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.
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