Monday, May 23, 2005

The university adminstration has tendered several terrible names ("Blue and Gold" is one) that the students and alumni can vote on to replace the only somewhat worse Marquette "Gold" as the university's team nickname. An additional, write-in option has also been made available, which hopefully will be the way that the name is chosen.

I have a great name suggestion, which should immediately be written-in by all MU students:

Marquette Snipers

You can't beat that one. For those who have forgotten, the doves at the university freaked out over the conservative students' "Adopt-a-Sniper" program, which was featured at a kiosk along with other student organization presentations at the Memorial Union. What the ivory-tower liberals were so frustrated about was a display of the Marine Sniper credo, which featured language about "one shot, one kill," etc., that describes the sole goal of a sniper: killing people.

Let's reinvigorate the sniper name, displaying it proudly on all athletic wear for all to see. In any event, it's the closest thing to Warriors that we're ever going to get.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Was this all a conspiracy? 
Conspiracy plans revealed.

Step 1: Weaken the resistance.
Step 2: Appease the resistance and quickly hide the corpse.

Step 1: First, we'll announce that we're going to discuss the nickname issue openly and honestly. Then, after months of doing nothing but shopping for some self-appointed Native American "leaders" to give us a lecture on how their feelings are hurt, we'll say we need more time. We'll also say that no Native American imagery can be used. Goal achieved: weaken the Marquette Warrior identity.

Then, we'll formally announce "Gold" as the new choice. When the natives (no pun intended) go bananas, we'll pretend like we listened and say that students and alumni will get to vote! The resistance will be so worked up about the process, they will lose sight of the substance. It will work like a charm. We'll have effectively changed the debate from the issue of Warriors to choosing a nickname from a list of white-washed, irrelevant monikers. Through all this smokescreen, we (leftist MU administrators) got exactly what we wanted: NO WARRIOR. Furthermore, this vote nonsense really takes all the pressure off us, and in some circles (the Journal Sentinel editorial board), we will even get praised! Sheer brilliance. Goal achieved: death to the Warrior.

Undoubtedly, some alumni will acquiesce to this "vote" and believe that they were heard. They could not be more wrong. You, my friends, have been duped.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Cracks in the Kremlin 
It seems the MU Board of Trustees has heard the stampede of students and alumni against "Goldy." In a hastily-scheduled meeting today, the Board will decide if the opinions of the unwashed heathens (i.e., graduates of MU) have any value. Incidentally, how do they get everyone back to Milwaukee on such short notice? Or was this emergency meeting predetermined?

Prediction: They will announce that they need some time to consider the input of students/faculty/alumni. Of course, the responses will be filtered through our "Catholic, Jesuit values." Sometime in July (when no one is around) Goldy will be shoved down our throats again. Because, as has been demonstrated time and time again, MU graduates are savage dolts who cannot determine what is racist or demeaning, therefore our wise fathers need to think for us. I thank them for their paternalism. It's so much easier than having to think for ourselves.

It could be worse, however. You could work for the Office of University Advancement. How would you like to shill for cash after this boondoggle?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Lessons from Star Wars 
Much of my life has been influenced by Star Wars. Thus, I see this nickname fight as starring the following characters:

Emperor: Rev. Wild
Darth Vader: Old man Bergstrom
OB1 Kenobe: Prof. McAdams
Luke Skywalker: Myself (all apologies to NW who is probably better with a light saber)
Boba Fett: Abe

Other positions are available (leave comment to apply)
Father Wild uses protection 
Indeed he does. I was hanging around outside of the AMU yesterday, at about 6pm, when Father Wild exited the union walking briskly, accompanied by a large man in a suit with a two-way communication device on his jacket. I didn’t really think much of it until the guy walked Father Wild to his car, then to the Jes Res, but then the guard returned to the AMU alone. When I saw Father Wild earlier this week, he was walking alone with no escort. So the only assumption I can make is that he’s taken to using a guard. Maybe the student reaction is being noticed…

I attended the protest rally yesterday outside of Gold’s Gym. Even with the rain there was a decent turnout. The media was present, as was Father Wild. Father Wild made a general statement that resembled the press release we received on Wednesday. Students shouted questions, but none were answered. After Father Wild left, the students hung around for a while and the sun came out. At about one o’clock the group marched over to O’Hara Hall to yell at Father Wild some more. Again, Father Wild came outside to address the students. Everyone was very orderly and nothing got out of hand. I have to say that regardless of his decision, Father Wild made himself available to the students when he was under no obligation to do so. And he tried to answer the questions as best he could, not being to speak for all of the Board members. I respect his willingness to take the heat for the entire Board.

But it seems that Father Wild is sick of taking the heat for the Board’s decision, so today, Saturday, at 1030 am, John Bergstrom, chair of the Board, will hold a listening session in AMU 227. (grazie
Marquette Warrior) I haven’t yet decided whether I want to subject myself to more groupthink and irrational justifications, so we’ll see if I attended. But I suggest you go and make your voice heard.

Friday, May 06, 2005

A vote for Crusaders 


I realize that this blog is not a Marquette-dedicated blog, I still feel that the nickname change is an important issue involving the University, and I feel that it’s important to discuss the implications of Gold as a nickname. I am a graduate of the University of Missouri. I am a Tiger for life. The Tiger was adopted as the mascot of Mizzou in honor of Civil War Union militia men from Columbia. There is a historical tie between Mizzou and their mascot, the Tiger. That is what is missing here at Marquette (besides great Saturday afternoons at the football stadium). A historical tie between Marquette and their mascot. When Marquette was the Hilltoppers, it was because they were situated on a hill. Good choice. When they were the avalanche, it’s because sportswriters wrote that “Marquette rained down on their opponents like an Avalanche.” The Warrior was chosen to represent Marquette’s tradition among the Indian tribes of the state. The Golden Eagle was chosen as a non-offensive mascot to appease the PC masses. The downward trend that was begun with the selection of the Golden Eagles and reached a pinnacle with the Gold.

The nickname must mean something. It MUST have some connection with the University. What’s the point in having a nickname that means nothing? There is no pride in Gold. There was no pride in the Golden Eagles. Believe it or not, tradition actually means something to students in this day and age. In general, Catholics have something that many other Christian denominations do not. And that is history. A sense of history that can be grasped. History and meaning are very important concepts, especially to people raised in a very historical church. Marquette has changed their nickname too often in the past 12 years and it has resulted in a lack of identity. Very few people could identify with the Golden Eagle, and ever fewer people can identify with the Gold. There is no sense of history, no connection, with Gold.

I am not one to complain about problems without providing a solution. My solution would be to adopt the nickname of Crusaders. Why Crusaders? First, it’s original. No other D-1 school invokes the name Crusaders. Second, there is a history tied to the name Crusaders via Marquette’s namesake, Jacques Marquette. Jacques Marquette was a crusader for the Catholic faith, and came to the Midwest to explore and spread the Catholic faith. Crusaders would not invoke some horrible mental images of a particular group of people, as many religions used Crusaders. Crusaders represent strength, victory, and power; three things that are important in a nickname/mascot.

The Board must reconsider its decision before the Marquette Gold become the laughing stock of Division I academia.
The following quote, by Father Wild, explains the reasons for not returning to the insensitive Warriors nickname:

"The perspective of time has shown us that our actions, intended or not, can offend others. We must not knowingly act in a way that others will believe, based on their experience, to be an attack on their dignity as human beings. We cannot teach one principle about respect for human dignity in our classrooms, than fail to act by the same principle when making decisions."

Well golly gee Father Wild. This whole "Christianity" thing you have going on at the university is certainly going to "offend others," who will see Catholic teachings as "an attack on their dignity as human beings" (e.g., radical feminists, pro-abortionists, gay rights groups, etc.), so maybe you should be more respectful of "human dignity" by making MU's classrooms more secular, like, say, they are at UW Madison.

Come to think of it, the new "Gold" nickname might not be as offense-free as you thought. We should do a poll of jewelry makers, gold-mine workers, families of people who died in the Yukon and California gold rushes, etc., to make sure that no one is offended. This is the only safe course of action. As you say, if one person, no matter how irrational or hypersensitive, is offended, then we can't do anything that might offend them.

Let's take the safest course, and rename the team the "Marquette Rainbows," in honor of diversity. That way no one will be offended.
Golden Shower 
The Marquette Board of Trustees, under the hypnotic influence of the departed president Al DiUilio, released a press conference to announce a new nickname. Here is the translation of the beaucratic nonsense that was doled out:

MU Administration: "We are the MU Gold!"
Translation: We are undecisive pansies.

MU Administration: "This process respects human dignity."
Translation: Everyone but MU alumni and students is important.

MU Administration: "The process was thoughtful."
Translation: Our brownshirts will crush any contrary thinking.

MU Administration: "This name was chosen for its unique blending of the university’s old and new athletics traditions."
Translation: Like the blending at MMSD, this blending is full of sh*t.

MU Administration: "While I recognize that some people will be disappointed that we are not reinstating the Warriors nickname, we cannot teach one principle about respect for human dignity in our classrooms and then fail to act by that same principle when making decisions."
Translation: You stupid dolts who went to school here are too stupid to think for yourselves and you need us paternalistic, arrogant, pompous twits to think for you.

MU Administration: "This is not an optional program. We are done."
Translation: We are stooges for the former president, Rev. Al DiUlio. We believe in shoving crap down your throats. Henceforth, you will like it, Goldenboy.

MU Admistration: "I am satisfied that people of good conscience will agree we have given this issue thoughtful study and consideration."
Translation: Listen, you fools, we let you complete a rigged survey, what more do you want? Please send checks to Marquette University.

I'm so proud to be a Goldy!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Morning after pill? 
If I take RU-48G(old), will everything that went wrong yesterday be aborted?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The bullsh*t detector is working overtime 
This is the email that Marquette University sent to its students (and presumably its faculty) to inform us of the change of nicknames. The Board of Trustees, in all their wisdom, changed the nickname of Marquette from the “Golden Eagles”, to the “Gold”. Let’s take a look at this email and see if the bullshit detector smells anything.

Marquette University News Briefs for May 4, 2005Marquette “Gold” selected as new athletics nickname; new athletics monogram also announced

Marquette’s Board of Trustees announced today that the new athletics nickname will be the Marquette “Gold.” Marquette “Gold”, huh? Isn’t that…original? I’ll have more to say on this later. This name was chosen for its unique blending of the university’s old and new athletics traditions, and was one of the names suggested during nickname discussions in both 1994 and 2004. How does “Gold” blend the old and new traditions? Let’s see…Avalanche/Hilltopers, Warriors and Golden Eagles. Okay, ya, I can see how the past nicknames relate to “Gold”. Are you kidding me? I don’t know what the new athletic traditions are, but how they relate to the nickname “Gold” I’ll never know. This “blending traditions” crap is ridiculous. Absolutely asinine. A poor excuse for a poor choice. The change will be effective on July 1 when Marquette enters the BIG EAST Conference. Well, at least I’ll graduate a “Golden Eagle”. Imagine the first Big Monday broadcast on ESPN: “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Big Monday matchup between the UConn Huskies and the visiting Marquette Gold! Hey Bob, what’s a Gold?” That will be priceless.

"Gold” boldly represents Marquette’s proud athletics traditions such as Golden Avalanche, Golden Eagles and Gold Rush, the current student fan section for basketball games. “Gold” boldly represents the Board of Trustees’ general incompetence and disregard for student opinions. It has also become the signature color for Marquette athletics worn proudly around the country by Marquette students, alumni and fans. The author is correct that gold has become the “signature color” for Marquette athletics and is worn by alumni around the country. However, DePaul alumni proudly wear blue, but DePaul’s Board of Trustees has not seen it necessary to change their nickname to “Blue”. In athletics, the mark of a champion is often a gold medal or trophy. Is this supposed to be a justification? Or simply a statement that is obviously true. Oh wait, I get it. The Board really wanted to use the nickname “Gold Trophies”, but they didn’t think that would go over very well.

The Board of Trustees voted not to reinstate the Warriors athletics nickname stating that as a Catholic, Jesuit university, it would hold itself to the highest possible standards of its mission, which include recognizing and appreciating the dignity of every person. But yet, they still implement affirmative action in admissions? Further, data collected in an online survey last fall of opinions and attitudes indicated that even 10 years after its introduction, the Golden Eagles nickname, logo and mascot have not generated with the Marquette community a strong sense of pride or identity. That a survey even had to be conducted blows my mind. I’m unaware of the results of this “survey” every being released. If so, I’d love to see them. People hated the nickname partially for the way it was selected and implemented. The rest of us hated it because we’re not fans of Golden Chickens. In the survey, the terms respondents most often used to describe the Golden Eagles nickname are boring (57 percent), weak (55 percent) and common (52 percent).

In the same survey, respondents indicated that Warriors signified strong, competitive and winning. Why don’t we get the percentages for these results? Because they were overwhelming and indicated that the students preferred the name Warriors? The Board chose a nickname that represented those same strengths and that had been suggested in prior nickname discussions. Marquette “Gold” was the Board’s overwhelming favorite. So “Gold” was the ONLY nickname that represented the adjectives strong, competitive, and winning? Frankly, I disagree with competitive, but moving on.

“I am really pleased that the Trustees have chosen this direction for Marquette athletics. And what direction would that be? The fast lane to the gallows for mocking and ridicule? The Board has chosen a name that reflects our desire to be champions,” said President Robert Wild, S.J. “With Marquette ‘Gold,’ the Board has captured decades of traditions in one profound term that symbolizes the high standards always set by our student-athletes and our coaches. Again, I’m waiting for someone, anyone, to explain to me how the nickname “Gold” captures a winning tradition and history?

“While I recognize that some people will be disappointed that we are not reinstating the Warriors nickname, we cannot teach one principle about respect for human dignity in our classrooms and then fail to act by that same principle when making decisions,” Father Wild said. First, it’s not that you chose to abandon tradition by failing to readopt the Warrior, it’s the fact that you pussed out in selecting any name at all. How is human dignity possibly disrespected by the word “Warrior”? It’s a word! The fact that you believe that there is some negative connotation attached to the word doesn’t mean that everyone believes the same. But thank you for taking the opportunity to think for everyone else. If I’m not going to think for myself, why did I come to college? “The Warriors nickname will always be part of our proud athletics tradition, and we will honor that tradition. Oh, so it was at one time okay to “insult” Indians by using Warrior, and we’re still proud of that? I wonder if the Board had the option of removing all references to Warriors in Marquette’s history if they would do so. But we live in a different era than when the Warriors nickname was selected in 1954. The perspective of time has shown us that our actions, intended or not, can offend others. God forbid anyone be offended in this day and age. Everyone has the right to never be offended. Isn’t that in Marquette’s mission statement? We must not knowingly act in a way that others will believe, based on their experience, to be an attack on their dignity as fellow human beings. If that’s the case, shouldn’t you welcome and embrace homosexuals? Shouldn’t you allow NOW and Planned Parenthood to be present on campus as banning them attacks the dignity of women?

“We have all taken up this question in a serious manner. I am satisfied that people of good conscience will agree we have given this issue thoughtful study and consideration. I have to agree that the Board has likely at least studied the issue and examined the responses given to the survey. However, they completely ignored the wishes of students and alumni. I fully support the Board’s decision and am very excited about our future as the Marquette ‘Gold’ in the BIG EAST Conference,” Father Wild concluded.

The Board made its decision after nearly a year of gathering feedback from students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community. Gathering, not listening to, or caring…but gathering.

“As an alumnus of the 1960s, it is probably pretty obvious where I stood on the Warriors question when we opened our discussions,” said John Bergstrom, chair of the Board of Trustees. You mean before you were castrated? “But after my own conversations with tribal leaders, I became convinced that the Warriors nickname could not be separated from past imagery. Watch out for Groupthink. As the Board moved deeper into this process, it became clear to all of us that as stewards of the university’s mission, we had to be guided by conscience, not emotion. When we looked at the opportunity to give our teams a name that captures excellence in a single word, we knew we had our answer. Crusaders would have worked much better if you’re looking for a single word. Our alumni and our traditions matter. Apparently not, as you chose the name “Gold” to represent your alumni and current students. I would never say another word about this if you sent a survey to all available alumni and asked them if they support the nickname “Gold”. If even just 51% of the alumni said Yes, I’d never say another word. And I can tell you that the Board stands overwhelmingly behind this decision. Well whoopdi-do! A Board that is accountable to no one and that doesn’t care about the opinions of alumni and students stands behind their asinine nickname. Congrat-u-freaking-lations.

“Now let’s grab hold of this golden opportunity as Marquette heads into the BIG EAST Conference,” Bergstrom concluded. Watch out for bad word play.

The new nickname can launch a renewed effort to celebrate Marquette’s athletics traditions and its winning future. The Board specifically directed that alumni, students and fans be fully engaged in the development of the Marquette “Gold” identity and mascot. WAIT! First you, the Board, pick this ridiculous nickname, and then you DIRECT alumni, students, and fans to be fully engaged in developing the identity of the stupid nickname? If you thought getting people to rally behind and support the Golden Chicken was hard, this will prove to be impossible. Plans for a new mascot will be announced at the start of the new school year this fall. Seriously, this should be priceless.

The university also introduced today a new “MU” monogram that will be used to visually identify Marquette athletics. This is a pretty decent logo. Nothing fancy, and had the Board asked, I could have come up with something very similar and saved some money. The creation of the “MU” monogram is a direct response to last fall’s survey respondents’ desire that Marquette have a distinct “MU” symbol. Since the Board knew that they would be selecting Gold as the nickname, and they knew it was going to piss everyone off, they should have presented a few options to the students regarding the monogram and allowed the students to vote. At least then the students would fell somewhat involved. The “MU” monogram will appear on uniforms, printed materials, merchandise, and on the floor of the McGuire Center and the Bradley Center. Work on the McGuire Center floor will begin this week in order to use the small window of time between the end of the last season and the start of the summer basketball camps. More information about the new “MU” monogram is available at the university’s Web site at http://www.marquette.edu/nickname.
News Briefs is published each Monday and as news warrants by the Office of Public Affairs for Marquette students, faculty and staff.
How I think things went down 
Here is my opinion, and I think it’s pretty valid. The Board has gathered numerous times in the last year to “discuss” the name change. There was a big push among the students and many alumni to change the name back to Warriors. But most people who supported the change knew, in their heart of hearts, that it wasn’t going to happen. We were going to be stuck with the Golden Chicken for another ten years.

Here is how I believe things went down: When the Board met for the first time to discuss the change, they took a vote and going back to Warrior was immediately voted down. Everyone in the room was sworn to secrecy. But hey, why tell the students. Let them get all worked up over the change. So in each subsequent meeting, the board voted on some names, and by January or February of 2005, they decided on Gold. But they couldn’t announce such a drastic change with three months of school remaining. There would be protests and riots every time the board met until the end of the semester. And there would be a massive letter writing campaign. The Board simply did not want to deal with the consequences of their actions. So they decided to announce it at their last meeting of the semester, the week before finals. Pathetic in my opinion. I would suggest that students never allow the University to forget what happened on May 4th. Every year, until the name is changed, a protest rally should be held outside of the Union and Jes Res. Never Forget.
Rally against Gold 
In front of the Al Maguire Center on Friday at Noon. In case you need more incentive, there will be free food provided by Pizza Shuttle.
Steps for dealing with your golden frustration 
The Marquette Golden Eagles are no more. We are now the Marquette Gold. The what? Yes, the Gold. G-O-L-D. So, now that Marquette students are again saddled with an abysmal nickname, how do we deal with it? First, you must realize that you will be made fun of. There is no doubt that one of your friends, who goes to a real school with a real mascot like a tiger or a bulldog, will make fun of you. Accept this ridicule. Embrace it. Laugh along with your friends. Poke fun at your school because this is no longer your school. The administration has taken that away from you.

Next, you must figure out how to respond to inquires from friends and family. Two sample exchanges are provided for your edification:

Friend: Hey, I hear you’re now the Marquette Gold.
You: Uh, ya. That’s what I hear too.
Friend: So, what’s a Gold?
You: Dude, it’s a freaking color. Where did you go to school?
Friend: I know it’s a color. But, like, what’s your mascot?
You: You know, like gold.
Friend: Dude, that sucks.
You: Really? You think so? I mean, I loved being a Golden Chicken, but now that I’m a Gold, I’m freaking pumped man! I can’t wait until Big East fans start chanting “Golden Shower” at away games! This rocks! *cough Screw You *cough

Family (immediately recognizing that you’re distraught): So how did the nickname of Gold come up?
You: I hate this school! I want to come home!
Family: Sweetie, you only have two semester left. You can do it.
You: No! I can’t! I will no be a Gold! What the heck is a Gold anyway? I hate my life!
Family: It’s not that bad, it’s really not.
You: You don’t know! I gotta go. I’m going to jump off the Wisconsin Street bridge. Bye.

These are just a couple of examples of ways you may wish to respond to questions.

Now really, what is a Gold? Maybe we’ll get really lucky, and the administration will choose to use an oversized Gold Medal for a mascot. Or maybe just some gold blob closely resembling the
Western Kentucky University's Big Red? We can only hope and pray that the administration won’t screw up twice. Then again, in reality there’s no hope considering they chose this junk in the first place.

In closing, you should remember that overcoming your disappointment won’t happen overnight. Or in a couple days. Or probably even a lifetime. Just deal with it the best you can. And every night, before you go to sleep, send up a little prayer that this situation will be rectified as soon as possible with a little divine intervention.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Don't be surprised when you don't read the name "Terri Schiavo" in this story in the New York Times about a severely brain-damaged firefighter who "woke up" after ten years in a semi-conscious condition. Donald Herbert's brain injury occurred when debris fell on him during a call to a burning building. Until recently, Herbert didn't recognize family members, was nearly blind, and was virtually silent.

Here is where the story gets troubling:

Neurologists said yesterday that there was no way to know the true
prevalence of outcomes like Mr. Herbert's because people in his state have never been followed in long-term epidemiological studies.

Details of his recovery are murky, but neurologists said yesterday that his
symptoms suggested that he had suffered damage to multiple areas of his brain
because of a lack of oxygen for several minutes at the time of the

"He has classic signs of hypoxic damage," said Dr. Alan C. Carver, an
assistant professor of neurology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "It's
not hard to understand what happened to his brain in 1995. What is remarkable is to think that after 10 years of being like this the brain should show evidence of regeneration, because when cells don't get oxygen for a prolonged period of time they die."

Wow, that really is "remarkable"! I only wish that the media were a little more interested in probing these uncertainties before the Florida judiciary killed someone in a similar state. I guess Don Herbert was lucky enough not to have a female version of Michael Schiavo as his wife. If he did, we would be reading a very different story here.

Monday, May 02, 2005

You must listen to this great grouping of soundbites by Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan, framed by the stinging commentary of Rush Limbaugh. The tagline for this segment is classic: "Race Industry Stuck in Time Warp." For those who haven't visited Rush's site before, you're in for a treat.
Ever think of working in the fast-paced
world of international relations?
The U.S. Senate is currently seeking a
friendly, caring person to fill the role of
U.N. Ambassador.
The ideal candidate will have a
pro-international view on such issues
as taxation and military forces.
Applicants are encouraged to contact
Senator Joseph Biden to arrange a
Conservatives need not apply.
Doesn't this look like the ad the Democrats would be running in the Village Voice if John Kerry had gotten elected? If you want to read about how pathetic and hypocritical the Democrats have gotten about John Bolton's qualifications, check out this story.

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