FORT WORTH, TX – Recently the NCAA, in its almighty wisdom, strong-armed the University of North Dakota to prevent them from utilizing their traditional moniker… that of the Fightin Sioux. Apparently the NCAA bigwigs decided that the logo and the name were offensive.
By the way, the logo was designed by a local Ojibwa. That would be, um… a Native American artist, who was a grad of the school. And the name was originally copied from – this is rich -the Fightin’ Irish of Notre Dame. So, it’s okay to depict the Irish with a silly, stereotypical Leprechaun mascot because they can take it. The Irish drink a lot. And then fight.
This hypocrisy comes despite the fact that the Spirit Lake Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux both gave their approval. It also ignores an original agreement, signed by the NCAA back in 2005, that says the University could retain the name if tribal approval was granted… which it was.
The NCAA still threatened to eliminate them from the hockey playoffs. And the football playoffs. And all the playoffs for their various other sports teams.
Other schools get to name themselves after Utes, Fightin’ Illini, Seminoles, Chippewa and just plain ol’ Indians. But the NCAA really got a bug up its rear end on this one.
Why? Why pick on North Dakota?
Well…back in 2001 former Fighting Sioux hockey player and wealthy alumnus Ralph Engelstad donated $100 million dollars for the construction of the Ralph Engelstad Arena. This is one of the largest philanthropic donations ever made to a public institution of higher learning. One of Engelstad’s conditions for his donation was that the University keep the Fighting Sioux name indefinitely. Engelstad placed thousands of Fighting Sioux logos in numerous places throughout the arena to make physical removal of the logo very costly if attempted. The arena opened in 2001.
This. Pissed. The NCAA. Off.
And this is not an organization that likes to get it nose thumbed at. So they threw the book at those poor Sioux. Now several other groups are also claiming to be offended by school nicknames; Reverend Billy Bob Biblebanger of Atchaloosa, Mississippi is forming a protest over the Demon Deacons moniker of Wake Forrest. “We’re also not to keen on those dang Blue Devils and Sun Devils.” the Reverend stated.
Ms. Vanessa White of Dallas, Texas and the Chairwoman of the Junior League of America’s public relations division has issued a press release denouncing the utilization of the Cougar as a mascot by, amongst others, Houston, BYU and Washington State. “A significant portion of our membership aspires to attain Cougar status, and we find the use of this name by schools that are not even in the running for a BCS bowl to be, quite frankly, deeply embarrassing.” Ms. White stated. Defenders of the University of Houston did note the prevalence of cougars of various sizes and weight class around popular Bayou City watering holes.
Nick Arvanitakispolisolis of the National Organization of Greek People with Really Long Last Names has filed a protest against the use of the Spartan and Trojan nicknames. “We don’t like it that they use them names for rubbers either.” stated Nick.
And the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has put Syracuse University on notice that its use of the nickname “Orangemen” is offensive. “Hey, we’re for the advancement of all the colored people, not just one hue.” a spokesman stated.
Back at North Dakota, the Fighten’ Sioux will soon be no more. Which, perhaps, is historically accurate… after all, they did end up losing to the blue-eyed devils who stormed across the plains. Such is life.
Anyway, Saturday brings a full day of Bowl Games… here are some picks:
Air Force Falcons versus the Rice Owls in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth. Maybe the entire avarian species will protest this one, ala Hitchcock and The Birds, mainly because it’s a stinker between two 6-6 mediocre teams. I’ll be there anyway, like the football junkie I am. Great GPA’s for both squads. However, death from above: Smarty Pants 27, Oil Money Kid Smarty Pants 17.
West Virginny Mountaineers versus Syracuse Orangemen in the Pinstripe Bowl in the Bronx. Two former Big East rivals each finish 7-5. As punishment, they have to play each other. In the Bronx. In winter. Yuk. Stereotypical Rednecks, led by a black guy named Gino, 47, Weird Jaundiced Men from the hinterlands that is called upstate 10.
Navy Midshipmen versus Arizona State Sun Devils in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. Kraft is fighting hunger with crappy macaroni n’ cheese and other horrid orange concoctions. In San Francisco. Where being poor has been banned (unlike Oakland, where that condition is still very much in vogue). Studly Sailor Gay Icons 28, Commuter School with a chip n its shoulder 24.
Texas Longhorns versus Oregon State Beavers in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Virtual home game for the Horns. Doesn’t matter… never, ever, ever root against beaver…Heaven On Earth 42, Stinky Ol’ Cows 22.
TCU Horned Frogs versus the Michigan State Spartans in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Arizona. Nothing like a bowl named after the state of New York’s most famous gastronomical export…wings. Ahh…the perfect bad food, greasy, fattening, and doused in fattening blue cheese dressing. Yummy. Reptiles beat Greeks in a defensive slug fest 17 to 13.
See ya at the game.
Cheesy Bruin, tomorrow.