SBD/December 20, 2012/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In New Orleans, Jimmy Smith reported NBA Properties VP & Senior Intellectual Property Counsel Anil George "filed trademark paperwork regarding five possible nicknames" on behalf of the Hornets: Pelicans, Rougarou, Mosquitos, Swamp Dogs and Bullsharks. It remains possible that the league "could seek trademarks on additional potential names, as well." The procedural movement is "aimed to protect the nickname possibilities from poaching by other sources." Pelicans and Mosquitos "are clearly associated with New Orleans and Louisiana," while a Rougarou "refers to a beast from state folklore, from the werewolf genre." Swamp Dog is "synonymous with alligators while bullsharks inhabit the Gulf of Mexico" (, 12/19). NBA TV’s Vince Cellini said, “Sorry, they all look like minor league baseball names to me" ("NBA GameTime," NBA TV, 12/19).

NO EASY ANSWER: In Ft. Worth, Carlos Mendez noted Cowboys DE Jason Hatcher yesterday said of teammate DT Josh Brent's presence on the sideline during Sunday's Steelers-Cowboys game, "Was it kind of right or kind of wrong? It was good to see him out there on the sideline. It put a little spark in us to see him upbeat and smiling." Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones "stopped short of saying Josh Brent could no longer be on the sideline." Jones: "There's not a bright line." He added that the NFL "contacted the team after Brent's presence on the sideline on Sunday prompted national criticism." Jones: "We had a good visit about it. And we all agreed we would let this evolve and just see how it is. They were assured of what our situation is, and that his teammates wanted to support him" (, 12/19).

SOUTHPAW STAYS IN THE 'PEN: In San Diego, Matt Calkins writes of golfer Phil Mickelson deciding against an ownership stake in the Padres, "The decision erases one of the country’s most recognizable athletes from the Padres’ new-look front office. But if you think this serves as a blow to the organization, then you, my friend, have misread the green." With Mickelson involved, Padres ownership "would be about as low-profile as a full moon" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/20).

PENS' STATION: Penguins VP/Communications Tom McMillan yesterday said that the team "has had 45 season-ticket holders cancel plans because of the lockout." He added that the Penguins "have a waiting list of about 9,500 for season tickets." In Pittsburgh, Dave Molinari reports replacements for those who gave up their season tickets "will come from that list, although that isn't expected until the lockout is over." Whether the number of cancellations will rise significantly if the lockout drags on is "impossible to predict, although it's hardly out of the question if the NHL remains shuttered for the entire winter" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 12/20).
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