Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Intellectual Sports Teams

Yesterday my wife and I were having Ceasar burgers in a great local burger joint.

Like a lot of burger joints, this had sports memorabilia on the walls. In this case team jerseys from the local high schools. You know, Norman Tigers, North Norman Wolves, etc. The kind of animal totems the human race has been using since we actually hunted - and were hunted by, these animals.

We also used the names of Indian tribes and great chiefs, but nowadays that's considered "demeaning." (Though nobody has yet objected to the stereotypical Paddy of Notre Dame's "Fighting Irish.")

I personally think that identification with the Indian virtues of courage and stoic indifference to discomfort are a great example for youth (we'll ignore for the purpose of the example, murder, mutilation and theft as manly recreation and ritual torture of captives), but it's their call.

So I said that we ought to have intellectual names for sports teams. The anti-intellectualism of jock culture is an embarrassment to this country. (My wife's country doesn't have academic athletic teams.) How about "the Norman Nihilists"?

My wife was captivated by the idea and wouldn't let it go. We played the game in the restaurant, and that evening she took all the ideas we'd come up with and added bunches of new ones with the help of an Oklahoma map.

Guidelines: it has to use the name of a state town, should ideally be alliterative (or rhyme) and represent a philosophical/religious position. So how about...

The Ardmore Atheists

The Ada Aristotelians

The Edmond Epistemologists

The Elk City Esthetes

The Harrah Hedonists

The Newalla Gnostics

The Norman Nihilists

The Poteau Pragmatists

The Purcell Pluralists

The Seminole Skeptics

The Stillwater Stoics

The Rush Springs Radicals

The Tallequah Thomists

The Ponca City Positivists

The Tulsa Totalitarians ("We'll crush your team!")

The Perkins Platonists

The Prague Postmodernists

The Muskogee Monists

The Duncan Deconstructionists

The Enid Existentialists

The Sallisaw Sophists

The Eufala Epicureans

The Shawnee Scholastics

The Marietta Materialists

The Noble Naturalists

The Sayre Cynics

and of course... The Okemah Objectivists

So try this game at home in your state. And how about a different theme for teams? How about religion, literature or art?

My wife's already started...


  • At 7:45 PM, Blogger richardonley said…

    I'd have called that one team "the Edmond Burkes," myself . . .

  • At 7:43 AM, Blogger gun-totin-wacko said…

    It doesn't meet the standards you set for your game, but when I was a student at Michigan State, a faculty member wrote an editorial bemoaning the nickname "Spartans". He argued that a more appropriate name for an educational institute would be "Athenians" because of their love for learning and culture, unlike the war-mongering Spartans.

    As I've always said, he clearly wasn't a History instructor.

    At any rate, all hail the Michigan State Athenians.

  • At 12:25 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    This is a GREAT idea!
    I still don't see why the PC crowd wouldn't go in for team-naming in the tradition of the New York Yankees:
    The Atlanta Rednecks and the Los Angeles Crackheads, just for example.
    The Washington DC team could be called the Sycophants.

  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger Saint in Exile said…

    The greatest mascot ever was created by some crusading descendants of a tribe that once roamed New Jersey. They did not appreciate the use of a mascot that used the theme of "redskins" or something similar. In protest, they created a mascot: the White Guy. It was an overweight, balding, middle-aged, white guy sitting in a recliner, wearing a wife beater, drinking a beer with one hand, and holding the remote in the other. I wish I could find a link to the story online with a picture of the mascot. It was one of those rare moments when some professional whiners really came up with something genuinely funny.


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