Things That Never Change: People Want Their Bullets Back

Photo courtesy of
‘It’s been awhile’
courtesy of ‘afagen’

Yesterday, we had a little tongue in cheek fun with quips that you would never hear anyone utter in DC. It wasn’t that long of a list, but for some reason, the Wizards became a punching bag. Among all of the comments on Twitter and in the post, commenter WFY I think hit the heart of one interesting sentiment in this sarcastic reply:

“Wizards is the best team name in the whole NBA, I hear it and think, Washington!”

The clamor to switch back to a more regionally or historically relevant name is by no means new. It’s existed in perpetuity since the initial change to the Wizards in 1997, but it boiled up again in earnest when Ted Leonsis took over the team earlier this year. The topic made his list of 101 signs of visible change to the occupying teams of the Verizon Center, and while things appear that he’ll fulfill half of the wish by fixing the colors of the squad for the 2011 season, some people still want to go all the way back to history and bring back the original team nickname: The Bullets.

With that background, we turn to today’s attempt to restore the Bullets: the ever reliable and entertaining online petition. The letter:

Dear Mr. Leonsis,

WE are submitting this petition to you to inform you of interest and a strong desire of long time Wizards/Bullets fans to change the name of our franchise back to the Washington Bullets. Not only would this name change bring respect back to the franchise, but it would allow us to reconnect to the past history of the team. WE feel like it would be in the best interest of the team, franchise, and most importantly the fans to change our team name back to the Bullets.

100 signatures deep at 10:30 this morning, I’m sure at least it’ll be noticed, but doubt it will happen. I speak for myself, and not the rest of the WLDC staff when I say this: Do I love the Wizards nickname? No. But embracing the Bullets nickname just to avoid “The Wiz” flies in the face of one of the cultural reasons it was changed. It’s not that the nickname condones violence – this is a professional sports franchise after all - but it doesn’t do anything to pretend to forget that there is still very much a chapter of history in this city related to gun violence. If you want to change the nickname, there are other options that both represent DC and promote the great parts of the District.

Dave Levy is a PR guy by day, a media researcher on the side and a self-proclaimed geek. He blogs often about how traditional media adapts – or tries to adapt – to the growing digital media world at State of the Fourth Estate. You can follow Dave on Twitter for various updates about everything from sports from his previous home in Boston to eccentric and obscure pop culture references. Read why Dave loves D.C.

3 thoughts on “Things That Never Change: People Want Their Bullets Back

  1. I’ve gone the record as predicting Leonsis won’t change Wizards back to Bullets. I think he’ll say he respects Abe Pollin’s reasoning for the change.

    The Bullets love is kind of funny. When I was a kid in Vienna, I am pretty sure I never saw another classmate wearing Bullets clothes. I saw Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, etc. but never Bullets. In fact, the Bullets were last in the league in merchandise sales prior to the name change.

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