FanDuel - WFBC

October 19, 2007

Chief Wahoo: A Modest Proposal.:

posted by Joey Michaels to baseball at 04:59 PM - 41 comments

That was great. Definitely a viable compromise right there. Fantastic link joey.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:35 PM on October 19

Excellent link Joey - quite entertaining - yet impossible to tell what the repercussions of this suggestion will yield. Would the pyrotechnics display be known as "Bangalore"?

posted by B-2 Spirit at 07:20 PM on October 19

That was very good. They could set up a series of quicki-marts instead of concession stands.

posted by budman13 at 07:28 PM on October 19

Joey- that is so politically incorrect I do not know where to start. That said, I could not help but laugh at it. I am definitely not defined by PC. I am not sure what the tradition is with Native Americans and the Cleveland Indians, so I will reserve my comments. I did find it amusing, whatever that means. I do know that the Washington Redskins are getting slammed, rightfully so, for their portrayal of Native Americans...the worst nickname in Sports. I know the (Boston) Irish are not mad about the Celtics mascot/ logo. I do know that Redskins is very inflammatory and since "little man" Dan Snyder refuses to budge the curse on them will continue. Or is it the curse from beyond the grave of Jack Kent Cooke?

posted by urall cloolis at 11:39 PM on October 19

I found it pretty funny myself, and I am an Indians fan. The only bad part is that this is a serious issue and there are those that will not take it as it was intended to be. . . a joke. Every year at the home opener we get maybe10 to 15 people that picket the game outside the C gate entrance just across the street about the mascot. They would probably get more attention, and have more of a bite to their stance if they even were native indians themselves! There was one time back in 2001, I think,Somebody had like 200 or so protestors up there. That had to do with a college class at KSU and some other groups though, and was a one time thing.

posted by jojomfd1 at 11:54 PM on October 19

I am not sure what the tradition is with Native Americans and the Cleveland Indians ... There is none. The team made up a phony connection to a Native American ballplayer after the fact. I like the Indians franchise, but it's a black mark on baseball for that Chief Wahoo redface to be on caps, dugouts and all over the place on fans. I agree with the Christian Science Monitor writer this week who said it's a symbol of hatred and prejudice. It's a shame that if they reach the Series, it will have happened with that character still on their caps. I think it's highly unlikely Wahoo will still be around in five years.

posted by rcade at 12:04 AM on October 20

rcade...I am definitely no Christian Science Monitor fan. But thanks for giving me some history and reason why it is offensive. I have no reason to doubt that is offensive. I have always thought the logo/mascot was offensive, but that is why I referenced the Celtics logo/mascot. From the original post it makes it sound as though it was a tribute to a Native American that played for them. I know the history of the Redskins name and it is indeed offensive and support all of those that oppose the name and logo. Thanks for the information, I always appreciate education on any topic.

posted by urall cloolis at 12:15 AM on October 20

Nice link, Joey. I wonder how many people were offended because they didn't read the disclaimer. I thought it rather funny. About urall cloolis's comment about the Boston Celtics' logo not offending Irishmen, the reason is that the leprechaun and the 4-leaf clover have their origin in Irish folklore. If Cleveland were to adopt a mascot and team name relating to some Native American folklore character, it might be that Native Americans would welcome the name. Actually, using the word "Indian" for a Native American is rather insulting to Italians everywhere. It is a constant reminder that Christopher Columbus had absolutely no idea where he was.

posted by Howard_T at 12:28 AM on October 20

Howard, I think you mean offensive to Indians, not Italians. There is no proof to establish where Columbus was from, just that he was Caucasian and probably came from Europe. But I do appreciate your comments, as I said before- I like to hear what is and is not offensive to certain groups. I see the why the Celtics logo may not be offensive to some Irish, although it is what people think of when they think "Irish". Notre Dame, Celtics, etc... Not trying to make trouble, just trying to understand better what makes one mascot offensive and not all the mascots that take on stereotypes. For example what makes the Seminoles and Braves okay as names, yet the Tomahawk Chop they do at games is offensive. Does the name bring on negative stereotype in itself? If it even brings up negative connotations by its fans? Not an opinion, just a question. I think that sports names should have nothing to do with religion, race or nationalities. Just my two cents.

posted by urall cloolis at 01:19 AM on October 20

There is no defense of Chief Wahoo. At best he should be an object lesson about the institutionalized, casual racism that still exists today. I think the best answer is to rename them the Cleveland Tribe, and change their mascot to be in honor and remembrance of the area tribes that got so royally fucked when their land was taken. They could do a mascot in honor of Tecumseh, for example. It has to happen, now is the time.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:11 AM on October 20

Train wreck in 5, 4, 3, 2 , 1 We have had this discussions at great length in the past, many times. The only thing that ends up happening is people get offended by other people's point of view on the subject. Perhaps this is one of the things that should be listed on the spofi wiki page of discussions to avoid. I am actually surprised it came up this late in the year, doesn't it usually pop up during NCAA basketball tourney time?

posted by jojomfd1 at 04:23 AM on October 20

urall: I think that sports names should have nothing to do with religion, race or nationalities. Just my two cents. That's the way to avoid both cans of worms and names that are absurd when they're not offensive, all right. jojo: We have had this discussions at great length in the past, many times. The only thing that ends up happening is people get offended by other people's point of view on the subject. I don't think that's true. We've had people come into previous discussions saying, "Aah, what's the harm in the names?" and leave with an understanding of what the harm is. Now, mind you, I don't know that there's anything new of substance to add now -- the parody's funny, but in terms of the issue itself, there's no news there. I am actually surprised it came up this late in the year, doesn't it usually pop up during NCAA basketball tourney time? Have you watched television in the last week? Seen any closeups on pitchers and batters? Noticed a certain prominent caricature ogo?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:41 AM on October 20

As a man of European descent, I've always been offended by the New England Patriots logo(s) and team name. Remember their old helmet design, with the revolutionary war soldier about to snap the football between his legs? The stereotypical square jaw, tricorn hat and perfectly pressed uniform? I mean, c'mon already...enough it enough! None of the documentaries I've watched on the History Channel ever indicated that Revolutionay War soldiers had access to footballs, and even if they did, they probably would have cut them up to make shoes out of them. Sure, the Patriots tried to modernize the logo, but it's just not good enough for me. The jaw is still square...pobably even moreso than the one on the old helmet...and that damn stereotypical headwear is still present. I just don't get it. I have a modest proposal of my own. The New England Patriots should give the team a name that celebrates something for which the region is known. I propose the New Englad Clam Chowders, and the logo could be a littleneck clam. That way you keep both factions happy: those who prefer New England-style clam chowder, and those who prefer Boston-style clam chowder. I'll also entertain other ideas and logos that celebrate New England, so please feel free to post them here!

posted by gdvbranz at 07:53 AM on October 20

gdvbranz, your argument/analogy, while probably intended to be absurd, misses the point. Patriot is a term that is not specific to any race, creed, or even nationality. So if you aren't being intentionally absurd and are sincere in your feelings of offense, look up the definition of patriot.

posted by apoch at 08:14 AM on October 20

We've had people come into previous discussions saying, "Aah, what's the harm in the names?" and leave with an understanding of what the harm is and we've had people like me who come into previous discussions saying, "Aah, what's the harm in the names?" and leave with saying "Aah, what's the harm in the names?"

posted by bdaddy at 09:05 AM on October 20

I think the best answer is to rename them the Cleveland Tribe, and change their mascot to be in honor and remembrance of the area tribes that got so royally fucked when their land was taken. They could do a mascot in honor of Tecumseh, for example. It has to happen, now is the time. You suggestion has merit but I think that no matter what Cleveland does as long as it references any part of Native American lore it will be called offensive by the uber p.c. crowd. Just look what they did to the University of Illinois. In my opinion any mascot that shows respect is okay with me and Wahoo obviously doesn't.

posted by budman13 at 10:05 AM on October 20

urall, the comment about Italians being offended by the word "Indian" was made with tongue firmly embedded in cheek. The history books taught us that Columbus was Genovese, but then, as old as I am, I didn't have nearly as much history to learn as a kid does nowadays. By ancestry I am about 40% Irish. I am moderately offended by the image of Irishmen portrayed as drunken, ignorant, combative, insensitive louts. I am not offended by such Irish symbolism as leprechauns, 4-leaf clovers, and so on. I think what sets my teeth on edge more than anything else is the stereotyping of anything, especially when it comes to race or national origin. It has taken me a long time to learn not to do it, and I've tried to pass what I've experienced on to my son. It's a long, uphill battle to overcome stereotyping. gdv, the NE Patriots original logo was a cartoon drawn by a Boston Globe cartoonist. His name escapes me. It too is a stereotype of an Irishman, not necessarily of a colonial patriot. The intent was to blend the team name, the game the team plays, and the local ethnic majority into one logo. As far as "patriot" as a team name in New England is concerned, I would refer you to any decent history of New England from the years 1770 to 1790.

posted by Howard_T at 11:29 AM on October 20

FWIW, I would totally buy a Cleveland Spiders' hat.

posted by Joey Michaels at 12:56 PM on October 20

The argument that says Native American mascots are OK if they are respectful ignores the fact that they invite disrespect from opposing fans. How many pep rallies have used "Scalp the Indians!" when the opposing school has that mascot? I can recall them from my days attenting middle school in Burleson, Texas. I know this is a tired analogy, but if a team had a Jewish mascot, would we accept "Gas the Jews!" as harmless fun? I can sympathize with fans who are lifelong supporters of a franchise or school that uses one of these mascots or names. Sports traditions are cherished. But I don't see how anyone could consider those traditions so important that they perpetuate ugly racial stereotypes. Pro sports have shown they will tear up their traditions in chase of a dollar. Historic stadiums are razed to add more luxury boxes and renamed for sponsors. If Cleveland would drop its stadium name for a buck, and you know they would, why can't they completely drop Wahoo? FWIW, I would totally buy a Cleveland Spiders' hat. Spiders is a killer mascot. Does any top-tier pro team use it?

posted by rcade at 12:57 PM on October 20

Anyone can make fun of anyone's mascots, that reasoning doesn't wash. Wahoo should go based solely on the fact that it is a racist depiction of a Native American.

posted by budman13 at 01:40 PM on October 20

FWIW, I would totally buy a Cleveland Spiders' hat. Spiders is a killer mascot. Does any top-tier pro team use it? I realize they're not a pro team, but the only "major" team I know of that uses Spiders as a nickname is The University of Richmond.

posted by tommytrump at 02:56 PM on October 20

Being of Polish descent, I can relate to Native Americans. Some of the jokes can be absurb and childish however I usually laugh the loudest. Saying that, the post was funny, something will probably be done about the political incorrectness of the logo and hopefully all will be appeased. Hard to figure a Native American point of view without being in his/her shoes.

posted by brickman at 03:57 PM on October 20

Is ths line of sensitivity the reason that the word "Rainbow" was removed from the University of Hawaii's team name? It doesnt seem to bother NASCAR fans. Just curious.

posted by B-2 Spirit at 05:02 PM on October 20

My FWIW - many years ago when I first heard there was an American team called the New England patriots, my first thought was "Why would they call a US-based team after the British loyalists during the American revolution. Weren't you the revolutionaries, and the Pom supporters were the patriots?" One man's patriot is another man's...well, you know.

posted by owlhouse at 05:57 PM on October 20

How many pep rallies have used "Scalp the Indians!" when the opposing school has that mascot? I know this is a tired analogy, but if a team had a Jewish mascot, would we accept "Gas the Jews!" as harmless fun? posted by rcade at 12:57 PM CDT on October 20 With all due respect, that is a lousy analogy. If the pep rallies offerred "Send the Indians disease-ridden blankets!" Your analogy would hold. "(Over)charge the Jews!" would hold the analogy... My dad, who was brought up in New Jersey in the 20s and 30s, said they had this cheer: "Matzahs! Fishhooks! Oi gvelt! Give a good substantial yell... OI!"

posted by bobfoot at 07:58 PM on October 20

"Why would they call a US-based team after the British loyalists during the American revolution. Weren't you the revolutionaries, and the Pom supporters were the patriots?" No, no, owlhouse, then it would be the New England United Empire Loyalists, or in less polite terms, the New England Tories. FWIW, my dad's ancestry was loyalist, and our best guess is they evacuated to Nova Scotia in 1776, when Washington surrounded the city of Boston. (Don't fire until you see the whites of my eyes.)

posted by Howard_T at 08:24 PM on October 20

Porn supporters were patriots? Hmmm

posted by bobfoot at 09:00 PM on October 20

B-2 Spirit - not sensitivity to people's feelings, but because the 'bows new coach (June Jones) didn't like the association of the rainbow with the gay rights movement. He changed it out of homophobia. Now, UH is the Warriors. Of course, they're also 7-0, and really it wasn't that big a deal in Hawaii. The name doesn't matter. The winning matters. Same with Cleveland or Washington or Atlanta. Nobody cares what their name is when they're playing well... In fact, so long as they keep "Cleveland," they are clearly part of the same tradition. Now, when California became Anaheim and then became L.A., well, that was much more infuriating to the fans, I think.

posted by Joey Michaels at 11:20 PM on October 20

I have to agree with the sentiment that people will get over the change and embrace any new mascot if they give it a chance. My alma mater, Miami University (not the U of Miami-Fla) was known as the Redskins when I was there. The school is named after the Miami Tribe of Southwestern Ohio, and their approval was given, contingent on the idea they wouldn't be characatured or mocked in any way (silly Chief Wahoos, tomohawk chops, and all that other garbage.) However, in the late 90's, the writing on the wall became clear. The nickname "Redskins" was deemed offensive by many Native Americans, and whether it was unanimous or not, there was no reason to hang onto it. The school is now known as the Miami Redhawks, most alumni, myself included, agree with the decision. To hang onto the name was pointless and simply lowered the perception of the class of the school. Nobody needed it, nobody misses it.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:18 AM on October 21

My high school went from the Indians to the Nighthawks. C'mon, that even sounds cooler than the Indians.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:43 AM on October 21

bobfoot: With all due respect, that is a lousy analogy. If the pep rallies offerred "Send the Indians disease-ridden blankets!" Your analogy would hold. "(Over)charge the Jews!" would hold the analogy... Interesting fun fact, maybe not. Looky here

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:27 AM on October 21

This parody was absolutely hilarious!!!!! As for its political correctness...... Who the F**** cares. The PC people fo the world have gone overboard on everything. Everything in the world offends someone somewhere. Get a life and a sense of humor. I am Irish and I have no problem with all the Irish jokes that abound out there. In the case of Native Americans it bothers some and it does not bother some others. Just like everything. It is just the vocal ones, usually a minority ( and I am not saying the Native American issue is created by a minority of them) that create the illusion that it offends the entire group.

posted by patrickm at 08:36 AM on October 21

I am Irish and I have no problem with all the Irish jokes that abound out there. And so that entitles you to proclaim that no one of any ethnic group is allowed to object to any caricature of their ethnic group? Thanks for clearing that up.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:52 PM on October 21

My alma mater, Miami University ... ... simply lowered the perception of the class of the school. Not possible, tahoe ... I kid, I KID (says the Bobcat grad) On point, funny take on this. But, as a semi-Indians fan (Reds fan, but don't mind seeing the other Ohio team do well), I've wondered how long Chief Wahoo can last. I've not been appalled by it, but I can't fault someone who is (as long as they are truly offended, not just trying to take some activist stance). Is there any true middle-ground here? Would the people that currently get offended still be offended if the team kept the Indians name and made their logo simply the feather? How upset would Cleveland fans be over losing essentially just a cartoon character? But I guess the problem is that the team still wouldn't have much of a mascot (but could take a page from the Reds - just a Mr. Baseball running around).

posted by littleLebowski at 10:35 AM on October 22

But I guess the problem is that the team still wouldn't have much of a mascot (but could take a page from the Reds - just a Mr. Baseball running around). Actually, that wouldn't be an issue, either. The team's current mascot doesn't have anything to do with Indians.

posted by bender at 11:45 AM on October 22

Yeah but Slider is wearing a Wahoo hat.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:49 PM on October 22

Crap! They'll never figure a way out of that one.

posted by bender at 01:35 PM on October 22

My alma mater, Miami University ... ... simply lowered the perception of the class of the school. Not possible, tahoe ... I kid, I KID (says the Bobcat grad) But just having Roethlisberger gone spruces the place up quite nicely!

posted by tahoemoj at 03:49 PM on October 22

I am Irish and I have no problem with all the Irish jokes that abound out there. Well I too am Irish, red-hair, freckles and everything, and while I don't have a "problem" with Oirishness it can be a bit annoying. Most of the time problems like this are because of history and the fact that one term can have so much more animosity loaded into it than another. Just because one person doesn't have a problem with something doesn't mean it isn't offensive. After all I think the idea of snacking on babies is a great one. Other people may object, of course, I paid attention to Fat Bastard when he told me about Baby back ribs

posted by Fence at 05:23 AM on October 23

Actually, using the word "Indian" for a Native American is rather insulting to Italians everywhere. It is a constant reminder that Christopher Columbus had absolutely no idea where he was. That's pretty funny... I think you mean offensive to Indians, not Italians. There is no proof to establish where Columbus was from, just that he was Caucasian and probably came from Europe. I think he meant it as a joke but I do hope that this helps a bit: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451.

posted by BornIcon at 09:27 AM on October 23

In the case of Native Americans it bothers some and it does not bother some others. Just like everything. It is just the vocal ones, usually a minority ( and I am not saying the Native American issue is created by a minority of them) that create the illusion that it offends the entire group. Which in itself is an illusion. It's just a vocal minority of blacks that object to Little Black Sambo, right? I am a Native American (Cherokee), and I partake in many of the Nations forums and discussions. The vast majority of us are offended by the Indians logo and the Washington Redskins name. But we know that it demeans you more by continuing to use and defend them. Other than the logo, we don't have a problem with the name Cleveland Indians. I have more of an issue with people making accusations of it being overly PC just so that they can excuse their racism. It took years of lobbying, discussion, boycotts, and economic sanctions before the University of Illinois removed one of the more blatant, stereotypic, offensive mascots in all of sports- their "Chief Illiniwek". What still amazes me is how even highly intelligent and very well educated people could possibly believe that a half naked white boy dressed in buckskin and a chief's headdress jumping wildly up and down somehow "honored" Native Americans. I am however, highly gratified by the general response in this and many other spofi threads on this theme by the majority of contributors. You may keep your scalps.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:59 PM on October 23

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