Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Mascot Madness

                Universities across the ever-fruitier plain are changing their team names and mascots in a doomed attempt to avoid offending those “wokest” of progressives who are steadfastly determined to be offended by virtually everything. Native American mascots have been disappearing faster than moderates in the Democratic Party. The North Dakota “Fighting Sioux” became the North Dakota “Fighting Hawks,” for example. The latter nickname just doesn’t sound right, doesn’t convey the same feel. Stanford morphed from the “Indians” to the “Cardinal.” Miami University went from the “Redskins” to the “Redhawks.” (Why is it Hawks seem to replace Indians)? Wright State used to be represented by “Rowdy Raider,” a red-bearded Viking. The pillaging and plundering Norseman has been replaced by a wolf, who, apparently, is not as intimidating or macho. More recently, students at George Washington University have seen to the demise of that school’s mascot, “George the Colonial.” Apparently, the obvious depiction of the great Revolutionary War general, first president and Father of His Country was deemed insufficiently inclusive and possibly hurtful to African-Americans. It’s just a matter of time before the university itself is fundamentally transformed from George Washington University to “Barack Obama University.”
                Campus Reform’s Cabot Phillips traveled to the University of Miami to see just how far students are willing to take the mascot reform movement. Phillips carried a petition and a letter to the school’s administrators to the campus. The letter outlined his deep concern that the college teams’ nickname, (the) “Hurricanes,” could be scary and offensive to some students. When he asked students to support his petition to do away with the name, many jumped at the chance.
                When asked to sign the petition, one student remarked: “It’s not a huge deal, but it’s something, and it’ll make a difference.” In what? One thanked Phillips and said, “I totally get this. I think it’s super respectful.” And one stated, “Awesome! Good for you.” Another opined, “There’s gonna be people who have PTSD and this could f—k them up.” Say what? How? (“Hurricanes” could eff them up-- or getting rid of “Hurricanes” could eff them up)? Yet another simply exclaimed: “F—k yeah!”

Stick it to the man! Or something.

I did some research, as I am wont to do, and uncovered other potentially offensive mascots and/or team names. If we are to ban “Hurricanes,” we must obviously ban “Cyclones,” too. As in the Iowa State Cyclones. The university of Mississippi is referred to as “Ole Miss.” This is problematic enough without even considering the nickname “Rebels.” As in those who fought for the Confederacy. The school should immediately be forced to change its name to the “Resistance,” in honor of those bravely fighting back against President Donald Trump and his strong-armed attempts to make America Great Again. Alabama should henceforth be prevented from calling itself the “Crimson Tide,” no matter how many national championships it can claim. The red tide found off the state’s Gulf shores is a tragic reminder of man’s blatant disregard for the planet’s fragile ecosystems, not something of which to be proud. The University of Virginia’s use of the nickname “Cavaliers” is another egregious example of the white, Christian, ableist patriarchy reigning roughshod over the marginalized. Look up “Cavaliers” in any dictionary and you will find these definitions: 1) “supporters of King Charles I in the English Civil War.” 2) “Man of arms.” 3) “Not considering other people’s feelings or safety.” See what I mean?
The University of Georgia should rid itself of its bulldog mascot in favor of a bulldyke mascot, a moniker much better suited to the times. And, can anyone tell me why Notre Dame is still allowed to call its sports teams (and players) the “Fighting Irish?” After all, the “Fighting Sioux” was forcibly retired. Would anyone countenance, say, the “Fighting Germans” or the “Fighting Iranians?”
On the other hand, at least one school has a name befitting the times, a name that speaks to Millennial Humanists: The University of Southern California Trojans. Thank you, USC! The nickname Trojans is an important reminder that one should always wear protection. Particularly when playing the Beavers of Oregon State, as they do nearly every year, and especially when pushing deep into Beaver territory.
But I digress.
What we really need to see is a university completely throwing off the shackles of tradition and conformity. There is no law stipulating that a school’s sports teams must be named after a fierce animal or a group of humans known for their martial spirit. Why not the Pittsburgh Pangenders, the Iowa Intersectionalists, the Minnesota Golden Gayboys, the Alabama Crimson PRIDE!,  or the California Queer?

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