Alas, Abdominal Snowman, Yetis and Wooly Mammoths. We hardly knew ye.
The last 15 names, in alphabetical order:
Blaze: I’ve come around a little bit on this one. It’s not a bad name, and while it’s a little abstract it’s much easier to visualize, draw and personify than, say, “spirit.”
Cavalry: No. Native American names being replaced by names of people famous for killing them is not helpful.
Explorers: While this name sounds neutral, I can’t help feeling it’s associated with white people who came and “explored” ground that native peoples had been living on and had explored pretty thoroughly themselves already. At the same time, as noted before, Sakakawea is just one very famous Native American explorer, so it can definitely not be said to be all about the white people, or the men.
Fighting Green: The fighting green what? Green is an adjective, unless it refers to part of a golf course. Why would part of a golf course fight? And “fighting” just seems too much like the old nickname anyway.
Fighting Hawks: Kind of boring. And you’d hope “Hawks” won’t just turn into the Blackhawks’ Indian-head logo, but it sure could.
Force: The Fargo Force might object, and fans here might object to being associated with Fargo, too.
Green Hawks: Definitely one of the better “Hawk” names, it’s unusual but still recognizable. Hopefully this isn’t another backdoor way to get the Blackhawks mascot in the door.
Nodaks: I still don’t know what a Nodak is. Nobody’s explained it yet, either.
North Dakota: Boring, and it doesn’t give sports writers any alternatives, either. How many times can you put “North Dakota” and “UND” in a single paragraph before it gets repetitive? Not many. And you can’t really visualize it, although I suppose you could build a North Dakota costume shaped like the state.
Pride: People are citing this name as a way to stealthily “keep” the old nickname (as well as the “North Dakota” and “Spirit” alternatives). Totally aside from that, though, pride is one of the seven deadly sins, and not only that, but it is the most serious of them. It’s great to be proud of your school, but “pride” in itself has some extremely negative associations. Besides, how many signs saying “PRIDE GOETH BEFORE DESTRUCTION” do you want to see at your hockey games? (No, it does not goeth before a fall. A haughty spirit goeth before a fall; people just misquote it a lot.)
Roughriders: I suppose we can put up with the double entendres. It might be worth it, because it is a nicely thematic name, after all. I’ve warmed up to it a little bit.
Spirit: I don’t know why you’d want to bring religion, or another name for booze, into a sports contest. And this is another one people cite as “we can still use the old name with this!” which doesn’t seem constructive at this point in the process.
Sundogs: I’ve warmed up to this one, since it’s one of the only charmingly eccentric names left on the list. The Arizona Sundogs were a minor league hockey team at one
point, but the team opted for dormancy last year (admittedly this is according to Wikipedia).
Thunder Hawks: Less distinctive than “Green Hawks,” yes, but it’s kind of okay.
Here’s the TL;DR version of my own personal opinions, which, again, are not those of the Herald or anybody else:
What do you think?
If we have to pick a new name, which of these would you go with? Please don’t answer with either “none,” or any variant on the old nickname. It’s been said and that’s not the topic of this post.
However, if you’d like to discuss the old nickname I’d encourage you to post on one of the threads on the subject on the Herald’s Facebook page; here’s one. Thanks!