Any day now, the New Orleans Pelicans organization will reveal the name of Birmingham’s new professional basketball team and I can assure you that the name of Birmingham’s new G-League team is on this list. The current Pelicans’ affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, will relocate to Birmingham from Erie, Pennsylvania, in 2022 where they will move into their $125 million newly remodeled home at the BJCC Arena. According to thebirdwrites.com, a New Orleans Pelicans sports blog, the name announcement is expected to be in the first quarter of this year. With that being said, let’s take a look at potential names and get some ideas from some of the other G-League teams that Birmingham will be competing against. Here are the four categories.
The Area Code Name
The Toronto Raptors’ affiliate team is just outside of Toronto in Mississauga, Canada, so this name easily works with the close partner. Pelicans 205 doesn’t really work given the fact that Birmingham is not half an hour outside of Smoothie King Center.
How about “The 205” as suggested by (u/hunkykitty, reddit)? Has a nice ring to it. Remember when Ruben Studdard put Birmingham back on the map by captivating Americans’ hearts in the 2nd season of American Idol? Ruben brought a lot of positive attention to Birmingham when not a lot of good was going on. Just a few years prior, The Birmingham Bulls moved to Atlantic City after nine seasons in the ECHL, The Birmingham Bolts’ season collapsed as the XFL shut down, UAB had just come off a 5-7 season under Watson Brown, whose biggest accomplishment is being the older brother of Mack Brown, and The Barons were still out in Hoover winning a little over half their games. At a time when not many were flocking to the 205, Studdard gave Americans a reason to change their minds about the Magic City.
The Fun Name
The Birmingham Bandicoots
The Birmingham Forge (u/frenchtoastking17, reddit)
Although I like the idea of The Birmingham Forge, this could be problematic when The Birmingham Iron inevitably returns and we can start saying “Forge On” again. And between The Steeldogs, The Iron, and The Legion, I think we are honoring Birmingham’s iron and steel industry adequately. If we really want to pay tribute to the city’s industrial history, we can start talking about Bigger Vulcan.
The Birmingham Soul Patrol
In honor of Birmingham Legend Taylor Hicks, winner of Season Five of American Idol, Hoover native, or simply the Kia Soul.
Here is a serious one suggested by opiezepplin from thebirdwrites.com:
The Birmingham Blues
This name would fit the team given Birmingham and Alabama’s history of Jazz and Blues. It is important to remember that the Father of Blues and Queen of the Blues were born in Florence and Tuscaloosa, respectively. W.C. Handy, the Father of Blues, helped write the Grammy Hall of Fame record Crazy Blues, which sold over a million records in the first year it was released. And as for Dinah Washington, Queen of the Blues, she was one of the few women of her time to own her own booking agency, “Queen Productions.” She also has a cover of one of Hank Williams songs, who himself is a Country Music and Alabama Legend. The Birmingham Blues name could also stem from the fact that several members of the Temptations (Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin and Eddie Kendricks) are from Alabama. Erskine Hawkins, who co-wrote the hit jazz standard “Tuxedo Junction,” was a Birmingham native once hailed as the “20th Century Gabriel.” While other southern cities may be top of mind for their jazz roots, Birmingham artists have proven time and time again to be paragons of musical genius, making a strong case for The Birmingham Blues.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants
Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Sticking with the Original
This is an approach some of the teams take. Pros: Hard to hate it; consistency. Cons: this name doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as some of the others; Birmingham is nowhere near the ocean and therefore has no pelicans, making this feel like a borrowed name that wouldn’t ring true.
Santa Cruz Warriors
The “play” on the Team Name
The Wisconsin Herd
The Greensboro Swarm
According to parrotman2006 from the forum funtrivia.com, “There are several; brief, pod, pouch, scoop and squadron.” I looked into it further and found a more credible source from allaboutbirds.org that backed up Parrotman’s post. Those are enough sources for me. The Birmingham Squad. I like it.
The Birmingham Pod
Birmingham Squadron….the Birmingham Squad
With that being said…my prediction.
My Final Four
1. The Birmingham Blues
2. The Birmingham Squad
3. The Birmingham Pelicans
4. The 205
What to you like? Vote here or comment below —–> https://bit.ly/2OXfYhs
Jazz and Blues in Alabama: