Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nickname games

So the news out of North Dakota -- and how often do you get to say "news out of North Dakota"? -- is that the University of North Dakota has chosen a new nickname, after the NCAA banned the old one (Fighting Sioux) when it banned all Native American nicknames/logos/mascots, with a few notable exceptions.

This was the right thing to do on account of most of those nicknames/logos/mascots are racist as hell, unless of course you're Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder and either can't see that or come up with lame excuses for it. We're sorry you're insulted, but these three Native Americans over here aren't, so screw you!

That sort of thing.

Anyway ... North Dakota has come up with a new nickname, and it is, predictably, pretty lame itself. The Fighting Hawks was plucked from thousands of public entries, beating out "Roughriders" and the completely idiotic "Nodaks" in the finals. It's about as vanilla as you can get without actually being the Fighting Vanillas.

Much more entertaining were some of the other suggestions, helpfully listed by Deadspin in its item about the new nickname. Topping my personal list of faves was one submission from a fan and/or student from rival North Dakota State, who suggested "A------s From Grand Forks" because that's what NDSU fans/students call UND.

There were others. One person with a clear sense of North Dakota suggested "Desolate Wastelanders." Some film buff suggested "Fannings" (Dakota Fanning ... get it?).  Someone else suggested turning the Fighting Sioux on its head and calling North Dakota's teams the "Custer Busters." And one wickedly ironic individual suggested the "Fighting Apaches."


I'd have leaned toward something like the North Dakota Fightin' Windchills. Or the North Dakota Woodchippers (a nod to the film "Fargo"). Or the North Dakota Bleeping Bleep My Hands Are Frostbitten Again's.

Fighting Hawks?

Meh. All you can say for that is at least it has the word "Fighting" in it, which adheres to my theory that no matter how lame a nickname, you can instantly make it viable by adding the word "Fightin'" or "Fighting" to it.

The name of my fantasy football team, after all, is the "Fightin' Hammocks."


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