Hornets 2.0 movement responds to Jordan’s “very mixed” assessment
Posted on 11 Mar 2013 by John Morgan
Those two words — innocuous enough when observed in isolation — have set off a bit of firestorm amongst a certain set of Charlotte basketball fanatics. You see, “very mixed” is how Charlotte Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan described the response he’s received in regards to a potential Bobcats to Hornets rebrand. Here’s the quote:
Judging from the e-mails you’ve sent me, the opinion seems to be very mixed. Some of you have said we should change the name and some of you have said we should not. In fact, a few of you even suggested that we should change the name to something new altogether, and not use Bobcats or Hornets. There are a lot of factors to take into account and a lot of information to sift through. This is a decision that we will not take lightly and we will not make hastily. We want to do what we believe will be in the best interests of our organization and our fans.
Recent polls commissioned by various local and national news outlets tell a slightly different story. They’ve all had the “Hornets” option taking between 80 and 90% of the vote. A 2012 Charlotte Observer Poll had “Bobcats” finishing 4th out of 5 options, with 3% of the vote (just behind “I don’t care”).
By all indications, the response to the possibility of a “Charlotte Hornets” rebrand has been ‘mixed’ the way a needle is ‘mixed’ into a haystack.
Which leads us back to the aforementioned kerfuffle. Logic would dictate that Jordan’s remarks equate to an outright ‘slap in the face’ to the overwhelming majority of his fanbase; you know, that 80–90% that purport to eat, drink, and sleep teal and purple. Mixed? MIXED?!? What survey is he referencing that’s telling him that this whole endeavor is anything short of a SLAM DUNK?!? Why the HELL is he saying this?!?!?
Well, I’m here to propose that he’s saying it because … we’re taking our Hornets back.
Hear me out.
Michael knows which way the wind is blowing in regards to this thing. He knows that we know. He knows that WE know that HE knows … you get the point. Add to this the fact that there’s probably not another human in the history of our species that understands the power of a brand better than his Airness. MJ is acutely aware of the fact that, as much as we all loved Detlef, none of us ever lined up outside of SouthPark at 6 AM to buy a pair of “Air Schrempfs”.
For God’s sake, there are a pair of teal and purple Air Jordan reissues coming out in in 2 months (just end time for the end of this season). I digress …
Here’s the thing: there’s another team playing under the ‘Hornets’ banner at the moment. While New Orleans formally announced their intention to rebrand at the end of this season, they ARE still the Hornets. Michael gains NOTHING by short-selling the brand/merchandise that he currently possesses by showing even an INKLING of an indication that said brand/merchandise will suddenly be rendered obsolete in a matter of a few weeks. So he plays his statement right down the middle: no frills, no tells. Nope. Nothing about his behavior would indicate anything either way. Not a thing …
… except for the fact that he won’t stop talking about it.
From the moment we started this wacky little Movement a little over 3 years ago, Michael could’ve put a serious damper on our momentum by simply saying ‘NO’. When asked about the rebrand a few months back, instead of responding with “We are preparing for the possibility of a name change”, team president Fred Whitfield could’ve said, “NO”. Instead of formally addressing the idea of becoming the ‘Hornets’ BY NAME, Michael could’ve simply said “NO”. But he didn’t. Ever. Not last week. Not 3 years ago. Because from the day he bought this team … Michael, Fred, the whole gang, they’ve known …
… WE’RE TAKING BACK OUR HORNETS.
These are men who have nothing to gain in allowing the issue to perpetuate were they not planning on pulling the trigger. Their every public word in regards to the situation has been measured, calculated, and, to this point, as custom-tailored to saying as MUCH by saying as LITTLE as they legally, ethically, can. By offering such deliberately open-ended responses to the question of the rebrand, the organization is projecting exactly the sort of prudence that should be expected in as delicate a situation as this.
Michael’s recent comments, as well as everything else he’s ever said about the rebrand, basically amount to the verbal equivalent of the ‘due diligence’ we’ve all been hearing so much about over the last couple of months. There is no benefit in him alienating any segment of his fan base, regardless of how thin their ranks may be (read: the ‘Cats-brand supporters). So for the time being, he stands pat.
Don’t be surprised if he’s singing a very different tune by season’s end.
That’s not to say that the battle is won. Until this forgettable season mercifully lurches to a halt, Michael and Co. are hamstrung by what they can say. We, however, are not. Our ‘Charlotte Hornets 2.0’ petition recently topped 10,000 signatures; now we’re headed for 15,000. Sign it.
We Beelieve: Charlotte … take back your Hornets has over 16,000 “likes”. Like it.
@BringBackTheBuz has over 3,000 followers, and BringBacktheBuzz.Com has registered tens of thousands of views; Follow and view, respectively.
What started as a pet project of a couple of guys and their laptops has morphed into a full-fledged HAPPENING. And it’s not because of anything we did … it’s because you — this city, this fanbase, this WORLDWIDE community of Charlotte Hornets Fans — were passionate enough about resurrecting and preserving a cherished aspect of our historical identity to make it happen.
Now is no time to fret; quite the opposite.
Now the time to push this thing across the finish line, True Beelievers.
I feel like I’m amongst friends here, so I’ll go ahead and admit it: I’ve already started planning my 2013 opening night outfit. Do I go casual? Teal shirt, jeans and boots? Do I go full-on “We Beelieve”-maniac … white tux, purple handkerchief, the WORKS?
As certain as I am about a lot of this life, I reckon it’s nice to be to still be “very mixed” about some of the small stuff.