Friday, August 12, 2005

I hate it when I'm right...

More info on the mascot saga:

Back on 8/5, I commented:

Anybody with some cow, pig, or chicken nicknames? Maybe PETA can decide that, say, Gamecocks are abused in cock-fighting, can they petition to be included in this "hostile or abusive" group. How about the Bisons? We eat those suckers, don't we? Razorbacks?
Ask an ye shall receive:

PETA weighs in: The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Brand on Wednesday asking the NCAA to stop South Carolina and Jacksonville (Ala.) State from using the nickname Gamecocks.

The letter, a copy of which was given to USA TODAY by PETA, says Gamecocks "are named after the birds used in cockfighting, a hideous 'blood sport' that, like spousal abuse, bank robbery and driving while intoxicated, is illegal in both South Carolina and Alabama."

I'm glad to see some of the schools are standing up for their team names. Utah, Central Michigan, and Florida State are all mulling appeals to the ruling. Utah athletics director Chris Hill:

We're still a little surprised at how this all came out and how the NCAA described what we do (in using the Ute as a symbol). We know we have the support of the Ute Nation, and we anticipate that we will appeal.
Which falls back to my main point. Shouldn't the offended parties be bringing this up if it is offensive? If the Utes, Seminoles, or whoever aren't offended, why should the NCAA and the lefties be? I can certainly see offensive in the cartoonish characterizations of "Chief Nok-a-homa" or "Chief Wahoo." I can see valid concerns with the names "Redskins" or "Savages." But, if done correctly and with tact, these team names can be used to honor the Native American tribes they name, as evidenced by the tribes who support them.

Update (8/12 11:16CT): Happy to hear USC come out against the PETA proposal. University spokesman Russ McKinney:
The University has rejected PETA's call to change the mascot repeatedly. We just don't think there's any interest among the Carolina family at all in making any change. There are no plans to change it.
Just can't imagine going to a game without the chicken call. I lived in Columbia for a good number of years and love the atmosphere of the Gamecock football games and continue to be a big fan of the program. I miss that game-time feeling every time I go to a college football game here or in Muncie. The crowing chicken (along with 'Also Sprach Zarathustra') are a big part of that great atmosphere. And what about poor Cocky, the 2003 Mascot of the Year? Doesn't he represent the chicken population well enough? When the offended chickens stand up to ask for the 'Cocks to change their name, then I'll maybe reconsider... ;)

In seriousness, though... Talking about offending human beings in the Indian mascots is one thing, and I can see that there can be opinions different than mine on that front. Here we're talking about an animal. Does everyone need to take vegetable or mineral names now? Guess we could offend some botanist or mineralologist that way. Maybe we should eliminate mascots all together... Yeah, just go by the college name... Oh, guess that won't work either... I'm sure some of those schools or towns are named after offended parties as well... A quandry, indeed...

Update (8/12 11:57CT): More mascot talk. It appears that the NCAA is conceding that they may have gone too far on the Native American mascot debate. Apparently, the person who they conferred with about the Seminole tribe's view of the Florida State mascot wasn't speaking for the tribe as he implied. David Narcomey is a member of the General Council of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and had sent letters on the tribes behalf condemning the mascot. But...

In fact, Narcomey pushed for a tribal resolution condemning the use of American Indian mascots and imagery, specifically at FSU. It was defeated last month by an 18-2 vote

Heh... The NCAA says they were working from incomplete information and plan to reconsider their view on the FSU mascot. No word on Utah, Central Michigan, Illinois, or the 14 other schools affected by this ruling.


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