I went to this
Not a bad little Catholic school.
But little did I know, after four years and many, many thousands of dollars later, that my campus, nestled in a woodsy and hilly eastern Massachusetts town, is apparently world-renowned for its vast population of "skyhawks". Much more rare than their popular relative, the "groundhawk", no doubt.
You see, when I went there many moons ago, Stonehill College was known for its Chieftains. Chieftains being the name of the school mascot. Well, until the Police Of Overt Political Correctness Reacting Absolutely Preposterously (POOP-CRAP) decided that the name was offensive to Native Americans, who were apparently, natively American and never called each other a "chieftain".
So, last year, I got a thing in the mail from Stonehill and my first thought was, "I am not sending you money-grubbing bastards another cent!" But when I opened it, I found that it was a ballot. A democratic vote asking alumns such as myself what I would like the NEW team mascot to be, as they were laboring under NO mascot for years now. No mascot?! When the hell did that happen? We were the Stonehill Nothings for a few years? Way to psych out your opponent.
Apparently, "chieftain", is offensive despite its rather innocuous definition of: The leader or head of a group, especially of a clan or tribe. Not sure why a bunch of people got their panties in a bunch over this, but that is probably why I toil away in a non-gratifying profession, while other graduates decide to change mascot names for a living.
So, among the brilliant suggestions for Stonehill's new moniker were: the Shovelmakers (please, temper your fear. You are our opponent. You must be quaking in your moccasins, I mean, boots, at the mere infancy of a thought of going head-to-head against...The Shovelmakers. Be careful, or we'll bust out our JV team...the Hoes). Also making the finals was the Mission. The Stonehill Mission. What the fuck is that? The only less imposing nickname would be the Stonehill Myopic Ballerinas. Or countless others. Try coming up with your own! Fun!
At least they didn't take the easy way out and call themselves the Stonehill Hills. Don't laugh. My high school was Cardinal Spellman. They called themselves...the Cardinals. I give them an F- for originality. It must be some Catholic thing, though, because our rivals were the Bishop Fenwick Bishops. I should just be grateful that there was no Catholic school in the area inexplicably named after Dick Van Dyke. That would have been dicey.
So, needless to say, I am less than aroused about any of these choices. This being America and all, I decided to exercise my free speech right to write in a candidate. I don't have to tell you that my suggestion of the Stonehill Woo-Woo-Woo Paleface Scalpin' Rain Dancers didn't win.
But the Skyhawks did! Is that offensive? Please say it is so. Here's our logo. I'm offended.
I'm offended, because my Stonehill education should have taught me that the Skyhawk was not a bird, but merely a propeller. And the Stonehill Propellers sounds dumb like a box of hair.
Don't get me wrong. Some team's logos are a little offensive. Take the Cleveland Indians' mascot, Chief Wahoo:
OK, that's a little offensive. But look how they overcompensate with offensiveness by giving Wahoo such impeccable dental work!
The Chicago Blackhawks as a NAME in and of itself is OK. The logo...a little offensive:
But some teams went a little crazy when influenced by the POOP-CRAP. Take St. John's University. They used to be called the Redmen. Maybe a tad offensive. But they change it to...the Red Storm. What the friggin frack is a Red Storm? It sounds Russian. And we should not offend them either. They have nukes. I doubt the Native Americans do.
Next up, the Syracuse Orangemen. This must have royally pissed off all of the innumerable citrus growers in upstate New York, because they done went and changed their name to the Orange. I guess, as in the fruit. Again, not very imposing...unless they are playing the Yellowbeard University Scurvy Dogs.
That's why the University of Northern Colorado's intramural basketball team got this right. For those who don't know, "intramural" is POOP-CRAP speak for players who have no talent, but like to go out for pizza and beer after the game. I only know this because of I was a member of the Stonehill College (then) Chieftain intramural Floor Hockey team. Anyway, these guys just decided to be in-your-face offensive with their nickname: The Fightin' Whities. And the best part...their logo:
If you're gonna be offensive, and let's face it...this definitely is, you might as well go the full nine.
Look, I'm not an insensitive prick. Personally, I think that what happened to the Native American people here many years ago is nothing less that despicably shameful and reprehensible. One of the worst atrocities every committed by man on man. But is calling a team the Atlanta Braves really that bad a sin? Isn't the term "Brave" complimentary?
Some things cross the always-moving line. Personally, I'm not a big fan of a team named the Redskins and their logo is pretty bad as well:
But it has been like that since the dawn of time and it ain't ever gonna change. Battles need to be picked. Real issues need to be prioritized.
I personally don't like when people do the chanting and the pantomiming of the "tomahawk chop" at games. But I'm Italian. If you named a team the Goombahs and instead of the acted out a tomahawk chop we pretended to kiss you on both cheeks and then shoot you in the back of the head when you turned around, I would think it was pretty damn funny. Let's not kid ourselves. Some stereotypes are TRUE. They wouldn't have gotten to be stereotypes if they weren't.
I guess my rant is partly based on me being bent that my alma mater succumbed to the POOP-CRAP and did away with a nickname that, in my humble opinion, wasn't all that offensive at all. I guess we all just need to to use our collective head. We shouldn't let the POOP-CRAP get us down, but we should also be sensitive to the majority. If a lot of people are pissed off about it, maybe we need to look at it with a more discerning eye. But one person complaining about the University of Southern California calling themselves the Trojans because it condones artificial birth control shouldn't be enough for them to change their name to the USC Rhythm Method.
There. I've had my say. Smokem peace pipe?