These warriors have a new battle ahead

Friday, July 25, 2003

July 24, 2003

To: Southeast Missouri State University

From: The National Mascot Security Council

Re: Our future

It has come to our attention that another of our beloved mascots of American sports teams has come under attack -- in fact, an attack symbolic of the redskinned savages of our fine land.

While we understand your concerns about stereotyping those people and your desire to be politically correct by removing the Indian and Otahkian from your school, we're saddened that your powwow over the past weekend didn't include a more diverse group of opinions. We certainly have a lot of voices to offer.

An adorable lineup

For example, Colonel Reb is soon to be out of work, and he's not quite ready to retire. Once the administrators at Ole Miss decided to show Colonel Reb the door and find a new mascot, he barely had the will to supervise the staff on his plantation. We haven't even broken the news to him yet that the school also defeated our proposal of using an oversized burning cross with floppy clown shoes as its new mascot. Granted, we are encouraged that it was such a close vote.

There's also Hot Italian, the cute little weenie beaten by mean Pirates player Randall Simon two weeks ago. She's on the talk-show circuit now when she's not on the field racing opposing sausages. She could have offered a lot of -- dare I say it -- mustard to your talks. She even tolerates bun jokes.

We just as well could have sent the Fightin' Irishman from Notre Dame, whose cuddly portrayal of fist-swingin' Irishman has endeared our nation to all of Europe. There's even talk of having him carry a pipe bomb in his left hand next year. We think it's an addition that would make the Irish proud.

And of course, we're pleased to still have many, many fine Indian mascots in our coalition, whether they're Chiefs, Redskins, Seminoles, Indians or Squaws. They certainly would love to explain to you how they truly don't mind seeing signs that say "skin those Indians," "scalp that tribe," et al. It's their heritage. They agree it's the least they can do after we allowed them stay here all those years ago.

Age of enlightenment

In fact, I must point out how proud and fulfilled we are to see institutes of higher learning and enlightenment parade half-dressed warriors riding horses, throwing spears and yelling the "whoo whoo whoo" chant. That is their heritage. That is their history. That is, in fact, how they want to be remembered. Must you take that from them?

Already the evil forces of this nation have deemed it necessary to change St. Johns University's mascot from Redmen to ... well, something we can't even remember. Already high schools around our free land and succumbed to the notoriously left-wing pressure. Headdress sales are suffering, too. Have you considered the impact on novelty clothiers?

Even worse, the Cleveland Indians continue to hear talks of protests and Indian uprisings. Even the tomahawk chop so common at Florida State and Atlanta Braves games is in jeopardy of being replaced by something no doubt less meaningful and significant in our proud history. We're thankful Ted Turner is a noble and fine upstanding warrior for truth, justice and the American way who defends his team's traditional moniker.

So we, the mascots of America, ask you, the wise leaders of Southeast Missouri State University, to think long and hard before making a potentially damning change to your mascot. Think about how such an uneducated change would impact the children -- the little warriors, the little savages and the little squaws -- of your area. What will they think?

And consider the impact of your decision on your area schools and their mascots. We're proud to hear that at least one of your high schools continues to display a teepee and a half-naked Indian at football games.

We commend those who keep such proud traditions alive for the future Hot Italians, Fightin' Irishmen and Colonel Rebs of our great nation.


The members of the National Mascot Security Council

Jamie Hall is the sports editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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