Garett Fesperman’s letter to Michael Jordan

Dear Mr. Jordan,


I’m going to get straight to the point.  If the Hornets name does become available, please bring it back home to Charlotte.  There are numerous reasons to bring back the name.  I won’t talk about all of them because I’m sure you’ve already heard them.  The main thing is to realize that it’s not just a name to us.  It’s an identity.  It is who we are, the Charlotte Hornets.  What we have now is a city with a basketball team that nobody half cares about.  Yeah, there are people, not many though, who claim to be Bobcat fans.  But none of them are passionate about the Bobcats.  None of them are passionate about their home team like we were for the Hornets.  And passion is what defines a franchise and builds it to glory.  Not just passion from the fans, but from everybody involved with the organization.  Without passion, there is no life or hope for future success.  The only perk to coming to see a Bobcats game now is to watch the other team play.  Far too many times you’ll hear from our fans, “Oh Blake Griffin is in town tonight, I’m definitely going to the game.”  And while at the game, too many fans cheering to see nice plays from the other team.  This franchise is an embarrassment right now.  But not just right now, the last several years.  Every year we’re consistently close to last in attendance.  The last number I seen is an average of 14,000 per game, and you know half of them are just there to watch the Lady Cats because they’re more exciting than the basketball team.  And I’m talking about the same city who led the league in attendance for eight years.  The same city, the same sport, with a different name and different results.  And there are people who say a name means nothing?  A name is a large part to a franchise.  People want to say, “Well the Jazz name in Utah doesn’t make sense and the Laker name in L.A. doesn’t make sense, but they’re winning, so the fans don’t care what their name is.”  But there is a huge difference between us and them.  Their fans embrace their name.  They know it doesn’t make sense, but they still embrace it and wouldn’t want to ever change it.  The fans in Charlotte have never and will never embrace the Bobcat name, no matter how good the team is.  We don’t want to change our name just because we are having a historically bad season.  Even if the Bobcats were undefeated, there will be many Charlotte fans screaming to change the name back to the Hornets.  It is our identity.  People of Charlotte are attached to the Hornets name.  There is nobody that is attached to the Bobcat name.

Some people also want to say the Hornets are history and we need to just forget it.  Those people were either not around this region back in the Hornets glory days or just can’t come up with a better argument for why we should keep the Bobcats.  We’re not living in the past, we’re simply remembering how bright our past was and recognize the great possibility of how bright our future can be.  Let’s say we get the number one pick and draft Anthony Davis.  That will help add some excitement to the Bobcats.  Let’s even say we get the number one pick next year.  There will certainly be more excitement in Charlotte than there has been in a while, but the seats still will not be full and the fire and passion that was present with the Charlotte Hornets will still not be there.  Also, there is a 75% chance we won’t get the number one pick this year.  What if we get the third pick or even the fourth pick.  Oh, I can just see that bringing tons of excitement for the 2012-2013 season.  If you obtain the Hornets name back to Charlotte, that alone will excite more fans than a number one draft pick.  That might sound weird, but that shows our passion for OUR Hornet name.  This is clearly what the fans want, just as it shows on the Charlotte Observer poll, with an overwhelming 84% wanting the Hornets name, and just 3% wanting the Bobcats.  If that don’t show you how the future looks for the Bobcats, then nothing will.  How will the Bobcats ever instill passion in a fan base where only 3% want the name?  Can you just imagine if the Bulls changed their name to the, let’s say Wildcats for example?  Can you imagine the distraught among Chicago fans?  They certainly would not say, “Well it’s just a name, it still comes down to what the players do on the court.  Go Wildcats!”  Instead, fans would fight and do whatever it took to get the Bulls name back, just as we are doing in Charlotte.  We don’t want the Flight, Cougars, or any other name that has been tossed around as an idea.  Those names would not entice more fans to come to the game and it would be like the Bobcats all over again.  The only name we want is the Hornets.

From a business standpoint, bringing the Hornets name back would be the smartest thing to do.  It’s been figured that bringing the Hornets name back to Charlotte would cost anywhere from $2.5 million to $10 million.  Some people want to sit back and say there is no need to spend this money on a team this bad.  Those are the same people who cannot foresee that there will not be a basketball team in Charlotte several years down the road because we will keep losing money and have to sell.  Everybody’s heard “You have to spend money to make money,” and that is certainly the case here.  Also, if we do not change the name back to the Hornets after the possibility has become so real, the Bobcats will lose even more fans and we cannot afford to lose what we don’t have much of.  We all know that changing the name will not simply earn us more wins, but it will definitely get us back on the right track.  It will instill that sense of Hornet pride back in the community, which in return will get people excited about the NBA again in Charlotte.  It will automatically increase attendance.  The players will have the chance to play in front of a passionate crowd, which will result in harder play and more wins.  It will be a chain reaction in our community that will be fun to watch happening right in front of us.  As bad as this season was, and as much pain we’ve all felt watching the Bobcats lose night after night, it will not compare to the pain we will feel if this Hornets movement is ignored and rejected.  A change back to the Charlotte Hornets will easily help us forget all the terrible times the Bobcats gave us.  Our future has a great chance to be bright.  All we need is for you and Bobcats management to see how bright the future could be, and listen to your fans when we say BRING BACK THE BUZZ!




Garett Fesperman

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