Not for nothing, I do feel a little proud that the new pope is a Jesuit – I had nothing to do with it and am lapsed but I did get some Jesuit schooling and the relative liberalism and emphasis on education and even the drinking in its rightful place are all things I favor. And that’s all beyond helping the poor, which I assume all popes agree on, theoretically.
Also, as soon as I heard the new pope was from Argentina, I thought, “Thank goodness, a pope with no ties to Hitler.” And then I remembered the new pope was from Argentina.
I watched the coverage on NBC. After the one cardinal came out and said the new pope’s surname, and new papal name, Brian Williams threw down to Anne Thompson on the plaza there, among the faithful, for their reaction. She said the chosen cardinal’s lack of notoriety was disconcerting to the people, which was odd enough to hear – but then the camera showed the balcony again, and grabbing her chance, Anne Thompson was the one to announce the arrival of the new pope! The timing couldn’t have been worse for admitted Catholic Brian Williams, who should have had that honor, and who so might have forever regretted asking for Anne’s opinion if not for his choice a few seconds later, to chime in with his own quiet, reverential and slightly sighing, “Pope Francis the first.”
On the other hand, apparently Bergoglio is staunchly opposed to contraception and same-sex marriage, for example, so all the delightful ceremony aside I’m not rearranging my Sunday plans or anything.
I read on espn.com that Michael Jordan might be amenable to his team, the Charlotte Bobcats, reintroducing the “Hornets” nickname which moved with the moniker to New Orleans. The switch would be contingent on the New Orleans team taking another nickname, one that their current owners wish would “better represent the Big Easy.”
As one of the article’s commenters pointed out, and as other savvy NBA fans could see, the New Orleans Jazz sounds pretty good — and did when the franchise began there in the 1970s.
But if the Bobcats become the Hornets and the Hornets become the Jazz, what becomes of Utah? They could take the freed up “Bobcats” label and in one three-way deal we’d be done here.
Unless we’re trying to be logical across the board – in which case, for example, the Lakers should be given back to Minnesota/Minneapolis. That Los Angeles franchise could become the Timberwolves, not out of the question with the Los Angeles Wolves having been a soccer team in the 1960s. Still, it’s not entirely location-appropriate.
Let’s start from scratch and see what we can do:
-The Charlotte Hornets got this ball rolling.
-Then the New Orleans Jazz.
-Utah should really be the Utah Raptors, after the dinosaur, and despite or because of the Ogden Raptors minor league baseball team. Nothing wrong with localities sharing team nicknames or similar ones like the old New York baseball and football Giants, the Lions/Tigers of Detroit, Chicago’s Bears/Cubs, and so on.
-That would leave Toronto, who I’d make the Toronto Hawks. The bird does exist up there. Also, the Golden Hawks were a Canadian aerobatic flying team, pilots and planes and all, like the Blue Angels I suppose. So like with the Winnipeg Jets’ new logo, the nickname can be a little nod towards history.
-Atlanta should then be the Atlanta Heat, being “Hotlanta.” (I never liked that term by the way, Atlanta starting with an A and not an O, and haberdashery not so integral to merit “Hatlanta.”) Plus, in Miami, it’s not the heat that’ll kill you, it’s the humidity. Phoenix would be another natural fit for the Heat, but in Atlanta there’s also the tie-in with the original Atlanta Flames hockey team, which itself was named in reference to General Sherman burning the city during the Civil War.
-Miami could go in at least two directions here: take the Suns from Phoenix (similar to the in-state Tampa Bay Rays) or the Thunder from Oklahoma City (similar itself to the in-state Tampa Bay Lightning). Considering we still have the Bobcat nickname to bestow, I’ll make them the Miami Suns, with Phoenix free to be reborn as the Phoenix Bobcats, basically the Arizona Wildcats.
With that grouping self-contained, let’s address NBA nicknames that happen to be very much location-appropriate:
-Loads of Irish in Boston, so the Boston Celtics stay.
-The Philadelphia 76ers are spot-on, of course.
-The New York Knicks (Knickerbockers) reference the city’s early Dutch settlers, and a later brewery, so they’re good. The Nets hailed from New York at one time, and would fall in line with the Mets and Jets, but the Knicks will stay where they are.
Now, there are a couple of nicknames that are certainly appropriate where they are now, but could shift if we needed or wanted them to:
-A handful of American cities are strongholds of car racing, but the Indiana Pacers are clearly suitable.
-The Detroit Pistons make sense due to their manufacturing interests.
-The Houston Rockets were named to honor local technology development.
-The Spurs could fit anywhere there would reasonably be a cowboy, but we’ll side in this case with alliteration and leave them the San Antonio Spurs.
Some more shifting:
-Let’s finally get the Lakers back north and keep the state name, making them the Minnesota Lakers.
-Los Angeles (the purple and gold one) is now free, and it’s pretty wide open. Swiping the Kings would align their hockey and basketball names, which would be sweet. But let’s first ship the Kings east to Memphis to honor Elvis as the Memphis Kings (even more fitting than sending the name to Brooklyn i.e. Kings County). That way, there can be the Los Angeles Magic, with an easy nod to Magic Johnson, the pixie dust of Hollywood and what the heck, the Magic Castle, too.
-Orlando, meanwhile, has the Magic Kingdom, but it also has the possibility for severe weather so we’ll rechristen them the Orlando Thunder.
-Establishing the Los Angeles Wizards would set up an unbelievable rivalry with the Magic, if in name only, the name being traded straight up with the team now known as the Washington Clippers, based close enough to Baltimore to reference that particular vessel, not meanwhile lumping all Beltway fans necessarily together.
-There’s enough cattle in and around Oklahoma City to become the Oklahoma City Bulls.
-Chicago can take the nickname from Brooklyn’s new team to honor its commercial fishing heritage as the Chicago Nets.
-That leaves Brooklyn free to finally be the Brooklyn Warriors, echoing the Coney Island gang from the movie.
-Golden State is a versatile region that I’ll pair up with the old Memphis name to make the Golden State Grizzlies, referencing the state and its flag. Sacramento, currently without a nickname, could have been another destination for the Grizzlies since it’s the state capital and would surely fly the flag, but I’m going to give them Denver’s name, creating the Sacramento Nuggets and paying homage to the Gold Rush. That there exists a Sacramento Gold soccer team nearby is fair enough.
-Regarding two remaining animal names: While there are apparently both deer and wolves in Wisconsin, wolves aren’t at all common in Colorado, hence the Denver Bucks and the Milwaukee Timberwolves.
Three teams are left, and their names work just fine for me.
-The Dallas Mavericks were a well-chosen name first referencing poker players from way back.
-The Portland Trailblazers make me think of the Oregon Trail, which checks out.
-And we won’t mess with the Cleveland Cavaliers, since the city’s been through enough.
Seven times now I’ve seen the Fab Faux, which I think puts them at that top of that list for me (the runner-up would be former local Dix Hills band Stage, which I believe I saw six times). After yet another review of a Faux show, I had to take a longer view of what I’ve seen them play. The Excel spreadsheet I worked on showed the unique number of songs played at shows I attended to be 130. Not bad!
A couple of wrinkles there: some of those songs were solo Lennon songs, 11 of them, pushing the number down to 119. With Denny Laine once joining the band onstage for “Go Now,” the only other song I saw the band play, the number is 118. Finally, and it was an odd way to begin, I missed the first half of the first Fab Faux I’d ever see, assuming it would take far less time to get to Red Bank, NJ. There were two “songs that almost were,” songs I missed during that Red Bank show and would not hear at any of the next six shows: “Another Girl” and “I’ll Cry Instead.” Ah well. So that’s 116 unique Beatles songs I’ve actually heard the band play.
Here are their favorites (out of 7 shows):
While My Guitar Gently Weeps – 6
I Am The Walrus – 6 (I only heard 5)
Nowhere Man – 5
All You Need Is Love – 4
Eleanor Rigby – 4
Hey Jude – 4
Lady Madonna – 4
Oh! Darling – 4
Penny Lane – 4
Strawberry Fields Forever – 4
Come Together – 4 (I only heard 3)
And Your Bird Can Sing – 3
Baby, You’re a Rich Man – 3
Back in the USSR – 3
Can’t Buy Me Love – 3
Eight Days a Week – 3
Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End – 3
Here, There and Everywhere – 3
I Feel Fine – 3
Paperback Writer – 3
Revolution – 3
Something – 3
Tomorrow Never Knows – 3
Now, some portion of the full list were songs the band only played once during those seven cherry-picked shows. 79 of the 130 songs they played fit that description. I made another short list of especially unique songs, which were also not played as part of an album show. Songs from Revolver, The White Album and Abbey Road didn’t count for this list:
Across the Universe
All I’ve Got to Do
Cold Turkey (Lennon solo)
For You Blue
Give Peace a Chance
Go Now (Moody Blues)
Good Morning Good Morning
Hold Me Tight
I Saw Her Standing There
I’ll Follow the Sun
I’m a Loser
I’m Looking Through You
I’ve Got a Feeling
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Imagine (Lennon solo)
In My Life
Instant Karma! (Lennon solo)
Jealous Guy (Lennon solo)
Let It Be
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Mind Games (Lennon solo)
Mother (Lennon solo)
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
Please Please Me
Power to the People (Lennon solo)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)
She’s a Woman
Tell Me Why
The Ballad of John and Yoko
Ticket to Ride
Two of Us
Watching the Wheels (Lennon solo)
We Can Work It Out
Whatever Gets You Thru the Night (Lennon solo)
Working Class Hero (Lennon)
Yes It Is
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away