When last we checked in on Marquette University, they had decided to hold an Internet "election" to choose the school's new nickname/mascot. I don't
know how anyone there thinks that this will work out well and resolve any and all controversy that may exist now, but that's what they pay university
professors and administrators the big bucks to figure out. Whatever.
Here is the latest info on the upcoming Internet election:
There are 10 proposed names on the ballot.
Write in votes are okay so long as the write in names are "consistent with the university's Catholic, Jesuit mission and the Board of Trustees'
resolution forbidding Native American imagery and references.”" That is there to blunt the attempts of some alums who want to return to the old name
for Marquette, the Warriors. The rules go further however, and prohibit any nickname "under review by the NCAA for [its] relationship to Native
American imagery." This is politically correct with an exclamation point.
In addition, write-in names must not "mock or embarrass the university". I wouldn't worry about that here; the university has set itself up as a
target for mockery with this entire process so the school nickname is hardly likely to add much to that total. The example often given is the nickname
"Jumpin' Jesuits" which the university would consider embarrassing. Frankly, it's not nearly as embarrassing as the politically correct contortions
they are putting themselves through to change a nickname from the already politically correct, Golden Eagles.
With that as a backdrop, you would expect that the list of 10 names on the ballot had been worked on to provide several good choices such that the
results of the election would be received enthusiastically. At least I'd expect that. So here is the list and you tell me just how many of these jump
off the page at you and make you want to dash to your computer to place your vote and to contact your fellow Marquette alums to get them to vote with
you. For me, that number is ZERO!!
The choices are - in alphabetical order - Blue and Gold, Explorers, Golden Avalanche, Golden Eagles, Golden Knights, Hilltoppers, Saints, Spirit,
Voyagers and Wolves. There is even less originality here than the list might suggest because Golden Eagles is the name they have tried to change from
in this whole matter and Hilltoppers was the name used by the school prior to about 1950.
The MLB schedule-makers look to have gotten one right this year. As we head to Memorial Day, the White Sox have the best record in baseball and the
Twins have the fourth best record in the AL. That division race could be setting up as the best one in MLB in August/September and the schedule calls
for 13 head-to-head match-ups between these teams from August 14 onward.
Over the winter, there was some excitement generated in Detroit when the Tigers signed Maglio Ordonez and Troy Percival. Coming on the heels of the
addition of Pudge Rodriguez and the team's subsequent improvement last season, some Tiger fans thought this year could be a break-out season. Ordonez
got $75M over 5 years despite a gimpy knee that had been treated in Austria with a medical procedure that some folks called "experimental". Percival
got $13M over two years despite some recent seasons with injury problems. Ordonez had been in three games so far this season and isn't going to play
much before July 4th; Percival has made twelve relief appearances and is now listed as "out indefinitely". The Tigers are not a "high revenue team"
within the structure of MLB and it looks as if the potential "break-out season" might be a "break-the-bank season". Nonetheless, the Tigers are
hovering around the .500 level and if they can find a way to win 83 games this year, that might qualify as a "break-out season".
Last week, Scott Boras was a guest on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike In The Morning. They asked him his views on the steroid controversy and he said
several times that the athletes were in a position that is unfair because the FDA has not offered up a list of approved supplements and there is
insufficient labeling - absent the FDA's approval processes - to let athletes know what they can take and cannot take. In this uncertainty, the
athletes risk a long suspension not necessarily for "cheating" but for taking something that looks to be OK but has an ingredient in it that might
metabolize into something that makes it appear to be a banned substance. Sounds like the athletes are in dire straits, no? He called for more action
from the government and the leagues and the union to protect the athletes.
What Boras never got around to saying was that it is the athlete who makes the choice to stick that pill in his mouth or that supplement into his
milkshake or that needle into his skin. Yes, the athlete gets advice and is under pressure to perform and improve; but it is the athlete - and no one
else - who makes the ultimate choice to take a supplement as part of his/her training regimen. I've said this before; I'll repeat it here. Adults make
choices and choices have consequences. So, while "Mike and Mike" slurped all over Scott Boras for his original thoughts and insights, they never got
him to discuss just why his adult clients should be absolved of any and all blame when they test positive. After all, sinister forces are not out
there infusing their bodies with banned substances whilst they sleep - or is that the next step taken by the Evil Empire?
Last week, I suggested a nickname for A's closer Octavio Dotel. I wanted to call him "Heartbreak". I saw that Bud Geracie in the San Jose Mercury-News
took Dotel's recent blown saves in another direction; he offered the following:
"Recommended bullpen policy for A's manager Ken Macha: Don't Ask Dotel."
Finally, the NBA labor talks have stalled and people are now seriously talking about a lockout there. For perspective, this is a dispute over how
people ought to share something on the order of $2.5 - 3 billion; I know that would not be that difficult for me, but it is obviously most difficult
for these folks. Norm Chad had a perspective on this in his syndicated column this week:
"Frankly, when you put $2.5 billion on the table, there should be enough to go around unless Latrell Spreewell suddenly decides to have triplets."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon