Dogs weigh in on heated team mascot name debate
It appears the National Football League is in a hubbub over the Washington Redskins proceeding through this season being called “The Redskins.” One protesting Minnesota Viking fan is organizing a boycott of the game between the Vikings and the Redskins.
The betterhalf and I have talked about the subject and quite frankly have no problem with a team called the Redskins anymore than we put the tag of the Vikings 11, or the Oakland Raiders, baseball’s Angels, Braves and Pirates. As we discussed the issue we looked back to our high school days when our alma mater was tagged the “Blue Devils.” Both of us chuckled and wondered just how much longer our old Blue Devils could still play in high school sports without a protest.
From the corner of our room and the comfort of her cushion on the couch came a whimper of protest about team names. Our dog Missy barked her own entry into the conversation questioning how long our community would be able to call the Aurora sports teams, “The Huskies.”
Missy contended the name “Huskies” reflected a breed that was neglected by owners who overworked dogs in cold weather; underfed them; and made them sleep outside in cold weather. “It was slavery and we should not remind people of those circumstances and abuse,” she barked. There are other positive breeds that could be used for sports teams, she contended.
We thought that would be the end of our in-home debate, but Missy took her protest to the animal shelter the next morning where she confronted the doggone occupants.
Immediately the subject was brought up to Chocolate Labrador Moose and black Labs Buba and Abby. They all agreed with her and reached a consensus that a sports team should be named the “Labs.”’
“Now wait a minute,” came a bark from kennel No.12 where Peanut, the Chihuahua, was housed. “You can’t call a team the ‘Labs’ because that gives too much credit to the Newfoundlanders. They supposedly inherited the breed from the Portuguese. It is possible even earlier the breed landed at Newfoundland via Norse explorers who should get original credit along with the English who later developed the breed into the retrievers we know today. And besides, I think the team should be named, ‘Chi Wa Was.’ Just think how cheerleaders could trigger fan support with rhythmic cheers utilizing such a catchy name.”
Boy . . . did that comment stir up a bunch of barking at the kennel! Immediately growling comments were barked about a racist name that reflects a nationality, the physical size of team because the name Chi Wa Wa insinuates small and lack of competiveness because of its light weight or short height.
Later when we left the kennel the debate appeared to still be going on and just as on the human side, the debate will continue. Our bet is the “Blue Devils” and “Huskies” will still be the tag of our teams for many more years to come. The Redskins and Blue Devils can fight their own battles.
RL Furse is publisher emeritus of the News-Register