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.