, that he really is committed to the region now, if for no other reason than because he’s making a ridiculous amount of money.  When your only source of stress is deciding how much to pay the dump truck driver to deliver your money to the NBA, you lose your motivation to bail on your city pretty quick.

So, what the hell.  Let’s move on for a few minutes or a few days, and let the Brees situation work itself out.  I continue to believe it will.  By the way, Mr. Sports Radio Guy, at some point during your 20 years of working in sports radio, you probably learned a thing or two about the salary cap.  Therefore, you know that “Omgz Benson has money to buy a basketball team but not enough to pay Drew Brees” is garbage drivel.  Stop it.  Does anyone doubt that Benson is willing to pay the money for Brees?  If you do, seek medical assistance immediately.  You’re sick.  It’s a salary cap issue, and it has nothing to do with the Hornets.

Hornets.  “Don’t mean nuhthin’!” cries the old man.  Yeah, he’s right.  I’m all about rebranding, and I always have been.  I never really let myself get excited about the Hornets, because I was still afraid.  I think Benson knows he can make a few more truckloads of money a year on this franchise, and I think we’re safe, so now I’m getting pretty riled up.  Again, Mr. Benson, well done.

Quickly, on the colors: they’re fine.  The Mardi Gras jerseys are a boatload of awesome.  We don’t need black and gold photoshops of anything, but I kindly thank you.  Here’s a teenage girl suggesting that very idea in 2007 – the same teenage girl, mind you, that recently suggested a citywide supernatural sports theme involving Angels and Saints, somehow reaching the height of cheese twice in five years, and tweeting it to every national writer in the country to boot.

I want a new name, but kindly allow me to explain the two rebranding ideas that are absolutely terrible.

1.  The Jazz.  Come on.  I know, I know, Jazz is New Orleans.  It’s an integral part of the culture and history of the city.  We’re talking about basketball here, however, and you can’t separate basketball culture from the equation.  When you’re talking about basketball, and someone says “Jazz,” people don’t think New Orleans, or even Maravich.  They think Stockton to Malone.  That’s reality.  You can’t talk about rebranding as a “fresh start” and a break from the franchise’s past in Charlotte, and then suggest we buy back a name that another city has used for thirty-two years, and associates with superstars of their own.  You want a fresh start?  Pick something new.

2.  Hokey local gimmick names.  I would love to see something associated with the city.  Crawfish?  The Gumbo?  The Krewe of New Orleans?  Get the fuck out of here with that nonsense.  It’s terrible.  You name a minor-league hockey team with cheesy crap like that.  It should be classy.  The mascot shouldn’t look like something off of a tourist brochure mailed to that couple from Maine that came down for Mardi Gras three years ago.

The Soul, Spirit, Bounce is even better than some of the hyperlocal stuff we’ve heard in the last few days.  That also applies to names picked only to coincide with the football team we all love.  They are two different franchises.  Angels and Saints?  Saints and Sinners?  Besides being a little backwards at the moment, that’s about as lame as a hockey team named after a Disney Movie.

My personal favorite?  I like the Buccaneers.  Yeah, I know, but that’s a whole different league.  Separate franchises, right?  I also don’t care that there is already a team named the Bucks, and one day we could have a game of Bucs vs. Bucks – screw ‘em.  We make the rules, right?  We aren’t going to name our team around yours, we’re going to name it whatever the hell we want, and just for the record, I believe that a big plush Jean Lafitte dressed in black and gold running around the arena would be endless entertainment during timeouts.  Yeah, there’s some history behind the New Orleans Buccaneers, too – but here’s the key: nobody outside of New Orleans remembers it.

In the end, the thing I think we can all agree on: Hugo can take his ass back to Charlotte.

And, Mr. Benson?  Yeah, you still haven’t fooled me.  Like Stern said, you’re one player away.  Make it happen, boss.

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3 Responses to “Well-played, Mr. Benson”

  1. Kimberly Johnson April 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    I just left you a message on facebook. The talented not named Angry WhoDat – another brilliant article. Those nerds on ESPN don’t have a shrek of talent you do..Like I said in my message – don’t worry about the tens of fans you have. Those numbers are off my friend. People are talking about your articles. Maybe they’re scared to give their email addy..who knows? Who cares? I love them. It’s about time someone blogged about the same things we true WhoDats really feel. Anyway, Thanks for these – Don’t lose your Joie de Vivre…Kim Johnson

    • Fatix May 18, 2012 at 3:24 am #

      Drew Brees thinks it’s cool you want to haijck ships, and even though he doesn’t agree with your methods, has arranged for the purchase of three private cargo shippers to be tethered off the coast of Somalia so you guys can practice. Then he assisted in a cure for AIDS and rebuilt the entirety of a wartorn village by himself.

  2. Arvin May 18, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Yeah it’s a SAW. The M240 serves the role of geernal purpose machine gun for infantry units. The SAW just creates an automatic rifleman like the BAR did in WWII.And Breesus empathizes with the plight of the Somalis. He gives them food and money to right their lives.But then when they go back to piracy anyway, he’s gonna go medieval on their ass

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