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Local team identities are due for overhaul

Commentary: What’s in a name?

In case you were wondering if they still exist, they do. There are still honest and caring people in the world. I just met two of them. Randy Penharlow and Doug Prince. If not for them, you may not be reading this prize-winning column today and what a loss that would be.

Through a series of stupid errors on my part, Randy found my laptop computer lying in the road at the entrance of Fredonia High School which is rich in irony. That street is called Billie Boulevard. but more about that later. Randy is the head groundskeeper at the Fredonia campus and a guy with a sharp eye for computers lying in the road.

The found item was then turned over to the school system computer tech supervisor Doug Prince. He was able to identify my ownership of the device through a picture he uncovered. He thought to himself that this is either Brad Pitt or that Nin guy at the OBSERVER. The Pitt connection was nearly impossible (what would he be doing here in Fredonia?) so he contacted the OBSERVER Editor John D’Agostino who called me and, voila, here I am again hugging my computer which I had thought was lost forever. Thanks a million guys. So, if you don’t like this article about team names, blame them.

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It’s about time one prominent name got changed. The Washington Redskins finally became” woke.” They dumped the Redskins name for their football team after 80 some years of insult to many Native Americans.

Fortunately, the rumor of their name change to “Goombahs” was discarded for a future consideration. They will now be known as the Washington Football Team which might only be an insult to a real football team.

There is now growing pressure on baseball teams like the Cleveland Indians to follow suit, as well as the Atlanta Braves. There are many teams on the national scene that will be facing pressure to become socially sensitive and woke.

Locally, my vast research staff and I are so woke we are “wide awake.” We are so much more than woke. We are so far ahead of the woke movement that we describe ourselves as “can’t sleep.” As the world goes along in its mediocre wokeness, we are so wide awake to insults you may be shocked to see what you’ve been missing.

There are a lot of other teams that will probably be under pressure to make changes. In the America of 2020, everybody is a victim of some offense for crying out loud. In fact, crying out loud would probably offend somebody because the out loud is too out loud. “Tone it down, you “can’t sleepers”.

Obviously , the Cleveland Indians, The Atlanta Braves, will have to assess their wokeness. They have got to be on the chopping block. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates.

If I was a pirate today, I think I might make an issue of the situation. Boarding ships to take cargo isn’t the only manner of theft that is out there. In today’s America, if the Pittsburgh Pirates want to maintain the image of stealing, they might want to consider changing their name to Congressmen and give the pirates a break.

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It was recently revealed that Paul and Nancy Pelosi bought Amazon stock in January during and, soon after, congressional meetings on the corona virus. That coincidentally was just before the thousands of retail stores were forced to shutdown due to the virus engulfing the world in panic.

As luck would have it, the Pelosis made an easy $1.1 million in 10 weeks. As of late July, their original purchase of stock at $1600 had climbed to nearly $3000 a share. That’s a pretty neat profit, even as profits go in the Swamp.

The third most powerful person in government, and non-pirate, did this without having to board a ship with a sword and do a whole lot of swashbuckling. If you have ever seen Nancy do a bit of swashbuckling, you do not want to see it again. As you might imagine, Her Lowness’s buckles are extraordinary. They’re all shiny and sparkling; loaded with gold and jewels as befits the Speaker of the House. But her swashes have a long way to go to be up to any respectable level of elitist swashes.

If our Nearly Lady President is ever investigated and found guilty of insider trading, she could lose her Speaker of the House seat. Of course, the chances of that investigation ever occurring are the same as Jeffrey Epstein singing “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” at the 2030 dedication ceremonies of the Roundabout. But enough of that nonsense. Let’s get back to horrible derogatory team names.

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Locally we could start with ridding the world of the Fredonia Hillbillies. A hillbilly is defined as one who is an unsophisticated mountain dweller, violent, and lacking in knowledge, and lives in the country.

William. Hillwilliams instead of Hillbillies.

Do you know the slap in the face that is to thousands of county residents. The assumption is that if you live in the Arkwright hills, you’re a hillbilly even though I know some sophisticated Arkwrightians. Even though the term is totally unfair to the hill residents, it’s extraordinarily unfair to urban residents of Fredonia who have to be sophisticated simply by location. Should they be burdened with that “billy” tag?

Our research staffer Kanye says the “hill” part is OK but we should eliminate the “billy” part. Bill” is a nickname for the more polished name of “William”. Therefore, the new name for the Fredonia Hillbillies should be The Hillwilliams. Perfect.

Right next door to the future Hillwilliams are the Dunkirk Marauders. Are you kidding me? How can Neanderthals hold on to that term in the enlightened age of 2020? It is extremely offensive to these young men and women of Dunkirk to be labeled a marauder. You know that a maurauder suggests someone who is a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing terrorist, who roams about searching to attack people for plunder. My staffer Jay Z has a suggestion for the discarded marauder of old. The young athletes of Dunkirk are courageous and brave. They are not marauders, they are Mariners.

Dunkirk is along the waters of Lake Erie. A mariner is an intrepid brave adventurer of old going forth on the waters of the earth to discover new worlds. Come on folks. Let’s hear it for the indomitable Dunkirk Mariners.

Heading east we come to the home of the Silver Creek Black Knights. From a long teaching career in Silver Creek, I know many young people that are not Black Knights. Do you know what a Black Knight represents? It’s not very nice. My staffer Melania’s research discovered that a black knight is a masked anonymous villain. The camouflage protects his, her, or they’s, identity as the black knight goes about doing misdeeds. There can be a lot of awful things that fall under the category of misdeeds. Do we want our future leaders of America from Silver Creek labeled as unidentified robbers, thieves, burglars, rioters, and whatever nefarious activities that a shrouded criminal comes under? Pardon me, but don’t you dare label one of my former great Americans in that way. How about Soldiers? I’ll take a Silver Creek Soldier by my side any day of the week rather than a Black Knight.

Heading south on Route 60 we come to the home of the Cassadaga Cougars. A cougar can be a killer cat or an older lady looking for fun in all the wrong places. I don’t believe the Cassadaga young students care for neither description nor do they deserve such a label. Now, if we a want to stay with the cat theme, my staffer Beyonce suggested Kitty Cats. Well, in my opinion, that is a bit too tame. A little puff ball playing with a ball of yarn is a might lame. If I was a Hillwilliam football linebacker and I knew that I was going up against the Kitty Cats on Friday night, that would not exactly instill fear in my chances of success. So after further determined work on the topic of woke nicknames,, Beyonce came up with K-Cats. That I like. Go you Cassadaga K-Cats.

Further south of Cassadaga, we come to the formidable name of the Jamestown Red Raiders. Essentially, that’s a name describing evil. How more offensive can that be in this age of wokeness? Such a name of ethnic color combined with the salacious character labels young Jamestonians as brutes. We have no place in woke America for Raiders unless they’re just protesters who happen to protest anything to rid the nation of The Orange King.

Imagine this, there’s sweet 16-year-old Janey with her pony tail bobbing up and down as she dribbles the ball, jump shot, swish! Her parents cheer their little Red Raider, their teensy cutie pie, she’a a raider; one determined to steal plunder, pillage, and loot. Janey, the Red Raider. She’s a killer. No way, Jamestown, you’re better than that. No longer is it possible in America of 2020 to be a Jamestown Red Raider or a Las Vegas Raider.

Wouldn’t it be better for all those involved if Jamestown Janey would be embraced by a team name of a Defender? The Jamestown Defenders. Hoorah!!! Who doesn’t love one who is defending something that is noble and honorable. A defender is virtuous and we are big on virtue today in this wide awake culture. Go Defenders. Carry on with your noble victories.

As you can see, there’ s a pressing need locally to correct a lot of offensive names. They have had their corrosive effects over too many years. How many former Hillbillies have spent years trying erase the image of a bumpkin? Fortunately, I was a a Hilltopper and not a Hillbillie. What a difference that has made in my life being a Topper and not a Billy. Check out other teams in our county like the Panthers, Trojans, Golden Falcons, Wildcats, Wolfpack, Thunderbirds, Hornets, and Dragons. Anybody who is woke, even with one eye still closed, can see the harm in those insidious names.

One local offense that my staffer Evanka wanted to correct was the one presented by the Fredonia State Blue Devils. She discovered that it has nothing to do with a spiritual enemy such as The Devil or a minor associate devil, demon, or demonic elements of various natures. The Miriam Webster Dictionary describes “blue devils” as a psychological sense of low spirits, and despondency. I suppose that the name is designed for the FSU opponents to be wallowing in a sense of despair. After the last five years of basketball games resulting in 31 wins and 92 losses, that name describes all too well the Fredonia fans. Bazinga! So as Roseanne Rosannadana used to say on SNL, ” Never mind.”

Nin Privitera is a Fredonia resident. His column appears the second Sunday of each month. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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