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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Double Header Wednesday

The Freedom will play a double header Wednesday night against the Oakland County Cruisers. First pitch is set for 6:05 pm. The teams will play two 7 inning games back to back.

We'll also be celebrating local high school Covington Catholic with a bobble head giveaway as part of our School Days promotion. A picture of the bobble head is pictured at right.

Being relatively unfamiliar with "Cov Cath", I was surprised to learn that their mascot, the "Colonel", looks strikingly similar to Ole Miss mascot "Colonel Reb", especially given the recent controversy surrounding said mascot. If you're unfamiliar with the situation, here is an article on it.

As the article states, he is "a white-bearded old man wearing
a wide-brimmed hat and leaning on a cane. His name is Colonel Reb and he looks like nothing less than the very caricature of an old, white plantation owner."
The University of Mississippi has banned the mascot from appearing at sporting events and is currently in the process of eliminating him entirely. If the students have their way, he will be replaced by Star Wars character Admiral Ackbar. No, seriously.

Now I will admit that I have no information on the history or tradition surrounding the Colonel mascot at Covington Catholic so it's unfair to make any comparisons here. However, one must admit it's about as tasteful as Cleveland's Chief Wahoo logo. Native American groups have been very outspoken in their opposition towards Chief Wahoo and similar mascots and team names being used by professional, collegiate, and prep school teams.

Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan set a powerful precedent in 2004 when it replaced its controversial "Indians" nickname with Bengals after 80 years. This change was met with tremendous approval statewide.

When looking at decisions like this and the one made by the University of Mississippi, it's clear that doing the right thing far outweighs sentimentality towards a potentially offensive tradition.

Covington Catholic is an extremely prestigious school with a rich tradition on and off the field. As previously stated, I was unable to uncover any details regarding the tradition of their Colonel mascot. But clearly not all Colonels represent the same ideals as "Colonel Reb". After all, Colonel Sanders has been the face of Kentucky Fried Chicken for years.

Note: If anyone has any background information on Covington Catholic's Colonel, please post it here

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