From Hornets to Pelicans?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First, congratulations to the greater New Orleans region for being able to support two major sports teams. In 2011, it looked as if the region might lose the Hornets due to lack of attendance. Nevertheless, the region stood up and said, “I’m in!” and packed the arena just in time to meet the necessary benchmark. With the purchase of the team by Tom Benson, it looks as if the question mark hanging over the Hornets has been replaced with a big check mark of approval.  

However, I write today to plead my case to rename the New Orleans Hornets the New Orleans Pelicans as a sign of our state’s ability to repeatedly rise up against all odds. I further recommend that the mascot be named Pierre the Pelican. No other symbol — music, food, or animal — can capture the resilience of this region, the strength of its people, or the beauty of our State like the majestic Brown Pelican.

It was the Brown Pelican, the official state bird, which nearly went extinct until the citizens of the state took action to save it. Now, anyone driving along Interstate 10 across the Bonnet Carre Spillway can see flocks of these gracefully strong birds flying above the marshes.

It was the Brown Pelican covered in oil that became the symbol of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010. The large bird dripping in oil with its wings outstretched is an image that was replayed the world over. As we put the pieces of our oil, gas and seafood industries back together, the estuaries of countless marine and bird species must be repaired and preserved for future generations.

It is the Brown Pelican that proudly feeds blood from its breast to its young on our state flag. The symbolism of this image is one the nation shouldn’t forget, since it is Louisiana that constantly takes the blood from our land — oil, gas, seafood, and waterfowl — to feed America’s thirst for energy and hunger for Gulf seafood and wildlife.

It is Pierre the Pelican who stands proudly with the other members of the Estuarians, mascots of the America’s Wetland Foundation, fighting to save the coast of south Louisiana.

It was Tom Benson’s Saints that allowed the entire state of Louisiana to hold its head up high when the Aints finally became the Super Bowl Champions, and it will be Tom Benson’s New Orleans Pelicans that will eventually clinch the NBA Championship.

It was the citizens of south Louisiana that cheered on the return of the pelican, fought to save their coast, stood by their Saints and went back to work after the oil spill. It will be those same hard working, lovers of life in south Louisiana that enthusiastically support their New Orleans Pelicans.

The last bite…

I am a big fan of pork. I like pork chops, pork sausage, pork sauce piquante, pork and beans and pulled pork. So, what does a pork lover do? They go to a cochon de lait, of course! Saturday, I attended Sheriff Greg Champagne’s cochon de lait and enjoyed cracklin’ and pulled pork! I give pulled pork that you watched slow-cook 5 out of 5 crumbs!

Buddy Boe, a resident of Garyville, owns a public relations and program management company and is well known on the local political (and food) scenes. His column appears Wednesdays in L’Observateur.