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Friday · November 14 2003

I read Eric Zorn's weblog, Breaking Views, every day. He writes interesting points relevant to Chicago current events. He drives his weblogging readers insane by refusing to have permalinks to his posts so that we can point directly to the issue, but you can't have everything. So...scroll on down to the article titled "Were We Had".

Much news was made this week about the recurring, go nowhere debate on Chief Illiniwek, the University of Illinois mascot. Eric suggests the chief might be a handy diversion that the U of I trustees can summon when a large and unpopular resolution needs to be passed. Say, oh, like a 16% tuition hike for new students.

Dumping the chief was on no news radar screens for months until it popped in with great urgency Tuesday morning.

Then, as the meeting opened, the trustee who was sponsoring the resolution yanked it off the table, first saying that other trustees had complained they hadn't had enough time to review the proposal, then later admitting that she realized she just didn't have the votes to pass it.

The trustees then approved an 8 percent tuition increase for returning students and a 16 percent increase for new students -- pretty substantial hikes in tough times -- and look at the headlines:

"Vote on Chief Illiniwek Must Wait' -- Tribune
"Vote on Illiniwek's fate sidelined" -- Sun-Times
"Chief Illiniwek vote to wait" -- Daily Southtown
"Vote on Chief Illiniwek delayed" -- Daily Herald
"Chief Illiniwek escapes board vote" --State Journal-Register
"Mascot decision delayed" --Copley Newspapers
"Chief Illiniwek avoids Blago trustee ambush" -- Illinois Leader

By the time I have college age kids, I will have the choice of sending them to school or buying a majority interest in the nation of Bulgaria. Stacy and I agreed that we'll be best off if we get temporarily divorced, take in foster children, and force all of our children to be golf caddies so that we can get a reasonable amount of financial aid.

My thoughts on the Illiniwek issue? Nobody should be having this conversation until the Cleveland Indians get rid of their native sambo boy. What the hell? I can't believe they are still using that mascot.

What you had to say:
November 17 2003

Even before the Cleveland dumps its native sambo boy, Washington (our capital...the hub of political correctness) needs to rethink the Redskins name. Are you kidding me? What's next? The El Paso Wetbacks? The Golden State Slanteyes? Or how about the Brooklyn Greaseballs? Pretty tasteless when you think about it.

As for Chief Illiniwek, I don't think keeping him around is doing anyone any good. I'm not into tradition for tradition's sake. Does dressing up a white suburban kid in feathers and grease paint really honor Native Americans? Probably not any more than dressing someone in plaid polyester flood pants would honor the Polish.

I'm a graduate of Marquette University. My senior year we became the Golden Eagles for the exact reasons U of I is considering its change. We didn't like it either, but we moved on. Change is good.

November 17 2003

"Probably not any more than dressing someone in plaid polyester flood pants would honor the Polish."

See how you get away with that because you're polish. That sucks. I'm Hungarian and I can't make jokes about anything. Hungarian jokes aren't funny.

You think anyone will ever make Notre Dame stop being the Fighting Irish?

Wasn't Marquette the Hilltoppers once upon a time? What happened to that one?

My sister's high school used to be the Rebels. Not sure what they are now.

What do you think of people who don't like the Arizona State Sun Devils because it's celebrating devils?

November 17 2003

In addition to being Polish, I am also half Irish. I don't find the little Lucky Charms guy at Notre Dame games to be particularly flattering to people of Irish decent, but I also recognize Notre Dame fans as irrational people as a whole. Where I would love to see Notre Dame change their name, only part of my reasoning has to do with my background. The rest has to do with my intense loathing for all things Notre Dame and a desire to see all the ND fans freak out.

Yes, Marquette used to be the Hilltoppers a long time ago. A lot of people wished they went back to it rather than creating the Golden Eagles name, but to no avail. Jumpin' Jesuits was another popular choice among students, but I guess that would have just brought on another name change a few years later.

Speaking out against the Sun Devils name may be a bit of a stretch. If Arizonans (Arizonites?) really see this as a form of Devil worship, they have bigger problems than their team mascot. Further, in the state that held out longer than any other to recognize Martin Luther King's birthday as a holiday, I would be very afraid of what they might change it to. Yikes!

© 2003 Jason Keglovitz