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Catching Up on the NHL


I received a note the other day from longtime reader/contributor Charles Noerenberg, who wanted to catch me up on a bunch of hockey news:

Since you’ve changed the Ticker format to a sport-by-sport breakdown (which I love), I’ve realized that my favorite sport, hockey, has a glaring lack of content each day. I’ve decided to take it upon myself to try and beef up Peter Puck’s section by submitting as much hockey material as I can. Here’s some uni-notable stuff from the past week or two that wasn’t in the Ticker:

1) The Canucks and Avalanche recently held number-retirement ceremonies, for Pavel Bure and Adam Foote, respectively. Both teams did the “Everyone wear his jersey for warm-ups” thing, which I’ve grown more fond of over the years, but the Avalanche gave the concept an even cooler tweak by having the players wear their own names as well as Foote’s name.

Both teams also posted the newly retired numbers around their respective rinks. The Canucks used a little restraint, putting up four No. 10s in the corners of the rink, while Colorado went bonkers with the 52s, plastering them every few feet around the boards, as well as on the ice behind each goal, and on the podium during the pregame ceremony (which looked a little bit like a funeral). Yeesh. The Avalanche also wore a “52” patch during the game, so no jersey was ever without the hallowed number.

Two other notes regarding the ceremonies:

• During the Canucks’ prolonged program, the starters were sitting in chairs on the ice. I’ve never seen that before.

• For all the attention Avs paid to Adam Foote’s number, they used the wrong NOB font on his banner.

2) Some teams’ local Comcast Sportsnet broadcasts have included virtual ads on the glass behind either goal for a few years now — nothing new about that. But in a nauseating new development, CSN Chicago has added two more ads on the glass to the side of either bench. There’s still, like, 40% more glass left to paste virtual shit on, Comcast — chop-chop!

3) WGN uses a blurred image of the United Center in the background of certain graphics, but it’s an outdated image that doesn’t feature the fifth Stanley Cup banner, raised this year.

4) We’ve all seen coaches adorned with Remembrance poppies. Before this year, however, I’d never seen team trainers wearing them, but if you look closely you can spot guys on the Leafs and Blackhawks getting into the spirit.

Thanks a heap, Charles. The funny thing is, I used to be a big NHL fan and still think of myself that way, even though the reality is that I no longer follow hockey like I used to. So keep those NHL observations coming.

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If you can’t see this slideshow, click here

Collector’s Corner

By Brinke “Birthday Boy” Guthrie

The calendar says November 19, but we’re officially into the Christmas season. How do I know this? Went for a walk Sunday afternoon and already saw an inflatable Santa and a Christmas tree in someone’s window, so there you go. Got me thinking about how sports shopping back in the day began and ended with the Sears Wish Book — just shop, baby. Here’s an outstanding site called Wish Book Web, and you can find a ton of stuff in there, believe you me. You can see some great examples above.

Ah, but now there’s no more Wish Book, so we have to shop on eBay to find the good stuff. Here’s what I found for this week:

• What a terrifically cool Boston Red Sox/Fenway Park Clock!

• Great star design on this mid-1990s Cowboys Apex parka. I had this very jacket thanks to a generous contact at Apex. The problem with it? It attracted every type of hair and lint you could find. I mean, I couldn’t walk ten yards without pulling out a lint roller.

• Cheer for your Fighting Chicago White Sox with this popcorn megaphone.

• From reader David G. Firestone, this 1972 Globetrotters program has a very uni-centric cover. David also passed along this set of NHL mini-mugs.

• Interesting 1970s Astros T-shirt. Navy “Astros” on an orange background, and the maker is CCM, the hockey folks.

• From 1969, here are the Players of the New York Jets — on a trash can!

• Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, all right here in this 1970s iron-on transfer.

• Here’s a nice looking Steelers helmet promo piece, from some type of PPK display. That same seller has several other teams available, too.

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Tick-tock: Today’s ticker was compiled by Garrett McGrath (who, incidentally, you can follow on Twitter here), except for ’Skins Watch, which was compiled by Paul.

’Skins Watch: While the ’Skins team name is problematic, it’s hardly unique in that regard, as you can see in this list of unfortunate team/mascot names (thanks, Phil). … The high school that had a banner directed at an opposing school’s team called the Indians, telling them they’d be heading out “in a Trail of Tears,” has apologized, and its cheerleading squad will be disciplined (from Erik Porth).

Baseball News: The Orioles will wear a 60th-anniversary patch next season. … The Dodgers are honoring their 1938 first base coach George Herman Ruth with a bobblehead day! … Terry Proctor sent in this photo of Toronto Maple Leafs baseball owner Jack Kent Cooke from 1954 as he modeled the Leafs’ new royal blue pinstriped uniforms at spring training. … A local Toronto artist redesigned the Blue Jays logo. Of course, the artist has to be this cool guy wearing a A-shirt who caught a flying Edwin Encarnacion bat in June of 2012.

NFL News: Cam Newton and his camo cleats beat the Patriots on MNF last night. The Panthers wore Military Order of the Purple Heart helmet decals for the occasion. … The Texans will wear mono-blue unis against the Jaguars. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The good news is that Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin Jr. carried a Philippine flag prior to Sunday’s game, to support victims of the recent typhoon. The bad news is that he carried the flag upside-down, which in the Philippines is a symbol of war. … No photo, but Jimmy Hoover says, “Bruce Carter and Devonte Holloman said tonight on 105.3 the Fan Cowboys Hour (I believe with Brad Sham) that Dallas will wear the dark blue on Thanksgiving.” … Matt Barnett found this Life issue from December 13th, 1968 featuring poet Ogden Nash and his love of the Baltimore Colts on the cover.

College Football News: Texas Tech will wear another new “Lone Star” uni against Texas. … Ohio State will wear all-white against Michigan. … The Ohio Bobcats are going all black tonight against Kent State. … Louisville coach Charlie Strong is never gonna make it in this biz, because he thinks his team doesn’t need BFBS unis (from Matt Dowell). … The Wyoming Cowboys will go white/brown/gold this Saturday. … Posted in the comments yesterday, here is a closer look at the Oregon shoulder patch (from Scott Stoddard). …

Hockey News: Here is a fantastic link about the Showdown Hockey exhibition in 1978 complete with a poster from Chris Mizzoni. It was a contest taped to be shown during intermissions on Hockey Night in Canada. Check out this old-timers line-up and 47-year-old Dickie Moore driving the net. … Here is a picture of a Stadium Series t-shirt for the game between the Rangers and the Devils. … The NHL created snuggies, without including any Canadian teams (or the Islanders). … The Utah National Guard gave USU special jerseys to honor veterans (thanks, Phil).

Basketball News: As you know, the Charlotte Bobcats are set to become the Hornets next year, and a certain German automaker is sponsoring the renaming. Key quote: “The branding of branding is now officially a thing.”

Grab Bag: Double vision: A photographer has taken some amazing portraits of people who look alike but aren’t related (from Paul). … Toronto Mayor Ford went to a CFL game on Sunday, against the Commissioner’s orders. … The Fantastic Four are going BFBS. … Here is an article on the evolution of the Twitter logo (from Brinke Guthrie). … These Nike snowboard boots have 30 LED lights that make up the swoosh (from Chris Flinn). … The University of Illinois Springfield is replacing their Prairie Stars nickname (from Nick Yelverton).

Comments (128)

    Better approach: Only retire the number of a player you honestly expect to tell stories about seeing to your grandchildren.

    Best approach: Wait until people are actually telling their grandchildren “I saw so-and-so play” stories, and then retire the number. Athlete retire young enough that most will still be alive for the ceremony even if teams wait 30 years to see if the player really does pass into fan legend.

    I seem to be the only person who prefers the Toronto system of “honouring” numbers but keeping them in circulation (their only two retired numbers, 5 and 6, have tragedies associated with them). That way you don’t have a team of guys wearing training camp numbers, and getting to wear a legendary player’s number is a privilege. The Bruins, for example, only have one single digit number left, 6 (unless you count 1, a goalie number).

    Brian, you’re not the only one; I feel exactly the same way. It does the teams and their sport a disservice to see many of the low numbers gradually taken away to the point where there are now baseball teams giving out numbers in the 60s to regular players on the Opening Day rosters.

    The very first jersey number retirement, that of Lou Gehrig back in 1939, really was something special. At that time the Yankees assigned numbers 1 to 8 to their starting lineup, so the idea was that in future years, fans would see a batting order numbered 1-2-3-11-5-6-7-8 and be reminded that number four was taken from us before his time.

    Today you would never notice the absence of a number unless you followed a team for many years, by which time you would already have familiarized yourself with past greats — and would have seen statues of them at the ballpark, or banners celebrating them, which can be done (as the Leafs do) without depriving any future players of wearing their numbers.

    A long time ago when we were talking about this I suggested that teams could better honor past greats by requiring that someone on the roster wear their number every year — this works great in today’s NHL where there are lots of weird numbers (“Why does there always seem to be a guy wearing 52 on the Avalanche?” – “Well, son, that got started back when Adam Foote wore it; he was an all-time great.”).

    Another possibility would be to only have one retired number at a time, with the honoree’s number going back into circulation when another worthy player retires; this would still allow teams to compile lists of historical legends whose numbers were worthy of retirement, without taking away huge swaths of the number inventory and forcing future players to wear numbers that would have looked outlandish in past generations and still look weird now.

    But ultimately I think the Leafs do it the best way. You don’t celebrate and remember something by denying it to future generations. You hand a nice big banner (or monument, or statue) to remind everybody of who came before, but you don’t deprive today’s players of having those numbers on their backs.

    I totally agree with you. I’m not a huge fan of retiring numbers. The Ring of Honor thing that is done in football is nice, assuming that retiring numbers isn’t included. (I’m sure it is in some cases.)

    Brian, I don’t necessarily prefer that system, but it’s probably the right way for most teams to go. If a team can show the restraint to retire only a handful of numbers, no problem. But if a team is going to be profligate – and we live in an age of profligate symbolism – then the Toronto system is much more sensible.

    I see your point on that.

    On the other hand, I would want to hear from an Avalanche/Nordiques fan about what Adam Foote meant to the team. Its easy to sit from a distance and say “Adam Foote???” and say he doesn’t deserve it, but really I have no idea.

    I would wager that for just about every team that you don’t follow closely, they have a retired number for a player you’ve never heard of who local fans would say “was the heart and soul of a great team”.

    Avs fans love Footey because he was the gritty defensive backbone of their two Stanley Cup championship teams. His name is definitely mentioned with the likes of Roy, Sakic, and Forsberg in Denver. I don’t think many Avs fans question whether Foote is deserving of the honor.

    For me, one of the great things about number retirements is that they’re so idiosyncratic. Each team has its own standards, and in the increasingly templated sports environment, it’s nice to see the differences.

    And in cases like Foote, it’s an indication to those of us who aren’t Avalanche fans that he was a very significant contributor.

    Love the Jets trashcan. A local buddy of mine had the Broncos version, but I think it got lost around the turn of the century.

    I always remember the frustration of seeing something you thought was really cool in the catalog, then finding out your team wasn’t available in the item.

    No screen grab of it but a couple of the patriots players on the defensive side wore the wrong socks last night

    What, no mention as to the fact that the Panthers didn’t break out the “best uniform combo?” And when they didn’t, they won? Shocked.

    They’ve been pretty explicit that they weren’t wearing the Best Uniform Ever. Blackout was for the fans in the stadium, not the players.

    Yeah, but I kept expecting them to break them out as a “surprise”. You know, pull a college move and change pants right before they came out of the locker room to “fire up” the fans. All the postings I saw on social media referred to a black out and only showed players from the waist up in black jerseys. My understanding was that the players made the call to wear silver. I think the black pants (in which they are 0-2)may be seen by some players as unlucky.

    Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure jersey/pants combination have to be submitted to the league at the beginning of the season, and switcheroos aren’t allowed.

    I think that’s true for jerseys (and maybe only slternate ones at that), but not pants. The Chiefs pulled the ol’ switcheroo a couple weeks ago.

    I think the black pants (in which they are 0-2)may be seen by some players as unlucky.

    Which can only be a GOOD thing, if you ask me.

    The Sears catalog Hooded Sweatshirt page shows the ‘Skins with the Indian head logo, but on a Gold helmet.

    I like it!

    It says ’72, which makes sense. That was the first year for the logo, and they’d worn yellow helmets the year before. The logo was probably released for retail before the helmet was finalized or something.

    As you know, the Charlotte Bobcats are set to retake their previous name, the Hornets, next year

    … no, as I know, the Bobcats are set to bring the Hornets name back to the city, but “Hornets” was never the Bobcats’ former name.

    Sorry for coming off as a bit of a jerk about it, but it is a bit of a berserk button for me when I see the Bobcats/Hornets change treated like it was the same team all along, when we all know full well the original Hornets are now the Pelicans.

    I still think of the Ravens as the original Browns, and the current Browns as some kind of imposter.

    I still think of the Ravens-Browns connection too, but at least the separation is pretty clear – the Ravens left the Browns name behind, and the current Browns were never known by another name.

    Now, if the Indianapolis Colts were to change their name to something else, and the Ravens wanted to take the opportunity to bring the Colts name back to Baltimore, that would get really freaking weird. It’s also not a very likely scenario given the brand equity built up by both teams in their current markets (not to mention Super Bowl wins by both teams).

    Rob, I think you’re right that it would never happen now, but Art Modell did try to purchase the Colts identity when he moved the Browns to Baltimore:


    I would normally agree Chance, but I listed it in combination with my memory of the story when it happened. I couldn’t find a better reference.

    Actually, here is an article from the Baltimore Sun. No monetary values mentioned, though.


    I appreciate that the comments section is held to such a high journalistic standard of citing references!

    If we agree that fans are essentially rooting for laundry, Cleveland Browns are Cleveland Browns, continuous existence or otherwise. People root for the colors, not the corporate entity.

    I appreciate that the comments section is held to such a high journalistic standard of citing references!

    Higher than some database websites that are out there!

    As a Winnipeg Jets fan my view is that this is not something worth getting worked up over.

    So its not the same team? So what? Who cares?

    I mean that honestly and not sarcastically. Would anyone actually be happier if the Jets or the Browns had a new identity?

    I know this isn’t exactly the same team from before, but if you’re letting it interfere with the enjoyment of the game, I think that’s a little much.

    The Jets are a pretty clear-cut case of being a different franchise, as Winnipeg went fifteen years without a team. It’s not very likely that the current Jets will be confused with the team of Bobby Hull, Thomas Steen, and Dale Hawerchuk, and I never saw the narrative being spun in that direction by any outlet – Old Jets = Coyotes, Thrashers = New Jets, pretty cut-and-dry.

    The problem I have with the Hornets situation is that the way Paul had originally phrased the entry seems to be the popular narrative. The way the quote is phrased – that the Bobcats are set to retake their previous name – implies that the Bobcats used to be the Hornets, when that was never the case. Unfortunately, that seems to be the way people report it, even though the actual original Hornets co-existed with the Bobcats as such for nine seasons before becoming the Pelicans this year.

    I can’t wait till somebody comes up with one of those stupid t-shirts that say:


    As for the NOB on Adam Foote’s banner, it might not match the jersey font, but it’s consistent with the other retired-number banners the Avs have put up.

    The graphic used for the Cleveland NFL team’s Sears pullover crewneck sweatshirt is one I’ve never seen before.

    I was so glad when I tuned in last night that the Panthers did not break out the black pants. I think their Black over Silver combo is underrated. It’s not that bad a look and would look infinitely better if they would fix the stupid pants stripe. Living in North Carolina and checking social media last night however, you would’ve thought the world ended when they didn’t break out the greatest uniform in pro football history. If they beat the Pats by 4 in the silver pants, imagine how much they would’ve beaten them by if the Pats had been intimidated by an opponent in all black. They would’ve won by 20!

    Key quote: “The branding of branding is now officially a thing.”

    I can just see it: Cobb County Braves Stadium Naming Rights, Brought To You By Delta

    What the ?!?!?! The list for most unfortunate names is pretty good. But how do the Indians get on that list and the Redskins NOT?

    Because the Redskins are mentioned in the headline, maybe?

    I don’t see what the big deal with Maniacs is, either. At least they spelled it right, unlike the XFL team.

    Oh man. DUH! I dove headfirst into the article. Thanks!

    That Maniacs logo is something else though…

    “Cottonpickers” is one I’m having a hard time getting my head around, at least as it relates to the headline. Cotton picking is a job, albeit a menial, low-paying one. after the abolition of slavery it wasn’t a job exclusively for members of one race.

    Without knowing more I’d categorize it as one of those occupational nicknames, like Boilermakers or link Whether it’s meant to be derogatory toward a group, or a source of pride, I can’t say without doing some digging.

    Uh, no.

    Up until abolition, picking cotton was exclusively the province of slaves. After abolition, it was done by sharecroppers, the overwhelming majority of whom were black (although there were also some poor whites).

    The phrase “Get your cotton-pickin’ hands off of me” (which was common enough at mid-century that it showed up in Bugs Bunny cartoons, which is where I first heard it) is basically the same as calling someone a dirty nigger or white trash.

    Holy… somehow I never made that connection. It never occurred to me to consider the origin of that phrase, but now that I know… MIND. BLOWN.

    A couple of years ago, things got awkward when CNN’s Rick Sanchez referred to the POTUS as the link.

    I’ve heard the phrase used as a non-cursing substitute for “motherfucking”, but obviously, if you understand the etymology, it’s not polite at all. “Ever loving” is the preferred euphemism, I think.

    After abolition, it was done by sharecroppers, the overwhelming majority of whom were black (although there were also some poor whites).

    So as I wrote, after the abolition of slavery picking cotton wasn’t a job exclusively for members of one race. But to your point, yes, it was a job for someone of low socioeconomic status, black or white. To apply that term to anyone regardless of race, then, is to refer to them in a derogatory manner.

    Is it ever appropriate for a group of people to adapt a derogatory term applied to them and make it something they can rally around? Not trying to troll, just to understand.

    I’m with Rob S. Always been familiar with the term, but never really understood it.

    Knowing is half the battle.

    Aren’t there a lot of teams in Mexico and the Caribbean with these kinds of “goods-producing” names? I know there are teams called the Tomateros (tomato growers) and the Algodoneros (cotton pickers), and I think there were teams with names like “Sugar Dealers” and “Tobacco Dealers” a century or so ago?

    Is it ever appropriate for a group of people to adapt a derogatory term applied to them and make it something they can rally around?

    I don’t know if it’s “appropriate” but it certainly happens. See “Redneck” as an obvious example.


    While it could be used to demean whites, it’s a term that’s never completely race-neutral (see also: “thug”, “uppity”). It would be awfully disingenuous to claim there isn’t a racial overtone because *some* cotton pickers were white.

    Is it ever appropriate for a group of people to adapt a derogatory term applied to them and make it something they can rally around?

    Maybe, but given the town’s demographics, I doubt the term was applied to the vast majority of the town (or for a team in Washington, DC to rally around a derogatory term for Indians). But are you asking, say, a heavily Latin-American school can call themselves the W-backs?

    “Is it ever appropriate for a group of people to adapt a derogatory term applied to them and make it something they can rally around?”

    I’m unsure of the “appropriate” aspect, but I think I’ve heard of some feminist(?)group(s?) promoting so-called ‘slut’ walks here and there, though I’m not familiar with the cause being championed.

    Now cotton picking is done mostly by migrant workers, most of them Mexican-Americans. The crop this year is about 30 days behind schedule.

    “…basically the same as calling someone…white trash.”

    I didn’t know “white trash” was considered offensive. I assumed it was a point of pride for those folks, or at least an acknowledgement of their chosen lifestyle, kind of like “redneck”.

    I didn’t know “white trash” was considered offensive.

    You’re joking, right?

    There’s a great line in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof where Maggie refers derisively to “all the trash on the street.” It’s a term for the South’s white aristocracy to demean the South’s uneducated underclass. It was basically conceived as the very worst insult a Southern white person could direct toward another white person. It’s basically saying, “You’re no better than a dirty nigger.”

    Now cotton picking is done mostly by migrant workers, most of them Mexican-Americans.

    Incorrect. The overwhelming majority of cotton picking is now done by machines, the advent of which spelled the end of sharecropping.

    Texan here….seriously…maybe I’m just naive, but “Cottonpickers” for a school in Texas seems more like self appropriation. I’m from west Texas, Robstown is much further south, so I’m just speculating for that specific high school, but if any of the high schools in my surrounding area went by “Cottonpickers”, it would seem appropriate to me….I literally live across the street from a cotton field.

    Have to put me in the I don’t see anything wrong with cotton pickers crowd. Both my dad and my mom and grandparents and great grandparents all picked cotton by hand. Even got a few weeks off from school to pick the cotton. Reason the term cotton pickin hands came about is because of what picking cotton did to your hands. It can cut them to pieces and make them bloody and rough. When I was a kid, I chopped cotton in grandpa’s fields in summer and even learned to hand pick it even though it was machines by then to get an appreciation of how hard the work is. I could care less if anyone calls me white trash, redneck or any other term because it is THEIR issue not mine that they look down on other people.

    So Cottonpickers, for the school name, is generally referred to as slaves or modern day farmers of cotton?

    I agree with Paul about the term “cotton pickin’ hands” but could the term be based on current day cotton farmers and not the slave labor kind? (I assume they exist or do we import all our cotton?)

    I like Maniacs and normally, I think it would be fine. But it’s the issue that there is/was a mental institution up the street that makes it an odd choice.

    I recently read that while Coachella HS might consider redesigning their mascot, they will continue to call themselves the Arabs:


    a) The Purple Heart helmet decal is very subtle. I was expecting a bigger one. Glad I didn’t see it.

    b) I love the quick cover on Baldwin carring the upside-down flag: “We are fighting the devastation of Haiyan which has been worse than many war-torn regions of the world.”

    No, that shows that the Philippines are in a state of war, not emergency. Nice try covering up a screw-up, but it doesn’t work.

    The tree hugger in me is tempted to argue that the devastation is caused (or at least greatly exacerbated) by mankind’s war on nature, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what Baldwin was going for.

    I know Baldwin meant well and it’s a very personal issue for him, but words (and symbols) have meanings.

    A few sartorial observations regarding the Showdown old-timers pics:

    The Canadiens players are wearing 1966-75 style lace-up jerseys with the sleeve numbers in the stripes.

    The Rangers players are wearing pre-1976 jerseys. Gump Worsley appears to be wearing Leafs pants while Andy Bathgate is wearing Wings pants.

    The Leafs players are wearing what appear to be brand-new throwbacks based on their 1938-58 jerseys – crew collar, no laces, no blue shoulder yoke – although the outlined logo was from the blue-shoulder period.

    The Dodgers are honoring their 1938 first base coach George Herman Ruth with a bobblehead day!

    Rather appropriate, considering that the Dodgers only hired him in ’38 as a promotional gimmick to bring people out to the ballpark…

    Since they don’t have official colors is it really possible for the FF to go BFBS? I mean they wore all white not too long ago, was that WFWS because there certainly wasn’t any blue in that uniform either.

    Technically, they were going by the “Future Foundation” when they were wearing the white outfits. They didn’t call themselves the Fantastic Four while they thought Johnny Storm was dead. However, the original gloves and boots were black, so maaaybee you could say that’s a color, but I still think the blue and white of their logo are the primaries. Throw in the red on these new get-ups, and it’s completely removed from anything else they’ve ever worn as a team.

    Well, once Johnny came back, and they re-adopted the Fantastic Four name, they also kept the white uniforms.

    I liked when Byrne brought them back from the Negative Zone and gave them the “inverted” costumes (dark blue suit, white highlights).

    It’s interesting to see Freeburg High School top link linked to in today’s ticker. They’re not the only high school with the nickname “Midgets.” Estherville Lincoln High School in northwest Iowa link (complete with a cartoon midget mascot).

    According to the link, the school derived its nickname as follows:

    In 1927, the Estherville football team was extremely short. They played a team that was very tall and defeated them. When the newspaper printed the article for the paper they referred to the Estherville team as “Midgets”. The nickname has stayed with the team and has been adopted as the school mascot.

    As recently as 2009, the school board attempted to retire the “Midget Man” logo (although it does not appear that anyone contemplated abandoning the nickname). Following an appeal by the school’s booster club, link, which link to this day.

    Dickinson High School in Dickinson, ND also uses Midgets as their mascot. ND could have 2 teams in the detestable mascot list if they were included…

    They have 6 clips from the Showdown Series on the CBC archives website.

    The 3 on 3 (2 Skaters + 1 goalie and 1 sub) on half the ice surface is quite interesting.


    The reply string has run out so will do so here:

    terriblehuman | November 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

    While it could be used to demean whites, it’s a term that’s never completely race-neutral (see also: “thug”, “uppity”). It would be awfully disingenuous to claim there isn’t a racial overtone because *some* cotton pickers were white.

    Is it ever appropriate for a group of people to adapt a derogatory term applied to them and make it something they can rally around?

    Maybe, but given the town’s demographics, I doubt the term was applied to the vast majority of the town (or for a team in Washington, DC to rally around a derogatory term for Indians). But are you asking, say, a heavily Latin-American school can call themselves the W-backs?

    No, I’m not. I suppose I’d have been among the group of people who may not have realized that the use of “cotton-picking” had a racial overtone rather than a class- or occupation-based one. Knowing is indeed half the battle.

    The Huffington Post article also links to an interesting t-shirt vendor website – link – that specializes in t-shirts featuring “the country’s craziest mascots.” There are some interesting mascots in there.

    With the 101st Canadian Grey Cup this weekend, here is a CBC News Story from 1978 about “Memorable moments in Grey Cup history”. Clips include the mud bowl in the 50’s.


    What’s sad is how many people in this day and age don’t even know or have to look up the “Trail of Tears” reference to even know what it means.

    I was never a huge scholar, History was never my thing, but I don’t believe the Trail of Tears (or other mistreatment of first Americans) was ever covered in my high school.

    So it may very well be that many schools simply don’t touch on the subject anymore.

    “I was never a huge scholar, History was never my thing, but I don’t believe the Trail of Tears (or other mistreatment of first Americans) was ever covered in my high school.”


    Well, not the bad stuff (which was almost all of it)…most schools seem to teach “the First Thanksgiving” and leave it at that.

    Yeah, well, I learned more about Black History in “You Must Learn” by Boogie Down Productions than they ever taught me in school!

    did anyone notice in the sears catalog (i looked at that very catalog for hours on end as a child) that the eagles helmet (pg 178) has black outline around the green wing…?

    I guess I’m kind of in a mascot mood today, so here’s another mascot that probably wouldn’t make the cut in today’s cultural climate: the link.

    The Invaders were a Western Hockey League farm team for the Toronto Maple Leafs who played one season in Denver from 1963 to 1964. They moved on to become the Victoria Maple Leafs after their single season in Denver.

    The “Invaders” nickname, by itself, is innocuous enough. When coupled with the stereotyped, cartoon Native American imagery in the logo, however, it takes on a whole new meaning.

    “Wouldn’t ‘Invaded’ be more appropriate (and correct!)?”

    The irony of naming a Native American-themed team “Invaders” is not lost on me, especially in a state whose history includes one of the link committed in furtherance of the cause of Westward Expansion.

    You should be real proud of yourself Lukas…couple of cheerleaders with some gentle ribbing on a banner during a game and YOU had to call them out on it because of your radical PC liberal hipster agenda. You raised the PC alarms and now a bunch of innocent teenagers are being disciplined for it.

    Really? Did this warrant your attention? Could you have just let things be? Are you happy now that a bunch of harmless teens are being disciplined because Mr. Brooklyn PC Snob needed to butt in

    I hear they’re still playing cowboys and indians at a pre school in minneapolis! LIBERAL PC BAT SIGNAL! Better go get them suspended as well!

    Ah, my public.

    I wish I could take credit for what happened with that high school, but I think the local press coverage and the front-page Reddit treatment probably had a lot more to do with it than I did. Thanks for thinking so highly of my ability to influence world events, though!

    On the contrary: I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. You’ve educated me here today, and I note your columns and interviews gaining recognition elsewhere. While driving up to Staten Island over the weekend, I heard a DJ reference your Permanent Record blog. (I wish I could remember the station; I want to say WFMU but I’m not positive as I was hitting ‘scan’ on the receiver.)

    In any event your attention to detail and dedication to research has made you an authority. I always come here to learn something and on most days I do. My sincere thanks – no false praise intended.

    Wow, I’m impressed! He managed to compose that entire diatribe and only use 4 “PC”s. With Mr. Lukas having committed such an egregious offense, I would assume a minimum of 6 “PC”s are in order.

    So,…. It’s clear these kids knew their opponent’s team name was of Native American origin. They had heard/read the phrase “Trail of Tears” *somewhere* and KNEW it had a negative/derogatoy insinuation toward said Native Americans (otherwise what is the purpose of giving your opponent this type of screwgie??).

    Perhaps they should have read another paragraph or two to see what the Trail of Tears is ACTUALLY referring to, and the intensity of what it refers. Oh wait,… that would be cause for forethought and thoughtfulness.

    Since occupational nicknames had been mentioned, this reminded me of Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah…


    Utah schools have several interesting mascot names, including some that are unique nationally…

    I really think there needs to be some national outrage over Cavemen, though.
    Utah Mascots

    “Since occupational nicknames had been mentioned, this reminded me of Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah…


    …A nickname they share with link in northeastern Colorado.

    Colorado has some other great occupational nicknames, too, like:

    link. Rocky Ford’s linklink link may be the greatest wrestling singlet I’ve ever seen.




    Well, looks like Hasbro and Nike have taken Calvin Johnson’s nickname to the next level, not only with new shoes, but link.

    The figure, incidentally, isn’t a new toy exclusive to the shoe release; it’s a recolor of a Megatron figure that was released earlier this year, based on a redesign in the ongoing comic book series that debuted in 2010.

    “Ohio State will wear all-white against Michigan.

    I’ve more or less accepted the fact that almost every college football team – even those with the most traditional of uniforms – is going to break out an alternate uniform or two during the course of a season nowadays. But I really wish Ohio State wouldn’t do it against Michigan.

    Michigan and Ohio State link link link link when they play each other, link link. Wearing one-off alternates deprives us of seeing additional iconic images added to the visual narrative of this rivalry. You should never have to pause for a moment to figure out who’s who when you see a photo of these two teams playing each other.

    I thought of that too, Kek, as I read this. I’ve lived in Erie all my life and never really gave it much thought though. If you can trace its history to a derogatory term, it would be a surprise to virtually everyone in this region. That’s not to say it couldn’t be true, just that the name has been totally appropriated by Lake Erie grape country.

    So now any anniversary year ending in a “5” or a “0” gets a made into a patch to be slapped on a uniform? There’s really no need for the Orioles to wear this patch, as nice as it looks, other than to hope that fans who bought a Chris Davis or Manny Machado uniform this year will be forced to do so again next year so they aren’t “out of date.”

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