Friday, October 21, 2011

Department of Diverted Attention: Daily News devotes long op-ed to question of Nets' name change

In the Department of Diverted Attention, Daily News editorial board member Alexander Nazaryan (who last year suggested Mikhail Prokhorov should move to Brooklyn) wrote an after-the-fact essay yesterday headlined Brooklyn Nets desperately need a new name: It sounds bad, and it means nothing:
But the Nets, currently of New Jersey and soon of Brooklyn, are the nadir of athletic nomenclature. True, we may not have a basketball league to speak off, since the segment of our maligned 1% that can dunk a basketball can't settle its dispute with franchise owners. But if Brooklyn does host its first pro team since the Dodgers decamped for Los Angeles in 1957, that team cannot be called the Nets.

Though many - including this paper's editorial page - have agitated to have the name changed, team owners Mikhail Prokhorov, the Moscow billionaire, and Jay-Z, the Brooklyn rapper, have indicated that they will keep it, despite some earlier head fakes to the contrary. This is most lamentable. Why build a gleaming new arena, why attract new players and fans, only to keep this misbegotten moniker?
Well, maybe because it resonates with "Mets" and "Jets" and has a history?

Alternatives

Though Forest City Ratner last month held a media event announcing the name change, Nazaryan offers alternatives:
  • The Brooklyn Commodores
  • The Brooklyn Abolitionists
  • The Brooklyn Rhymes
  • The Brooklyn Bums
None exactly trip off the tongue, or have unintended consequences, I'd say.

He concludes:
Briefly, we could also have the Brooklyn Monarchs, this being the County of Kings, or their vassals, the Brooklyn Knights (this variant suggested by my colleague Joshua Greenman). The Brooklyn Eagles, for the borough's signature newspaper, would be fine, too. Anything but the Nets.
My (inaccurate) prediction was once Brooklyn Bridges.

What deserves discussion

But, really, is this what deserves extended discussion when the state has failed to hire a community relations rep and extended construction is disturbing neighbors?

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