The Nickname Game

I know I sound off on this topic quite a bit but bear with me, this topic is something that is close to my heart and what is happening with it, is really annoying to me.

As many of you know, my college, The University of North Dakota, has been fighting for their Fighting Sioux nickname for quite a while. In 2012 however, the NCAA (butted their nose into something it doesn’t belong in, in my opinion), made the University give up the name or face sanctions. This meant that UND”s sports teams would no longer be allowed to participate in post-season/playoffs unless the nickname was changed. I believe that was a completely low blow and really not fair to the school or the students. Plus it cost the school a lot of money to change over all of the places where Sioux was displayed and get new uniforms, money that could have been used for other things.

All of the people criticizing the president of the University for giving up the name, really don’t understand that he had to do what was right for the students and the student athletes. He fought it as long as he could but he didn’t want to damage the student’s opportunity for post-season and went along with the change although reluctantly it seemed. I understood the president’s viewpoint for this part of the debacle because if I was an athlete I would want a chance at post season regardless of name or no name. That’s what those athletes play for. Post-season can mean a chance at the pro level for some/a lot of these athletes and to take that away is not fair.

So after that whole ordeal was over, the next step was to pick a new name, which I didn’t agree with. If the name has to go, I don’t want a new nickname because I’m sorry but I started at this school as a Fighting Sioux and that is how I’m going to finish. I don’t care what the new name is, I will not become that. Picking a new name will never replace the old one no matter how hard they try. That’s one thing the NCAA doesn’t get, the students will never truly give up the name.

Now that the new name process is in full swing, the following five names are the choices students/staff/alumni can vote on in coming weeks: Rough-riders, Sun Dogs, Nodaks, Fighting Hawks and North Stars. I’m not a fan of any of these names except I would tolerate Nodaks because students started using this name after Fighting Sioux was eliminated.

The new obstacle now with the naming process is several people claiming that the names UND is picking from, are copyrighted/owned already. The story is rather confusing but UND claims it won’t prevent them from picking a name. I am so sick and tired of hearing new arguments about the names and I wish it was just over with. I really don’t want a new name and I’m sure majority of students would fall along the same category. Just let us stay North Dakota if we can’t be the Sioux because nothing will take that name’s place but no, they had to rule out being just North Dakota as well.

When this whole issue first arose I just wanted them to figure out if we are keeping the name or not. I wanted to keep it but I was so sick of the fighting and how it made the school look. People started making fun of the University over it and it was really sickening. I do have a few words for those who think it’s funny. Take a step in the shoes of a UND student, professor, staff, alumni and think about it if it was you. How would you react if your school’s name was taken away and you had no choice in the matter?

Say for example Minnesota State Mankato was no longer allowed to be the Mavericks. Your identity with the school is suddenly gone. It’s not so funny anymore is it? Yes, to some it is just a name, a word, but for others it’s something they identify with and the school unites over it. Think about a big game on campus, everyone cheers the school name and unites over it right?. You never hear a school just cheer “Go University of so and so” it’s always “Let’s go Sioux/Mavericks/Gophers”.. etc.

So before you say it’s just a name or get over it, think about it. It’s really not, it’s an identity that mattered to a lot of people. It was never meant to be rude, disrespectful or anything like that. It was meant to honor those Native Americans and their contributions to not only the school but history itself. There’s a lot more to a name than just a word. I will always be a Fighting Sioux and that’s the end of my rant for now. I’m sure there will be more on this topic as the debate continues. Thanks for reading!

HOCKEY ROCKS! (P.S. Wild training camp started today! THEIR FIRST PRESEASON GAME IS MONDAY!!!!)

North Dakota Fighting Sioux jersey

One of my favorite jerseys.. it was hard to decide on one because they all rock.. I own a white one 😀

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