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OPINION

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

So the Pelicans announced Monday that Pierre the Pelican 'injured' his beak during a pickup basketball game this past weekend.

He'll get a beak job to correct the problem, and late Tuesday, the Pelicans released a photo showing his head wrapped in medical bandages in post-op.

It won't, however, correct the great indignity that will come with his re-introduction into society.

Pierre may be 'fixed,' but it'll take awhile for him to find a place in my heart and nightmares.

Over the past few years, I've developed a love-hate-but-really-love relationship with New Orleans' mascots.

I've been chased out of the then-New Orleans Arena by that curiously evil-looking King Cake Baby.

I've been eaten by the first incarnation of Pierre, before his nuclear radiation-formed beak was cracked by his New Orleans brother from another mother, Gumbo, among other ruckus-causing mascots.

But each time I've survived, I've gained more respect and affection for the creepy little buggers.

Maybe it's because ultimately they represent New Orleans.

They're weird and fully worth embracing.

They're Blaine Kern Mardi Gras floats in the form of a costume.

They allow you to imagine whatever back story you want, our very own choose your own adventure live and in person.

Ultimately, we'll love the new Pierre just like we (read: me) learned to love the ever-intriguing and haunting KCB.

The Pelicans said that Dr. Mathew McQueen, team physician and apparently mascot reconstruction expert, performed the surgery. He consulted Carolyn Atherton, curator of birds at the Audubon Zoo, who likely helped McQueen

Hopefully they'll leave his mouth open wide enough that he can still swallow someone's head.

It would seem to be ornithologically correct, and at the very least, the right thing to do.

#GetWellPierre, and God speed.

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