Monday, May 23, 2005

Nickname Comments

Here is a collection of the best comments we have been sent on the whole nickname controversy.

First, a correspondent who recounts a naming fiasco similar to “Gold” — but not one that made it into the media:
I wanted to share my comments on Marquette’s new name. I’m an alumnus and returning student (PhD). This has got to rank right up there with Ween-ergies. I’m a retired engineer from GE Med but I was part of the original Marquette Electronics long before GE bought it. When GE took over, they decided to rename it GE Medical Systems Healthcare Information Technologies (GEMSHIT). They spent weeks deciding on the new name, and when it was announced it took the employee audience about fifteen seconds to recognize the acronym — the place howled with laughter. Within a week GE changed it to GEMS-IT, getting the “H” out of there.

Regis DiGiacomo
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Marquette University
An alum writes to explain what happened when he protested the earlier name change from “Warriors" to “Golden Eagles:”
I’m a Marquette alum (1990, engineering), and I protested the Golden Eagles name change. I think I might still have the response I got from Bill Cords, responding to my letter. At the time, I didn’t think that “Golden Eagles” was a bad nickname (I still don’t); my objection was that the change wasn’t necessary, and that the whole process was dishonest (Marquette “Lightning,” anyone?).

The response was probably one of the most condescending letters I have ever received (yes, this was back in the day of actual “letters” on paper). I was a little shocked that he personally responded, but I must have hit a nerve. It verified that the thinking of the “insiders” was exactly what it appeared to be: that they knew better than everyone else, that it was perfectly fine for the process to be hidden from public view, and that I was a racist, small-minded, reactionary who should mind his own business. That’s a summary; the actual letter is far more long-winded.

Ten years, different people, same result.

Bob Arthur
Several e-mail correspondents decided to accept that “Warriors” will not come back, and provided other suggestions:
At work today I was trying to come up with some good nicknames that could be added as write-ins on the upcoming ballot. All of them somewhat capture the spirit of “Warrior,” especially the strength and leadership qualities. I like the first one the best.

Marquette Generals
Marquette Commanders
Marquette Admirals

Best regards,
Nick Bellovary Class of 2002
In fact, several correspondents took the position that, if it can’t be Warriors, let me be something that captures the essense of “Warriors.”
I’m glad to see that the administration decided not to go for the Gold, but I’m still embarrassed for the school that they still refuse to go back to Warriors. However, there may be a way around it. Considering that Pere Marquette was French, maybe “Guerriers” (French for Warriors) could sneak past the Jesuits. Of course, you can’t exactly say its meaning publicly, but maybe a reference like “It’s a French word that often describes people in France, but almost never the French” would work.

-Steve Eggleston
I’m afraid to slip that one past the Administration, you have to assume they are really dumb. Dumb enough to, for example, think that “Gold” would be a good nickname.

It’s also the case that any French nickname is going to sound wimpish — notwithstanding that it’s really pretty macho.

Now, a suggestion from the "Life of Z” blog as to what might happen if naming rights are sold to the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council:
. . . choices would include the Marquette Slots, the Marquette Black Jacks, the Marquette Pokers and the Marquette Casinos.
Finally, a serious comment from a supporter of “Warriors:”
The brief video clip on the Warrior concept is a classic. Father Wild must divorce himself from the racial hustlers of the Native Americans who don’t even speak for their people. The “Warriors” are a Jesuit Catholic tradition from all the way back to the founder of the Society of Jesus, Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

The Warrior mascot doesn’t need native American images. The helmet and cuirass of Saint Ignatius will do just fine.

Greg Rajala, P.T., Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Marquette University

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