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Names May 29, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Sports.

This is not an involved post, though it may involve some deeper thinking.

I want to toss out the issue regarding team nicknames.

In the past few years, the NBA Washington Bullets becamse the Wizards (going from offending 2nd Amendment fans to the much smaller Male Wicca lobby), the Seattle University Chieftains becamse the Redhawks (going from Native baiting to keeping the Sierra Club happy), and there has been much to-do about the Illini of the University of Illinois, and there have been many cries for the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins to alter their names as well.

Whenever I heard this, I wondered why Catholic priests (particularly the Franciscans) never objected to the San Diego Padres. I mean, isn’t that just as demeaning to the priesthood as the Redskins are to the Native Americans?

Yet the Franciscans keep oddly silent. I wonder why.

I swore I’d never set foot in this argument until my Catholic (or other) sensibilities were directly affected. I have now found it.

This idiot has suggested that the NHL’s New Jersey Devils need to change their satanic nickname and logo. He claims to that it is offensive to Christian sensibilities.

All I have to say is: “WHATEVER!!!!” As far as I am concerned, the Devils have a great nickname and logo. Keep on truckin’ fellas.

Transcript below:

TRENTON, N.J. — What chance do the New Jersey Devils give a proposal that would give the NHL team a less demonic name?

Think hell freezing over.

“I can assure you the Devils name will never change, and I think there are more important things to be thinking about than something that will never happen,” chief executive officer Lou Lamoriello said. “It’s who we are and what we want to be.”

State Assemblyman Craig Stanley is taking issue with a satanic symbol representing the team, which has won three Stanley Cup championships.

“This is an age where symbolism is very important,” said Stanley, a Baptist deacon whose resolution to rename the team is to be introduced in the Assembly next month. A new name would be chosen in a statewide competition.

Stanley’s legislative district includes parts of Newark, where the Devils are scheduled to move into a $310 million, 18,000-seat downtown arena in September 2007, from the Meadowlands sports complex in East Rutherford.

“I’ve always cringed when people say they’re going to see the Devils,” Stanley said. “The merchandise, the paraphernalia is based on the actual demonic devil. Personally, it causes a little bit of an issue with me.”

The team’s mascot is a red, cartoonish figure with horns and a goatee.

However, the team’s name, chosen in a 1982 fan contest, comes from the mythical Jersey Devil, not the Christian symbol of the antichrist, according to Weird N.J., a travel guide to the state’s most offbeat attractions.

The mythical Jersey Devil — with batlike wings, a forked tail and oversized claws — was said to terrorize Pine Barrens dwellers in the 18th century after being born the 13th child to poor south Jerseyans and morphing into a dinosaurlike beast.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey agrees that the name should stay as is. Team owner Jeff Vanderbeek gave the proposal a less-than-enthusiastic reception.

“He’s hellbent on keeping the Devils name,” Stanley said.



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