Greivis Vasquez

Former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez models a hat with the new logo of the New Orleans Pelicans (who will remain the Hornets until the end of this season) at an unveiling event last week. (Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports / January 31, 2013)

Just when we all were getting over the irony of a team named the “Saints” getting stung in that tawdry NFL bounty scandal, the transplanted New Orleans Hornets of the NBA have announced they will change their nickname to the “Pelicans.”

The reason is high-minded, of course. The brown Pelican is the state bird of Louisiana, and it became emblematic of the area’s comeback from both Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Proponents feel it will remind a new generation about the importance of the environment and the resilience of the gulf coast region.

That’s fine, if you actually think any kid is going to make that association and you seriously believe there isn’t a big merchandising component to all this. I just think they could have come up with an animal you might be able to imagine slam-dunking a basketball instead of swallowing it.

The fact that a pelican is the only member of the animal kingdom with more chins than me is just a bonus.