Rodents and Flying Queens
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently issued an edict to colleges that they were banned from the use of "hostile or abusive" American Indian nicknames, mascots and logos for their sports teams beginning in 2006. Schools that fail to comply will be ineligible to participate in bowl games.
At least 18 schools are deemed to have hostile or abusive nicknames, including Illinois Fighting Illini, Florida State Seminoles, Utah Utes, Virginia Wahoos, Central Michigan Chippewas, Mississippi College Choctaws, North Dakota Fighting Sioux, Arkansas State Indians and Southeast Oklahoma State Savages.
Some schools have already changed their nicknames anticipating the new rule. St. John's (New York) went from Redmen to Red Storm, Marquette (Milwaukee) from Warriors to Golden Eagles and Stonehill College (Massachusetts) from Chieftains to Skyhawks.
While colleges scramble to adhere to political correctness regarding American Indians, it probably won't end with college sports. As a concerned citizen who wishes to offend no one (or everyone equally), I have a couple of suggestions for pro football teams with American Indian mascots that will not offend the source of the nickname.
* Washington Redskins -- Washington Wishy-Washies
* Kansas City Chiefs -- Kansas City Canker Sores
However, if we are to be politically correct with the American Indian, we must also be politically correct with nicknames that potentially demean other members of the human race, such as Notre Dame Fighting Irish (not too many Irish on the team) and Purdue Boilermakers (obviously offensive to makers of boilers). Others include Nebraska Cornhuskers, Oklahoma Cowboys, California-Santa Barbara Gauchos, Mississippi Rebels, Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, Union College Dutchmen, Hofstra Flying Dutchmen, Wilmington College Quakers, Earlham College Hustlin' Quakers, Cleveland State Vikings, Bethany College Swedes and Lyon College Scots.
Thus, I have a list of suggestions for pro football that will eliminate the human race from being the object of political incorrectness. As a concerned citizen, I hereby waive all rights to the following potential trademarks.
* Minnesota Vikings -- Minnesota Mosquitoes
* Houston Texans -- Houston Houseplants
* Pittsburgh Steelers -- Pittsburgh Potbellies
* Dallas Cowboys -- Dallas Dipsticks
* Oakland Raiders -- Oakland Oxymorons
* Tennessee Titans -- Tennessee Tenderfoots
* Cleveland Browns -- Cleveland Clodhoppers
* Green Bay Packers -- Green Bay Packages
* Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Tampa Bay Buck Passers
* New York Giants -- New York Gnats
* New Orleans Saints -- New Orleans Sissies
* New England Patriots -- New England Pansies
I don't worry too much about being politically correct, though. I attended the University of Minnesota, home of the Golden Gophers, named after a small rodent that lives in a hole in the ground.
At least it's not quite as bad as Illinois College Blue Boys, Columbia College Claim Jumpers, California-Long Beach Dirtbags, California-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and Wayland Baptist Flying Queens.
I'd rather be a rodent than a flying queen.
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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels, which are available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.