But I don’t really agree with the idea that “Pellies” signals some sort of weakness. I don’t get the same vibe from “Phillies,” and the lilting nature of the diminutive “-ies” sound implies familiarity and affection to me — not a lack of strength. And on a personal note, when I visited St. John on a vacation two winters ago, I tried to convince pelicans on the beach that it was safe to approach me by calling out, “Here, Pelly! Here, Pelly!” It just came out naturally. (I have issues, clearly.)
So if Grantland is going to go with something other than Pellies, a candidate must emerge and dethrone it in a nickname competition. Here are some of the popular nominees I’ve seen on Twitter, in blog posts, and elsewhere.
...[referring to Pels] This is the “A-Rod” of team nicknames — the shortened format we use when we are too lazy and uncreative to do anything else. This, I think, is why I ultimately settled upon Pellies over Pels. It’s just got more verve, more spirit. It seems likely “Pels” will win out, and it’s more than solid. I can live with it. But I’ve yet to be swayed that it’s better than “Pellies.” I may die on this sword.
People blasted me for pointing out that New Orleans Pelicans was very wordy with its 6 syllables, but this is why I made that point. The name is clumsy off the tongue, so people are going to shorten it. There will thus be some lame, contrived "nickname" created before the branding is even complete.
So if Grantland is going to go with something other than Pellies, a candidate must emerge and dethrone it in a nickname competition