Or it could just rest in peace.
There's nothing wrong with naming a pro sports team after your state's official bird.
The Baltimore Orioles baseball franchise, after all, is named in honor of Maryland's state bird. The Arizona Cardinals, on the other hand, are named after the state bird of West Virginia and five other states, apparently since the Grand Canyon State's official bird, the cactus wren, fails to conjure up a well-known public image.
But the decision to rename the New Orleans National Basketball Association franchise after the Louisiana state bird, the eastern brown pelican, starting with the 2013-14 season, may be a mistake.
Mercifully, the new name for the team now known as the New Orleans Hornets will come without the "eastern' and "brown" modifiers, and be known simply as the New Orleans Pelicans. While a pouch-jawed, slow-moving shorebird may not be the greatest symbol for a pro basketball team, it could have been worse: The names "Brass" and "Krewe" were considered and rejected for obvious reasons.
Maybe New Orleans could work out a name trade with the Utah Jazz, which kept the original name of the Louisiana team when it was sold to, and relocated in, Salt Lake City in 1979. New Orleans is considerably more jazzy than Salt Lake, and Salt Lake's Triple-A baseball team, the Bees, would be an entomologically appropriate fit with the Hornets.
Now, if only a name change could be worked out for the Cleveland Browns, which I only recently learned was named in honor of the team's first head coach, Paul Brown.
I always thought the team was named for its record after Brown left the team in 1962 -- when it became known primarily for not being No. 1.