The Popcorn Stand: Desert Tortoises give way to Golden Knights

We’re heartbroken. Las Vegas named its expansion NHL franchise Tuesday night and the team will not be called Desert Tortoises.

Carson, the desert tortoise at the Governor’s Mansion, is also as we understand it heartbroken. We understand he’s moving awfully slowly because of this, even slower than normal.

We at the Nevada Appeal felt Desert Tortoises would have been the perfect name to go up against the likes of the Mighty Ducks and the Sharks, which is why we suggested it. But it wasn’t meant to be.

We have to admit when we sent in our e-mail suggesting the name Desert Tortoises, we got our hopes up when we received a response. (Even though it did look just like a form letter).

But we have to defer to Golden Knights, which was chosen as the nickname, because the team’s owner, Bill Foley, is a West Point graduate. And it would be cool if somehow the Army Golden Knights parachute into the arena on opening night.

Desert Tortoises, though, still has a nice ring to it. Like Banana Slugs. Or Tarantulas. That’s the nickname for Gabbs High School and we think that’s the greatest nickname of all time.

But Desert Tortoises would have been right up there. Imagine all the creative headlines we could have written. Imagine on opening night, the Las Vegas NHL team creeping slowly onto the ice dressed in green much like the UC Santa Cruz men’s basketball team did on its opening night after taking on the name Banana Slugs when it slithered onto the floor in bright, yellow warm-up suits.

But Golden Knights it is and we accept that. Just because we didn’t get our way with the name Desert Tortoises doesn’t mean we’re going into a shell.

— Charles Whisnand


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