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Go Pelicans!

10:31 AM, Dec 13, 2012 • By DAVE JUDAY
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While not geographic or cultural in nature, Cleveland’s original and new expansion franchises were named in tribute to the team’s original founder, Paul Brown. That’s much like one of pro sports most storied franchises, the Green Bay Packers, whose first jerseys were supplied by the Indian Packing Company who employed founding coach, Curly Lambeau, as a shipping clerk. In short, these are names that no modern marketing and public relations firm would create from focus groups, nor are they innately fearsome, but over the years have become iconic.

Critics of the proposed name Pelicans should note, when the Cleveland franchise was founded in 1946 owner Art McBride held a newspaper contest with a $1,000 war bond as first prize, to select a team name. The name that won the popularity contest: Panthers. That’s a mascot that is sleek and predatory – if totally absent from northeastern Ohio.  The name that stuck, however, was the Browns, which so far has lasted through four seasons of the old All-American Football Conference, through 45 years of an original NFL franchise, and now is in its 64thseason. It even survived three years when the city did not have a football team because it said something about the city and its team. So does the name Pelicans.

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