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Is That a Tomahawk in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Glad to See Me?

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[Editor’s Note: I recently received an e-mail from a reader who provided some fascinating information on the history of Marquette’s mascot ”” a history I knew nothing about. I asked the reader if I could run his e-mail as a guest-written entry. He said sure, as long as I didn’t divulge his identity, a condition to which I agreed. ”” PL]

By Anonymous

Given Uni Watch’s recent discussions of teams with Native American-related nicknames, I thought you might appreciate some background on Marquette’s nickname quandary.

From 1954 through 1994, Marquette’s teams were known as the Warriors. Uni Watch has mentioned the school’s colorful basketball uniform history during those years, and the university itself even embraces that history. In 1977, Marquette won the NCAA Basketball Championship for longtime and fiery head coach Al McGuire, who had announced that 1977 would be his last year.

Marquette’s mascot for much of the era was, well, rather insensitive. Willie Wampum, as he was known, routinely used his tomahawk to “scalp” opposing mascots and riled up the crowd with stereotypical Indian maneuvers. His costume was most noticeable for its large, brown, papier-mâché head. Keep in mind, unlike some of the professional sports teams with such mascots that appeal to the entire population of a community, Marquette is a university whose largest student population is mostly upper-class and white, and this was the era of civil rights unrest in America, even though Marquette’s basketball teams were known to often be all-black and tough as nails.

Having fielded complaints from Native Americans, including prominent ballerina Maria Tallchief, the university decided to retire Wampum in the ’70s, but the Warriors nickname lived on and became lionized with the ’77 national title — the only national championship in the school’s history.

In the 1980s, Marquette took a different tack on the recommendation of some Native American students. The school changed its logo to be representative of indigenous Wisconsin natives and implemented a new mascot called the First Warrior, which took into account a number of local tribe traditions. The First Warrior, a Native American student, would do a traditional dance at halftime and stand respectfully on the sidelines — something that became an issue when rival University of Wisconsin mascot Bucky Badger apparently tried to engage the Warrior in “mascot play,” only to have the Warrior decline because he didn’t want to tarnish his respectful image with frivolity. The idea failed miserably, to the point where the First Warrior was often booed, had things thrown at him, and was even subjected to racial slurs. He didn’t last long, and neither did an attempt at a generic, Phillie Phanatic-type mascot called Bleuteaux.

In 1994, Marquette’s president decided it was time to do away with the Warriors name and its connotations altogether and gave the students and alumni the chance to vote on a new nickname: Golden Eagles or Lightning. There was outrage, particularly from students, since it was felt that the decision to change the nickname had been made unilaterally by the president’s office and was not run past the student or alumni population before the voting began. Golden Eagles was chosen, but fans continued to chant, “Let’s Go Warriors” at games.

The fervor among alumni has never died. At a halftime on-court player reunion a few years back, 1977 team captain Bo Ellis riled up the crowd by exaggeratedly referring to the team as “Warriors” a few times in his speech. An ill-fated attempt to smooth things over with a different nickname resulted in a momentary change to Marquette Gold (like “Stanford Cardinal” in reference to just the color), which created even more of an uproar and was eventually reversed back to Golden Eagles. “Warriors” gear is still treasured among alumni and can be found, unlicensed, in smaller local shops and is common at games. Some of it even features Willie Wampum.

Perhaps the most damaging moment came in 2004, just one year removed from Marquette’s first trip to the Final Four since 1977, when a Board of Trustees member, as part of his speech at graduation and without having informed anyone else at the university, pledged $1 million and said another Trustee would match his pledge if the university would change the nickname back to Warriors. There was a riotous cheer from the graduating students, but no change has been forthcoming.

Today’s Marquette players and students weren’t even born when the team was last known as the Warriors. Yet students still wear “Indian” headdresses to games and chant for the Warriors. Many still want to see the nickname changed back, though I think many aren’t fully aware of the insensitivities of the history, nor does the university want to reopen old wounds by going over all of that again. The most reasonable claim made by those who want to see the Warrior nickname brought back is that it could be used without any reference to Native Americans, much like the Golden State Warriors have done. However, the history is strong, and I think the university knows the connotation will be hard to ever remove. I also think there’s a large segment of fans who are fine with the current nickname, although they’re not as vocal or visible as the ones who want to go back to Warriors.

Several universities have changed their Native American-based nicknames, but I don’t feel like any other school has had to deal with these issues to the extent Marquette has. The university has done its darnedest to toe the line, basically eliminating all references to Golden Eagles in its current athletic branding and encouraging the focus to be on the university, not the nickname (including the somewhat generic and clichéd slogan “We Are Marquette”). But clearly, the ties to the old name run deep -”“ $1 million dollars deep to some, apparently.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

Sometimes you come across a logo treatment you’ve never seen before. Well, I’ve got a Bengals one for you. Now, I was living in Cincinnati during the period when this would’ve been produced, and was down at their Spinney Field HQ all the time, so I saw all the stuff they wore and was quite familiar with what was sold in stores. But I’ve never seen the “circles” design on this Logo Athletic jacket. Has anyone else?

As for the rest of this week’s eBay finds:

• Here’s a rather cool repro of a 1960s NFL Eastern Conference All-Pro helmet.

• Consider yourself an armchair QB? Then this 1970s Monday Night Football T-shirt is just the thing for you.

• You’ll need to get a shade for it, but otherwise this early-1970s Eagles helmet lamp is cool! Match it with this Eagles wall plaque.

This jacket reminded me of how the A’s won three straight World Series titles in the 1970s. Three straight! Will we ever see that again?

• Chiffon Margarine offered NFL decals in the 1970s, like these for the Packers, Redskins, and Brownies. Looks like Pop Tarts offered something similar. (I lived on Pop Tarts back then! Frosted cinnamon, please.)

• You don’t see many smoking accessories anymore, like this 1960s SF Giants ceramic table lighter and cigarette holder.

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here, and you can follow Brinke on Twitter and Facebook.

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The thing that wouldn’t die: Just when you think you’ve finally nailed down all the FBS uniform changes, a few more trickle in:

• Notre Dame now has captaincy patches. Have they ever worn those before?

• Two things for San Jose State: First, they wore gold jerseys over the weekend — that’s new (and was apparently done with approximately zero fanfare). Also, if you look closely at that photo, you’ll see a “PS” helmet decal. That’s for Phyllis Simpkins, a bigtime donor to the athletics department and the marching band. (And speaking of the SJSU marching band, they have new uniforms too.)

(My thanks to Joe Reimers and Scott Winters for bringing these to my attention.)

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PermaRec update: The balloon that this little girl is holding was released into the sky in 2001. Eleven years later, the balloon — and the message that was attached to its string — was found about 150 miles away, the message was returned to the girl, who’s now a college student. Details can be found in the latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: How many ways was Art Modell memorialized last night? (1) Ravens players wore these T-shirts. (2) They also added an “Art” helmet decal. (3) Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was on hand and wore an “Art” lapel sticker. (4) They also put “Art” on the field. (5) And for good measure, Ray Lewis wore Modell’s initials on his eye black. ”¦ The Cavs have a new third jersey, which they’ll wear on Opening Night. … Here’s an article about Bowling Green’s new uniforms (from Tom Konecny). … By losing the 49ers on Sunday, Aaron Rodgers lost a bet and will now have to wear a Niners jersey. … The Collingwood Magpies are adding a memorial armband for former player John McCarthy, who recently died (from Leo Strawn). … Yesterday I mentioned that USA Today will soon be getting a redesign, including a new logo. Here are some early prototypes that show how the paper might have looked when it launched three decades ago. … In another follow-up item, yesterday I mentioned that Clemson’s live mascot had changed his uni number from 0 to 1, but I didn’t have photos. Now I do (from Austin Pendergist). … Looking for some Ohio State-branded furniture? If so, then today’s your lucky day (from Jason Hillyer). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo had the Liberty Bell icon on one sock but not the other last night. ”¦ Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons wore the wrong batting helmet for his first plate appearance last night. He switched to the right one for the rest of the game (from Josh Williams). ”¦ Several good bits from Jonathan Goupil: (1) Troy Polamalu has been wearing a white tux jacket — complete with name and number! — for a shampoo commercial. The real question, of course, is whether the little red cross is there above his NOB. ”¦ (2) Calvin Johnson’s ear pads were knocked out of his helmet on Sunday. (3) Jonathan and Mark Larimer both noted that the Raiders’ uni numbers looked seriously wrinkled last night. … I had previously reported that the Chargers would wear white-on-white for their home opener this Sunday. The team is now promoting that fact (from Josh Phelps). ”¦ Last night I did the same thing I’ve done for the past six or seven Monday nights: I walked few blocks to the Rock Shop, where I saw a two-hour set by the Gowanus All-Stars — a bunch of local indie musicians who’ve settled into a really fun weekly residency where they play mostly country and country-rock covers. Some of the tunes are classics, others are cult faves that I’m familiar with, but many are obscurities that I’d never heard before. For the next few days, I’m gonna reverse-engineer an All-Stars set by embedding some of the songs they cover, starting today with this killer Roger Miller B-side, “Love Is Not for Me.” Enjoy.

Comments (176)

    Is it just me, or do none of the Romney bubbleheads look anything like him? And it’s not like the guy has indistinct features. He’s very easy for cartoonists to caricature recognizably. America’s bobble-sculptors are failing the republic in this our time of bobble-need!

    If you covered the nameplate on that Admirals’ link and told me it was Sean Hannity, I’d say it’s a pretty good likeness.

    looks more like eric bolling (sans part)…i love how that guy pulled himself up by his bootstraps having been brought up dirt poor…if only his MLB career with the pirates weren’t cut short by a torn rotator cuff

    RE: Bengals circle jacket….

    Made by Logo Atheletic. Their logo used a “circle”.

    Here’s a Steelers version:


    I watched Andrelton Simmons get called out by the Braves announcers for wearing the wrong helmet last night.Poor rook…his fine for wearing the wrong helmet will be steep.

    Do the Braves Minor League affiliates use that style helmet on the road? It was Simmons’ first game back from a minor league rehab stint.

    His minor league helmet, whatever its graphic design, would’ve been a double-flapped S100.

    Good to see you here, Bethany! How’s Columbia treating you?

    @Jeff I can remember an instance where Jordan Schafer was using a double flapped Minor League helmet during his first game back in the majors.


    @Paul Columbia is awesome! Very glad to be back south.

    I wondered how a “home” helmet was available to him on the road. Someone must have packed it. Could’ve been a practical joke but there’s bubble gum for that kind of thing.

    Why should he be fined at all? He wasn’t flaunting the rules, he was just wearing the helmet they gave him.

    I was thinking the ticker should have actually read “Adrelton Simmons was wearing the right helmet while the rest of the team continued to wear the wrong one.” I hate that solid blue lid…and the solid blue shirt…and the red shirt. The cream alt, however, I like lots.

    Great read about the Marquette nickname issue! But the U of North Dakota nickname issue is likely only half over compared to the Marquette situation. When you have millionaire donors threaten to pull funding from half-finished multi-million dollar hockey arenas over the nickname prompting school administration to do an about face on retiring the “Fighting Sioux” moniker, then what the NCAA pulled five years later, the UND story will likely be more interesting in the end.

    I think the North Dakota issue is a very different one, given the context of its era.

    While Marquette was responding to some public criticism, my recollection from being in Milwaukee at the time is that the University largely made the decision on its own, absent a compelling singular reason to do so (lawsuit, problems with donors, etc).

    North Dakota was forced to change its name because it failed to secure a license to continue using the old one. Unlike Marquette, ND was first and foremost a case of intellectual property.

    I get that, but Marquette wasn’t alone in that era– see Stanford, Nebraska-Omaha, St. Bonaventure, etc.

    The North Dakota nickname survived that era, but was on the verge of following Marquette, Stanford and others in 2000 when a rich donor (Ralph Englestad) threatened to pull facility funding for a partially completed hockey arena. Only when the NCAA stepped in did that finally prompt the change, and even then state legislators changed state law in an attempt to keep the nickname, and ballot considerations have been brought to voters. Currently, the school will go without a nickname for several years. I doubt the UND faithful will shy away from wearing Sioux apparel during that time.

    Note also that UND was known as the “Flickertails” up until the 1930s, when they became the Fighting Sioux (in part to offset their rival NDSU’s Bison moniker).

    “Three straight! Will we ever see that again?” The Yankees won 3 straight World Series from ’98-’00 so we have seen it since the 70’s A’s.

    It bugs me that Bowling Green wrote the “Falcons” script in an orientation where the word is upside-down if the player is seated. (I know, football players aren’t supposed to sit, but it’s the most common position of the leg, after vertical) It could have been avoided if they put it on the right leg. Pet peeve.

    “‘I want to leave. I don’t want to play for someone if he’s not going to support me’.”



    What? The world doesn’t exist to accommodate our every wish?

    Man, that’s gotta be disappointing news for some, I’ll bet.

    Some requests are not reasonable, other requests are. But I’ve had it up to here with stupid, petty regulations about sports uniforms. These are children’s games, after all. Let the school in California have it’s stripey jerseys! Let the kid wear the pink gloves! Don’t make the soccer teams wear white kits! Show some common sense commensurate with the issue.

    I disagree. If the kid wants to wear pink for his Mom, he can do it all day, every day, when he’s not playing football. But when he’s playing football, it’s not all about him — he’s part of a team.

    Giving in on this just encourages more “Look at me!” behavior. And yes, that’s what this is — the fact that it’s for a good cause doesn’t change that.

    Let the school in California have it’s stripey jerseys!

    And I was so livid, I punked my argument with an apostrophe catastrophe. I am undone!

    I blame the mother. “Son, I don’t care what color gloves you’re wearing. I just want to watch you play. Go out there and win the game for me.” There, problem solved.

    Humans… ugh.

    Humans… ugh.

    Linus Van Pelt: You know what I’m going to be when I grow up? A great humanist.

    Lucy Van Pelt: You’ll never be a great humanist. Do you know why? Because you don’t love mankind, that’s why!

    Linus Van Pelt: Hey, I love mankind. It’s *people* I can’t stand.

    Wow. Just… wow.

    But he won’t return unless he receives a “sincere apology” and feels comfortable returning, Cruz-Connerton said. “Personally, my husband and I would like to see (Burgan) suspended for the season.”

    Well, obviously the kid is the only player in the entire history of the whole wide world whose mother has been a breast cancer survivor, and his is the only family that’s ever had to live through that.

    So, y’know, we all should take note of that.

    What to know what is more ridiculous then a 12 year old kid being told to remove his gloves? A 12 year old kid wearing $40 gloves to play football.

    Today’s the ideal day to post this: after the Mets wore NYPD and FDNY caps after 9/11, I brought back a dark blue NYPD cap to wear on the amateur team I play for in Japan. It matched our uniform perfectly and you wouldn’t even notice that it wasn’t our cap if you weren’t looking closely.

    Our captain warned me that our team might get in trouble if I didn’t wear the real cap. This is in Japan, you see, where The Rules Must Always Be Followed.

    So I had my real cap stashed away in the dugout, ready to switch back if somebody made a fuss. I’m standing in the on-deck circle as the leadoff batter and the umpire looks over at me and points to my hat. He recognizes it and asks if it was the Mets or the Yankees who were wearing those hats in games. I told him it was the Mets, and was waitinng for the order to remove it when he says, “That’s great that you’re supporting them!”

    It was great. Some of the opposing baserunners noticed too and pointed it out, with enthusiastic praise, when they reached my first base position.

    Yes, I know, it’s just a gesture, and it didn’t save anyone’s life or do anything concrete for anyone. But it got people half a world away to remember the selfless jobs those first responders did on that day, so it was worth it.

    I’m confused (nothing new there). The way I read it he just suited up with the pink gloves without asking or explaining, and after the coach told him to take them off he still didn’t say why he was wearing them? I think having NFL level rules for kid’s ganes is idiotic, too, but something here isn’t right.

    When I was a young caddy at a local Country Club in Wisconsin, the man who I looped for was a very wealthy owner of a grocery chain. He was also a neighbor of mine, and we would talk often about sports during the round. He graduated from Marquette back in the 60’s and absolutely LOVED his time there, but said because of the change of mascot to the Golden Eagles, he said he would never donate any money to the University ever again. Whenever he would see Marquette playing on TV, or just heard them referenced, he would call them the “Golden Wimps”.

    “When I was a young caddy at a local Country Club in Wisconsin, the man who I looped for was a very wealthy owner of a grocery chain.”


    so they finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff johnny…and johnny says, “hey, marquette guy…hey…how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?”

    and rich marquette guy says, “ah, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness..”

    so he’s got that goin’ for him, which is nice…

    Regarding the Oakland Raiders crinkled jersey numbers I’d be willing to bet that it’s a factor of Nike using new, lighter numerals on a jersey made of the older material. Isn’t Oakland one of the teams who elected to keep the same style and fabric when the NFL switched to Nike?

    Yes, the Raiders elected to ignore Nike’s “improvements” and are wearing the same uniform style as last season. This also means that they’re now the only team wearing shiny metallic pants, which look far better than the dull and apparently semi-transparent garbage that the other “silver” teams in the league now use. (See yesterday’s main photo)

    Isn’t Oakland one of the teams who elected to keep the same style and fabric when the NFL switched to Nike?

    Yes. But the Colts have had the same problems this year, and they’re using the new fabrication:

    I think it has more to do with players and/or equipment managers who went overboard with the Velcro or double-sided tape on the inside of the jersey. If you use too many contact points when adhering the jersey to the pads, you end up with a mess.

    I don’t think its Velcro or double-sided tape, I think they use that tacky spray mount stuff:

    Thats what it looks like to me.

    I always cringe when a uniform manufacturer comes up with any new uniform called a “system”. They’re usually riddled with flaws and involed stupid designs, like the Reebok NHL “systems”. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    “Warrior” in and of itself isn’t offensive. A mascot & logo could be though. Would it be a problem if their mascot was the MSU Spartan? A person dressed in today’s Army fatigues? What if they keep the “MU” and go with no mascot?

    What if this was all an elaborate master plan to get good synergistic marketing with Warrior lacrosse gear?

    Granted, I never lived trough “First Warrior” and “Willie Wampum”, but what I’m getting at is that while the Tomahawk Chop is offensive, chanting “Let’s go warriors!” isn’t.

    At the time, I didn’t understand why the administration didn’t do as you suggest and keep the name.

    My high school was undergoing a similar transformation at the time, keeping the nickname “Red Raiders” but moving from a link to a sort of link theme.

    Heck, they didn’t even have to drop the tomahawk, either. The tomahawk was quickly adopted by European colonists in North America, and was commonly carried by frontiersmen, settlers, and soldiers throughout the colonial era. Make the mascot a coonskin-capped Davey Crockett type, give him a tomahawk and a musket, and bam! You get to keep your nickname and your tomahawk.

    (insert glassy-eyed PC moonbat voice) “But it shows swords, which are weapons! Even pictures of them violate our zero tolerance policy on weapons! Think of the children! That’s why we had to burn the history books!”

    Yeah, I agree. I enjoyed the name “warriors”. I never attended Marquette, but I felt the moniker reflected the the school’s community and namesake. Wisconsin schools teach the history of the Native American rich area. Who hasn’t made a dream catcher in school? Heck, Milwaukee just celebrated their annual Native American festival this past weekend.

    Was bigotry involved in the past — certainly. But certainly there can be a tasteful way to celebrate the heritage and not be offensive. And that perhaps is what angers the warrior-faithful. The school just moved on instead of getting a talented creative team to correct it.

    Nets’ floor at Barclays Center finally revealed.


    It says in there the design was fashioned by Yormark and the club’s marketing team, but it was actually suggested by me and then presented by adidas, months before the Nets were even a black and white team.

    Didn’t you spot the “London 2012” wordmark on the rims at the Olympics? At the time, I suggested that the NBA would use it as a spot for an NBA Cares ad, but Spalding? That actually pays (sarcastic tone)!

    Modell’s memorial wasn’t on the field, it is painted on the Ravens sidelines, surprisingly the Ravens don’t have a uni patch unlike the Pats who chose to memorialize the owners wife last year.

    They haven’t worn captaincy patches either. Their unis are dated based on the drop shadow numbers, but at least they are consistent and try to avoid clutter when possible. Wish they would have stood fast and avoided the nikelace.

    I graduated from Marquette in ’93 (always a Warrior!). When I was there, a small group wanted to keep the name, but change the logo to a design based around Joan of Arc, the French warrior and saint to whom a chapel on campus is named. This idea has always stuck with me, as it would have provided a way to keep the name, be relevant to the university’s Catholic and Jesuit roots and even go a step further by embracing a female as its sign of strength. But instead, Golden Eagles…named for the vast flocks that inhabit downtown Milwaukee…or not.

    God forbid there is any reference to Catholic or Jesuit roots for the University. That would be more offensive to the libbers than the Warriors nickname.

    If you insist on taking juvenile, or infantile, political shots, the proper derogatory term is “libs,” not “libbers.” If your memory goes back that far, recall that those who supported “women’s liberation” in the 60s and 70s were often referred to as “women’s libbers.”

    Point taken, DJ, but Maggie’s point also stands: I strongly suspect that any mascot with such religious overtones would’ve attracted the ire of precisely the same sort of people who stay up nights worrying about American Indian mascots. Marquette would’ve traded one publicity headache for another.

    Instead of “strongly suspect(ing)” something about a straw man that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand, how about, y’know, sticking to the discussion at hand.

    But LeC, this is actually a testable proposition, not something we need to leave to the imagination. There are many Catholic high schools, colleges and universities in the United States. Many of them have overtly religious or Catholic athletic nicknames and mascots. If your supposition is valid, then there must be some incidence of public outcry or protest against those names or mascots.

    So, assignment to anyone who suspects this who is also a person of integrity: Dig into Google’s news archive and quantify the frequency and extent of the protests you believe to be taking place. If such protests exist, how do they compare in number, frequency, and effect with the protests against Native iconography? Are the same people in fact named as activists in news accounts about both types of protests?

    Scott was too polite to point this out, but Maggie’s comparison was badly flawed to begin with. Most people’s objection to religious symbols being associated with schools is rooted in legal challenges to public schools, because the Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. That’s not a political position; that’s the law of the land. (None of this applies to private religious schools, of course, which is the essence of Scott’s comment above.)

    Nobody is mounting a legal challenge to Native American mascots. Some of us just think they’re in extremely poor taste.

    LeC, Maggie’s point does not stand. No one objects when a Catholic school names its sports teams “Saints”, “Friars”, or “Crusaders.”

    Not an awful idea, Tom, but from what’s the article, it sounds like the history is part of the problem and simply can’t be ignored. Even with a calculated effort to bring it back, I can just see a website, in this day and age, saying, “Marquette goes back to this!” and posting Willy Wampum or some long-lost footage of kids throwing stuff at the real native mascot.

    It sounds like a lot of Marquette fans are very focused on the good parts of the name and want to ignore the bad parts. Throwing stuff at a native dancer? Seriously? I spent some time at a Jesuit school and part of their philosophy was “cura personalis” or “care for the whole person.” That sure as heck ain’t very caring.

    It sounds to me like, somewhere along the line, these fans lost the privilege for themselves. It sounds like a lot of Marquette fans don’t take that into account.

    Er…I agree with you. The name has a lot of baggage with it. But here’s the thing. Universities tell prospective students that they’re going to give them to tools to go out and change the world. In fact, Marquette’s own tagline is “Be the Difference.” Well, here’s your opportunity. Change the connotations that go along with the word Warriors and prove that you can be the difference. If you think about it, doing nothing, ignoring it, distancing yourself from it only serves to keep it all alive with all that goes along with it.

    “Nobody is mounting a legal challenge to Native American mascots. ”

    That isn’t really true – the Washington NFL team’s trademark has been under attack for years. The last challenge was dismissed for largely procedural grounds (statute of limitations), a new challenge was filed just last week.


    while that’s true, unfortunately,

    “The case, Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc., is largely symbolic, and the outcome is unlikely have a major impact on the Redskins because trademark officials do not have the authority to halt the sale of goods containing Redskins images or logos, nor can they order the team to pay damages to the petitioners.”

    still, even a symbolic victory, even one that only removes the trademark protection, would be sweet

    I don’t agree with the article. It would be a lot more than symbolic – if they lose control of their name, so that anyone can sell team merchandise without team permission or control or without paying a royalty to the team – its as good as a ban.

    That would not be a “symbolic” victory. That would be an actual victory. Under the First Amendment, no government can prevent anyone from selling anything based on the content of its words. (Barring exceptions such as in the case of misleading product labeling, incitement to criminal activity, and the like.) The point of the legal attack on the Redskins trademark is not and has never been banning the sale of the products. Rather, it has been removing federal trademark protection from the Redskins’ trademarks.

    Under federal law, “Redskins” is pretty unambiguously not trademarkable. If this suit, or another suit like it, is ever allowed to be decided on the merits, rather than dismissed on standing or jurisdictional grounds, the Redskins will lose. And while the Redskins will still be allowed to sell Redskins merchandise, so will everyone else. The Mattaponi tribe in Virginia could go into the business of selling Redskins knockoffs, for example, and the Redskins would be powerless to stop them from doing so. (Still couldn’t use NFL trademarks, but any Redskins trademark, such as the helmet logo or the wordmark, would be fair game.)

    The theory has been that if the Redskins lose federal trademark protection, they will have no choice in the medium term but to change the name to one that can enjoy trademark protection, because in the interim merchandise revenue will collapse as people choose less costly legal knockoffs. I’m not sure that many people actually would do so, and anyway it seems a strategy more likely aimed at giving the NFL sufficient incentive to force a name change on the team.

    But even if it never achieves that goal, simply causing the federal government to enforce the plain meaning of federal trademark will be a victory here.

    “It would be a lot more than symbolic…”


    “That would not be a “symbolic” victory. That would be an actual victory.”


    not disagreeing with either of you (and i know at least one of you is an actual barrister)…but what it does NOT do is to bring about a name-change via writ — not that that is even the desired result

    it might, as our scott points, cause the iconography (or lack of trademark) to become worthless, thereby necessitating but not requiring a name change … a hollow (but nevertheless welcome) ‘victory’ … otoh, without a legal basis to ban or outlaw the use of the iconography, it is possible (especially if the washington team were to refuse to change the logo/name) that an even greater number of items with the offensive imagery would be produced — not necessarily a desirable affect

    im wont to agree with our canadian friend that loss of control of the name/iconography would be as good as a ban, since the washington team/NFL could no longer profit from its use, but that’s not a guarantee (that they’d then, and only then, change the name/logo)

    i also agree with our scott’s posit that

    “they will have no choice in the medium term but to change the name to one that can enjoy trademark protection, because in the interim merchandise revenue will collapse as people choose less costly legal knockoffs”

    but i also have my doubts that people would do so…although with the amount of counterfeits that people already purchase, imagine the market for NFL gear that no longer has explicit NFL trademark protection…those $250 polyester jerseys just might be available for $100 or less

    certainly not something i want to see, but in theory it’s a delicious prospect

    I thought it interesting that on my drive to work this morning, the local radio morning show was mentioning how the NFL had switched from Reebok to Nike. Curiously, the host ALSO mentioned the snafu of see-through pants, as evidenced by the photo in yesterday’s entry. So, is this a story that has started making some national headlines, or is the guy on the morning show possibly “one of us”?

    I think that photo has gotten a lot of exposure (no pun intended). When I tweeted it on Sunday, it got over 300 retweets within about 90 minutes (and is now up to 400), and several other sports blogs ended up running it.

    And are any of them giving you credit for it? The one I came across last night made no mention of you or Uni Watch.

    By the time something is endlessly retweeted and reblogged, a lot of people have no idea where it came from. And honestly, that doesn’t bother me in the case of something like this. I wasn’t watching that game and I didn’t see the see-thru pants first-hand — the screen grab was sent to me by a reader. In fact, several readers sent me screen shots of that moment (I used the best one), and several others sent me emails about it (“Sorry, no screen shot, but I definitely saw it!”).

    In short, I don’t feel this one “belongs” to me, or to Uni Watch — it belongs to everyone. And that’s fine.

    That’s the problem – once one person fails to credit the source (and Google Images makes it really easy to pull pictures without ever even seeing attribution), then the credit fails to pass down the chain.

    It’s not that anyone’s “deserving of credit” it’s that you shouldn’t present the information as something that you noticed on your own.

    For instance, Paul mentions when people send him screen shots.

    The writer of link presents it as though it was a first-hand observation

    I see. I didn’t check to see if it hit any “news” sites. I’m assuming this guy probably saw one of the numerous retweets and decided to bring it up on his show. The cutting edge morning talk shows think that’s quality humor, you know.

    Andy Murray – upon winning the US Open yesterday – rummaged through his bag and called to his box in order to retrieve a sponsors paid plug… A bright silver watch. Stupid.

    Video of him pantomiming “I don’t have it” to his box: link

    And story from Brisbane Times here: link

    You know, I get that there’s a lot of money at stake for these guys with sponsorships – probably more than I make in a decade. I’m sure his contract requires him to wear it in interviews. But man, would I hate to be a slave to that situation. It’s not the wearing of the watch itself – just the insanity of having to stop what you are doing after such a huge win to find the stupid watch.

    I’d like to think if I were a high-profile athlete, I’d tell those sponsors to shove it. If they want me to pimp their stuff, they’ll operate on MY terms. But then they’d probably just wave a million dollars in my face and I’d relent. I’m a realist like that.

    Just call it what it is: douchebaggery and greed. Yeah, they probably waved a million dollars in his face, but Andy Murray is already a millionaire many times over. What does he need another million for? He already has more $$$ than he’ll ever be able to spend.

    But he still sold out his dignity for some pathetic stunt, and the whole world got to see it. Asshole.

    I don’t usually post Permanent Record links in the comments, but I’m really happy with the one I just posted. It concerns a 1949 rejection letter from a greeting card company — give it a shot:

    I’ve been enjoying it as well. What impresses me the most is Pauls sincere interest in the history of such minutiae.

    Paul, I’m sure you don’t do things like the Permanent Record purely for others, but there are plenty of us who truly enjoy your work. Awesome stuff.

    What impresses me the most is Pauls sincere interest in the history of such minutiae.

    Thanks, Coleman. I realize some Uni Watch readers don’t care about PermaRec because it isn’t about sports, but I see a pretty obvious connection between PermaRec and Uni Watch, and it’s rooted in the aspect you’ve singled out: using minutiae fetishism to find hidden storylines. The two projects push a lot of the same buttons in my head.

    Not sure if already mentioned but this past weekend the White Sox wore green/black/red pinstripes against the Royals in consecutive games. St Paddys Alts Friday/Regulars Saturday/Sunday throwback.

    Interesting video on placing the decals on Missouri’s alternate helmet. Each helmet takes up to 15 minutes to apply the stickers.


    Looks like Pitt football has new stickers on the back of their helmets. They appear to be of old Pitt helmets. link
    (picture 13(

    Goes without saying, so I didn’t say.

    Also, editorial quibble: “awesome Roger Miller tune” is redundant.

    Fantastic choice, Paul! The song reminds me of Junior Brown – I would love to hear him to a remake with his guit-steel instrument.

    You can see Roger Miller’s sly grin and winks all thr way through the song.

    I’m looking forward to the rest of the play list!

    Loved it and forwarded the link to a friend who’s a musician and country-western aficionado to see if he was familiar with it.

    Hey Paul, I’m a real Country-Rock Freak. Did they cover anything by Michael Nesmith, Gene Clark or The Flying Burrito Brothers by any chance?

    This is interesting. The Suns logo on the top left of their website link has changed. New font for PHX and beveled letters.
    The previous version of the logo is still all over the website for comparison.


    YES! I still say that the Chargers should go White helmet, White jersey, Gold pants – a nod to the late 1960s-early1970 unique Chargers look, totally ditiching the NavyBlue pants forever.

    Also, the Navy socks with Navy pants create that hedachey assinine bike pants look – ruins the uniform.

    NFL teams can, and occasinoally DO, do better. Get with it, Chargers. Come On, Man !!!!

    “Stop breaking my comments. This uniform looked fine: link

    yeah, um…they don’t need the navy helmet…make it powder blue along with the pants, and we’ll talk

    speaking of blue pants — why can’t they wear those socks with the current set? why they gotta look like they’re wearing danskins? that right there is a much larger problem than needing a second helmet (which they don’t)

    The navy does look fine. But it doesn’t really look like it belongs in San Diego. Navy is a northern color. The Buffalo Chargers would look great in navy and yellow. So would the Chicago Chargers. Even the Salt Lake Chargers would look really sharp in those uniforms.

    San Diego is sky blue. So’s LA. It’s a color that makes you want to go to the beach.

    That’s probably the greatest San Diego ever looked. Of course, I’m biased since that is what they were wearing when I first got interested in football. As a 9-year old, that really blew my mind. I think it may have been the yellow facemask that did it for me. That and Dan Fouts.

    i hated the chahguhs and kellen winslow until 1981 when he singlehandedly dismantled the (even more hated) dolfish…

    after that, it was nothin but respect

    he was a fuckin’ soulja that day

    Actually, the backup quarterback, Bruce Grandkowski, was wearing a hat with his number (7). I saw his first, and kept wondering if Dalton or other players had the same ‘personalized’ cap.

    Damn, I thought you were gonna reference this song:


    My girlfiend’s high school mascot were the Warriors and they ALWAYS played this song at the football games. I’m sure it’s etched permanently in her brain.

    I like what they have been doing at SJSU recently. The equipment manager is Charlie McMillan who played football at Wagner before becoming the video manager.

    Recently, he had been the head equipment manager at Fordham before leaving for the left coast.

    An absolute Uni-watcher!!!

    Way to go Cavaliers! My only disappointment is the “CAVS” name. Should have went with the full name…it would have been classier and moved you up Paul’s rankings (or should have. A unique color identity with understated charm and consistency is sorely missing in the blue & orange NBA).

    Also, why does the NBA feel the need to shorten the Cavs, Mavs, Cats? Maybe its a Twitter thing? I get it for the Knicks, Wolves, and Sixers. Whatevs.

    What is it with the NBA? Why do so many teams use the nickname of the nickname on their jerseys?
    Cavs, Mavs, Cats, Blazers, Wolves, Sixers, Knicks, Sonics (defunct)

    As a comparison, baseball has:
    Sox, A’s, D-backs
    (I’m pretty sure the Mets do not qualify for this list)

    Plain, but it beats some of the over done clown outfits with random stripes, harlequin patches and apron strings all over them.

    I’m quoting here from a comment much further up the comment stack:

    I graduated from Marquette in ’93 (always a Warrior!).

    I confess that the whole “Always a [Whatever]” thing has is something of a head-scratcher to me. When I attended SUNY-Binghamton, our teams were called the Colonials. At some point in the late ’90s or early 2000s (I forget), they were renamed the Bearcats, supposedly as a way to “modernize” the brand. It struck me as pretty lame-o, but whatever — SUNY-B’s teams were still SUNY-B’s teams.

    At the end of the day, I spent four years at SUNY-B (plus an additional year working in Binghamton while waiting for my galpal to graduate). That’s a relatively small part of my life, and definitely not the most important part. I donate money to the school because I believe in public higher education, not because I’m “always a Colonial” (or Bearcat, or whatever). The whole thing of having a fanatical devotion to one’s alma mater frankly strikes me as a little bonkers. But then, like I said a few days ago, I’ve never been a big joiner….

    I know what you’re saying. Further complicating it is when you have multiple degrees from different schools. Gets odd when the schools play each other.

    I don’t ever say the “Always a [whatever]” deal (the ‘whatever’ being a Grinnell Pioneer, in my case), but I do take a lot of pride in my college experience that has nothing to do with athletics (which is good, considering it is a small liberal arts school in D-III). To me, my four years there were fundamental in helping shape the person I am now, more than a decade past graduation. I will always consider myself a Grinnellian because of what that time meant to me.

    I’ve always shook my head at people who keep the same allegiance towards their high school, or look at high school as the best time of their lives. Of course, these are usually the types that never move away from their hometown, and just… simply haven’t experienced a lot in life. Not knocking them, I just don’t understand it.

    But at the same time, I’ve never felt that way about one’s devotion to their university or college. Perhaps it’s because college has such an impact on our lives? At 29, and not having completely finished until I was 25, I still have very fresh memories. I still converse quite often with former classmates. Now, when I’m 39 or 49 I might no longer have such a strong connection. Who knows? I won’t say college was the “greatest time of my life” (I hope that’s still to come), but considering how much I grew and learned, academically and otherwise, I still feel like that time period shapes my day-to-day life. I barely have any friends left from high school. It doesn’t hold the same weight.

    I’m not sure if I really have a point… I guess I just wanted to share my thoughts. I certainly don’t feel like I have a fanatical devotion to my alma mater, but I do feel like it’s a part of who I am. If not for going there I might not have the job I do, probably wouldn’t have met my fiancee, etc.

    I just mean I graduated before they changed the name to Golden Eagles the next year. But thanks for your biting commentary on my allegiance.

    The truly confounding people are the ones who have a deathly loyal allegiance to a school they never attended. Just don’t get that.

    I am proud of the school I went to (Pitt 2002-2006), but I have never said I was a “Panther”. I am a U of Pitt alum. I am proud of the school, the experience I had on campus (love urban campuses), how it represented the city I grew up in, and the quality of education I received. Sports were a fun distraction, but they were not the driving force in my decision to go there or to support the institution today.

    Interesting news on the Native American name front today as the NASL’s (Division 2 soccer) Atlanta Silverbacks are holding a fan vote to decide whether to keep that name, choose a totally new one, or adopt the 1970s NASL moniker of Atlanta Chiefs(who’s name and logo still live on with South Africa’s Kaizer Cheifs F.C.) after this season.

    The current team was originally called the Atlanta Ruckus, and changed names to Silverbacks in 1998(named after Willie B, the famous gorilla that was at Zoo Atlanta).

    Has anyone ever switched BACK to a Native American name before? Will be interesting to see the response to this.

    Has anyone ever switched BACK to a Native American name before?

    As noted yesterday, Eastern Michigan is bringing back its long-mothballed Hurons name/logo for its marching band.

    Not quite the same thing as a team doing it, but related.

    In the northern suburbs of NYC, there are a handful of high schools whose nicknames were the Indians.

    A few years back, the local athletic administration of Section 1 had tried to force them to change.

    Nyack, John Jay Cross-River, and Mahopac remained.


    John Jay CR:

    In the pics above, they are playing Tappan Zee who is wearing matte grey helmets with the Red/Princeton stripe. Notice that JJCR is also wearing matte blacl with a purple and white feather as their center stripe.


    I wonder if the black community in ATL caught wind of “Silverbacks” and are trying to change it to something else?

    in case anyone is interested in the story of port adelaide power footballer and former collingwood magpie john mccarthy, it just got weird…i’m betting that the toxicology report will show something, and i imagine from what i’ve read, he didn’t “fall” from the top of the flamingo hotel in las vegas…


    I thought Robert Geathers from the Bengals was going to be in the history books as the first NFL with an “01” jersey. But it appears to be the effect of camera angle + wrinkled jersey. link (Icon as seen from homepage).

    Has anyone ever done a really thorough analysis of Native American iconography in North America? You could make an argument that the Sons of Liberty were the first “team” to use native imagery, when they dressed up as natives to throw tea in Boston Harbor. And the Wyoming Massacre in 1777 was the mass murder of men and boys by Loyalists, dressed as Natives.

    Maybe it’s facile to draw a line connecting a Revolutionary War massacre and Chief Knockahoma, but then again, maybe not.

    When I graduated from Marquette I was the 16th person in my family and 3rd generation to do so. I was brought up on the tradition of the nickname the Warriors. If they changed the name back to warriors, all of our Warriors gear with the Native American imagery on it would definitely be put to rest but until that time it will be worn proudly. It wasn’t about the Native American imagery or references for me it was the name. I was the original guy to wear the headdress to basketball games and it got me into trouble, see the following article link TL;DR The administration threatened me with ejection from the upcoming national television game after I had worn it for the entire season. I ended up not wearing it for that game but I did wear it for the next 3 seasons with no issue. My point is, from the numerous alumni and basketball fans if you bring back the warriors people would be more than willing to ditch the native american stuff for new gear for the Warriors name

    So this is some sort of hostage negotiation in which you say, “Give us back our name or else we’ll keep behaving in a racially offensive manner”?

    Helluva negotiating tactic.

    “If they changed the name back to warriors, all of our Warriors gear with the Native American imagery on it would definitely be put to rest but until that time it will be worn proudly.”



    you’ll continue to wear your racially offensive gear, spawned by the name, which is no more…

    but you’ll stop wearing the racially offensive gear if they change back to the name, which spawned the racially offensive gear in the first place


    despite my absolute abhorrence for the use of native american iconography that is offensive, i don’t believe the name “warriors” by itself is, nor do i even believe it applies to native americans (at least not exclusively) — so i have no problem with the name warriors…

    but you’ve got one fucked up way of trying to prove a point

    It never started off as trying to prove a point or get media attention, they really made the whole thing bigger than it had to be. I felt like I was dealing with the mob with the way the handled it.

    As for wearing the Native american warrior gear but putting it to rest if the name came back, it’s to show the native american imagery doesn’t matter its the name that does.

    That’s definitely not the uniform I was shown in the NBA offices last winter. They could have changed it since then, of course, but I don’t know anything about that.

    Robert Griffin III is going to get his wrist smacked (no fine, but a stern talking to) for covering up his Nike logo on his undershirt during pregame warmups.


    Anyone watching the Golf Channel will see the sport’s most notable entry into the ugly attire Hall of Fame (the US’s 1999 Ryder Cup uni) – Golf’s answer to the Cincinnati Bengals (or as it I believe preceded the Bengal’s mess – maybe it’s the other way round)

    “Anyone watching the Golf Channel…”


    i believe ek, trax and johnny o may be busy at the moment

    Ranger’s pitcher Joe Nathan wore a full Dallas Cowboy’s uniform and signed autographs prior to tonight’s game against Cleveland.

    More pictures, including one sans helmet, in that album.

    kornheiser has done some funny bits over the years about the nicknames at binghamton, which was harper/harpur college in the 70s.

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