Nov 4, 201309:29 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

Suggestion to NBA Pelicans: Get Seymour D. Fair

Halloween Eve proved to be an appropriate time to introduce Pierre, the New Orleans Pelicans' new mascot. He certainly has a look that will scare the children; some adults, too. In fact, Pierre, with his fiendish eyes and non-Pelican-like beak looks more like an angry bird. Lovable Hugo the Hornet, we always knew he was on our side; Pierre looks like he is secretly pulling for the other team.


To date, the Benson organization has done a masterful job saving and rebuilding a troubled franchise. With all the time given to rebranding, signing new players and renovating the arena, one could understand if there was no time for a mascot lovability contest. Don’t worry though, here’s a suggestion: bring back Seymour D. Fair.

 

Seymour was the mascot for the 1984 World’s Fair. He was a benevolent pelican with a perpetual smile and a proper beak, and he dressed with dignity in a top hat, waistcoat and spats as though he was the ambassador welcoming everyone to the fair. Like the basketball team, Seymour faced some attendance issues but his lovability alone certainly sold some tickets. (See Seymour in action, in this case welcoming a mascot called Captain Catfish to the fair.)

 

My suggestion to the Pelicans management is to try to relocate the Seymour costumes, which, if it is not at the Smithsonian, should be at the Cabildo. Having done that, bring Seymour back but explain that over the years his last name was changed to Seymour D. Games. (Keep the Pierre costume to play the villain whenever the Atlanta Hawks or the Toronto Raptors come to town.)

When I last saw Seymour it was his finest moment. Though locals loved the fair it was a financial disaster so much so that for the closing night ceremonies most elected officials shunned the event, but not Seymour. I will always remember him arm and arm on the stage with Congresswoman Lindy Boggs and Irma Thomas swaying with a group of singers to Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long,” the song that earlier that year had closed out the Los Angeles Olympics.

Seymour had done his job. He had fought the good fight despite the odds. Given the early predictions about the Pelicans possibly making the playoffs, wouldn’t it be great if he had another chance in the spotlight? This time even the politicians would be applauding.

    

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photo credits: Seymour D. Fair, courtesy of ilovelouisiana.com; Pierre the Pelican, courtesy of nba.com/pelicans


BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s new book, Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), is due to be released Oct. 31, 2013. It is now available at Amazon.com.

WATCH "INFORMED SOURCES," FRIDAYS  AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 11:30 P.M. WYES-TV, CH. 12.


Reader Comments:
Nov 4, 2013 01:33 pm
 Posted by  Mr. Hat

Mr. Laborde is quite correct: Pierre just won't do. Describing his eyes as "fiendish" goes a bit far: he looks more addled than demonic. The phrase "non-pelican-like beak" is, however, entirely apt. The overall look is that of a chicken suit. I would expect to see it on the street flogging a second-rate chicken joint. Certainly not Willie Mae's or Popeye's. Seymour could be a worthy replacement. Though his wardrobe needs some adjustment. The spats, natty though they are, might have to be replaced by more practical basketball shoes. And the diaper or bloomers? Maybe a clever historical reference to the Baby Dolls, but it's just asking for ridicule from other mascots who don't understand New Orleans culture. Speaking of other mascots, Mr. Laborde implies that the Toronto Raptor refers to birds of prey, but it is in fact an anthropomorphized dinosaur. It is, however, referred to as "the Chicken" by Toronto fans. Let us take that as a warning and replace Pierre with Seymour or some other distinctly non-fowl mascot.

Nov 6, 2013 03:56 pm
 Posted by  Seymore D' Fair

Now wouldn't that be special and thanks to Mr. Laborde for the complement too..! Check out me and the rest of my friends at the Original World's Fair Mascot website: www.seymoredfair.com...!

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

about

Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.

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