Re-thinking Mascots in Sport

Back in December, some creative person thought up a new logo for the Washington Redskins, built some fake news sites that looked quite authentic, and for a brief moment the NFL’s newest team was the Washington Redhawks. Same colors, similar overall look, minus the offensive name and logo.

Of course, that wasn’t the first time someone had re-imagined what a culturally appropriate logo might look like. This design below is a remarkable logo suggestion for a team that doesn’t have an offensive name but for some reason chooses to maintain their logo.

desktop25

Logo created by Ojibway artist Mike Ivall. Related article at Indian Country Media Network.

So what follows is really not a new idea. That is creating (or in this case slightly modifying), a logo and imagining a re-branding. However, in light of the recent announcement by Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians to remove the Chief Wahoo (I don’t even like saying that), from the Jersey’s or anywhere around their stadium, Progressive Field. Unfortunately there will be no ban on selling Wahoo gear.

It’s a step forward for advocates for the change but the name itself still has to go.

If we look at the logo, the text ‘Indians’, the mascot, and even the nickname ‘The Tribe’, I thought why not just change the mascot slightly to remove the red skin and feather, and let that inspire a new name.

The_Rocker
Johnny Rocker

Giving the lad a star-studded bandanna and some funky hair, not to mention a skin color change, makes him look like your average Joe. Maybe his nose can be adjusted, and a few other tweeks, but I did all of this with Visio and Irfanview so please excuse this artistic hack job. Especially my Cleveland text below.

Next, we have the Indians text which is a really cool font. We could make the city name Cleveland as the main text used and adopt the style of their original logo.

From …

iNDIANS

How do you trademark the name ‘Indians’ anyway?

To…

Cleveland

Imagine an actual graphic artist did this with the right color too.

The new name could be …. wait for it ….

Cleveland_Rock.jpg

The new mascot, Johnny Rocker, could be a really cool and non-controversial mascot, giving the team, City, the fans, and a league plagued with this controversy for decades a new start.

Picture JR doing air guitar throughout the stadium, lip syncing with a mic in his hand, getting on stage with before or after game music acts or at a halftime show at a Browns game.

Reminiscent of both Major League and The Drew Carey Show (imagines ‘Cleveland Rocks’ chants throughout the ballpark), the possibilities of nick names, outfits for the mascot, memorabilia, etc are endless.

Then there is the nickname ‘The Tribe’. How about ‘The Band’ as in band together or a group of people that make it all come together like the players, coaches, owners, and fans. ‘I’m in The Band’ or ‘I’m with The Band.’ “Let’s get The Band back together.”

The_Band

New Seventh Inning Stretch song? How about The Band with Dr. John – Such a Night. Or, is the other team having a rough night, how about Stage Fright by The Band as well.

I put this together in a few hours, with no consultation with fans or the Indigenous community. This exercise of engaging both these communities should take place in our opinion.

Why aren’t teams changing names and logos? I am sure change isn’t cheap and re-imagining a popular brand is not desirable, but it’s the right thing to do in 2018. It can be an exercise that brings everyone together in a meaningful and life changing manner.

I love baseball. I love football. I love hockey. I love sport, but I want to love it with my whole heart and there is so much about professional sport that has long weened that love. This issue of offensive names and mascots is big on that list. I am sure I am not alone.

Let it feel good to just be a fan again. Come together. Make the change.

Pitcher_Rocker

Happy Birthday to us!

Day 46

INSE_Birthday

A year ago we gave it a name. Now we’re giving it a voice. Happy 1st birthday to us. Looking forward to you being a part of this journey.

Here’s to 100’s more. Well I’ll be dirt but happy 100th whomever the latest INSE protector is on this day, September 9th 2116.

Darn I won’t live to see 2112 day. 21st day of December, 2112. Hope Rush plays loud and proud all day long. I predict records will be making another comeback by then.

Sincerely,
All of us here at INSE – and Jack (but not really).

“I can’t wait to share this new wonder
The people will all see its light
Let them all make their own music education
The Priests Protector praise my name on this night.” ~ Rush (Lyrics by Neil Pert)

Krazy Over You

Day 42

On August 16th 2017, I received a message from a band out of Brooklyn. I was working on growing our followers and as many do when you follow them, Nescora sent me a DM asking me to check out their tunes on Soundcloud. I love music so I did.

All of the tracks were catchy, but one song immediately struck a chord with me. I listened to it probably a dozen times that day. I knew then and there that it would make a great theme song for Let’s Buy A School. I also imagined that the movie depiction of our book would be well served by being named after the song, Krazy Over You.

Krazy Over You is a mesmerizing, gentle ballad about someone who finds strength and meaning in another. Lost and alone, searching for belonging, they have found this person whose company makes time fly.  They spend a lot of time together and there is nothing they’d rather be doing and nowhere they would rather be. The subject wants to be there when things get tough, and cannot get enough of their presence. They have found home in their company.

To me and this project, the song immediately also had a double meaning. This is the way the former Ivor Memorial High School community, the subject of this story, felt about their school and to this day, 3.5 years after it’s closing, it’s still held in a touching regard by it’s students and staff.

Throughout all of their education the IMH students had been bullied, suspended, there were constant calls to home, and they had reached high school with grade 3 reading levels. Ivor Memorial lifted them up, gave them a reason to go to school and made them feel included for the first time. It’s where they met their first friends, had their first boyfriend/girlfriend, where they participated in talent shows, sports teams and went to dances and looked forward to and felt at ease in a school.

Other than the kissing part, although perhaps a character could kiss the floors of a place where they finally found ‘home’, the lyrics hold true for both the underlying human and facility love stories in this book.

Nescora was extremely accepting of the idea to use ‘Krazy Over You’ as our title track and should this project see the light I envision for it, the world will find their way to a song worthy of it’s stage and Nescora will be compensated the way an artist deserves for creating such a beautiful work of art. Let’s make the latter happen anyway.

Please support Nescora and all Independent music, by downloading their album on iTunes. Mini Coop is also a great track (they all are), but it’s our next favorite. It would fit nicely into the human love story as well.

Happy listening and thank you again, Nescora. It means a lot to have you as part of our journey.

Sincerely,

Jack (but not really)

Have a listen to all of Nescora’s tracks on Soundcloud as well.

Subdivisions

Day 19

Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I remember.

The first record I ever received was one I didn’t, and to this day still don’t, understand why I was given such a present. This particular album I couldn’t even find on digital purchase sites like iTunes for the longest time but today I do see it on GooglePlay.

The band was a Canadian group out of British Columbia called Chilliwack, and the album was Breakdown in Paradise circa 1979. I would have been 6 or 7 depending on how long the record had been out when I was gifted it. I am not even sure I had a record player at that time or even remember being all that into music yet.

Eventually I did get a record player and I know I grew to love this album. When I pulled it out many years ago for the first time in awhile, I even remembered where it skipped and cringed as the moments drew close like I did as a youth.

I found a copy that didn’t skip at a garage sale sometime in my thirties so I was able to retire listening to the scratched copy and leave that as a keepsake only. It will always be my favorite record because of this weird tie to my great-grandfather Croft whom the gift was from. He would die in 1982 and aside from a few brief memories of him sitting on the couch watching television or the occasional flashback at the scent of a pipe, this album is all I have of his memory.

My first cassette tape was of another Canadian band. It arrived at our home as a monthly selection as part of my dad’s Columbia House membership. I had remembered my cousin Al having many Rush records and I believe I asked my father if I could have it. The album was Signals which along with Grace Under Pressure, remains among my favorite albums of all time.

There is so much power in music from how it livens our souls, to the trips it takes us on when certain tracks play on the radio.

Rush’s lyrics have always been very powerful and magical to me. Neil Pert is a remarkable drummer and writer. There will never be anyone better at either of these two categories in my personal opinion.

This song has always struck a chord with me. It would fit well in a soundtrack should this story find it’s way to the silver screen one day.

“Subdivisions”

Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order
An insulated border
In between the bright lights
And the far unlit unknownGrowing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone
Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone

[Chorus:]
(Subdivisions)
In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out
(Subdivisions)
In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out
Any escape might help to smooth the unattractive truth
But the suburbs have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth

Drawn like moths we drift into the city
The timeless old attraction
Cruising for the action
Lit up like a firefly
Just to feel the living night

Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights…

[Chorus]

 

A couple of fun Rush facts:

  • About the Subdivisions video including where the scenes were shot and who the main character is.
  • A fun movie about a couple of Rush fans starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel- I Love You Man