The University of North Dakota, until recently known as the Fighting Sioux, is searching for a new nickname for its athletic teams. Back in 2005 the NCAA banned teams with Native American mascots from using their names and logos in postseason play, as well as banning them from hosting postseason games. Yes, the NCAA was actually on the right side of history for once!
While some schools with Native American mascots got approval from the namesake tribe to use them, like Florida State, and others changed their mascot, like Arkansas State, the University of North Dakota sued the NCAA to avoid the penalties. The university and the NCAA eventually settled the lawsuit, and after nearly a decade of various laws considered, voted upon, passed, and repealed—Wikipedia has a decent timeline of it all—UND is finally ready to choose a new nickname.
Throughout the month of April, the UND nickname committee, which is looking for a name that “represent[s] both the state and region in a way that honors the heritage of the past by [sic] also looks to the future,” solicited suggestions for a new nickname online. UND has done a great public service and put up a huge PDF of every nickname suggested that they are considering. You can see, for instance, that dozens of people want the new nickname to be the SODBUSTERS. According to one person, this is a good nickname because “Our forefathers put in countless days transforming the landscape of ND into the farming powerhouse we are today.” The 1,200 or so suggested nicknames will be scored by the committee, and eventually a subset will be put up for public vote.
Even better, however, is that UND has put up an even bigger PDF of the “non-consideration list.” These are nicknames people voted for that won’t work because an associated domain name is unavailable, because UND’s settlement with the NCAA prohibits their use, or because they are vulgar. Of course thousands of people still voted for the Fighting Sioux, and many slightly more clever people voted for the Fighting Sue or Fighting Soo, but there are a lot of funny nicknames on the non-consideration list.
Someone voted for the Pussy’s, because UND “cav[ed] to the NCAA!!!” A bunch of people voted for the Ice Dragons, with one writing that ”Dragons are ferocious & fire-breathing (the flame), which invokes fear. ND is dreaded for its cold. Both ice & dragons are strong.” Someone else leveled a good burn at the university, voting for the Saltine Crackers because “Mild, White, and Underwhelming, this name aptly embodies the culture of the university.”
Take a look through the lists, and let us know in the comments of anything that stands out.
Photo credit: AP