Chief Wahoo, the long standing racist caricature representing the Cleveland Indians will finally be retired in 2019. Only after making a retirement tour of shame around the majors in 2018. The mascot has been a point of contention among fans and civil rights groups for decades.
Many are applauding the Indians decision today as the right thing to do, a long time coming, or both depending on your level of cynicism.
This move has no less reignited the debate as to what teams with names and logos regarded largely as racist should do going forward… Looking at you Washington Redskins Racist.
As reddit user imnotminkus points out studies conducted by the American Psychological Association and others have found American Indian mascots to be offensive and demeaning to native peoples. Specifically by way of establishing a negative, and often times hostile image of American Indians to nonnative peoples; as well as reinforcing a negative sense of self worth in Native Americans themselves.
Furthermore this afternoons changes by the Indians organization have sparked some additional controversy as to if this move goes far enough. With detractors saying that the team name of Indians should go as well. Also that waiting until 2019 to phase out Chief Wahoo is too long of a window.
This isn’t anything atypical. Social issues such as this will always be met with some amount of public friction.
You’ll never please us all, and if baseball has taught us anything you can’t win them all.
From a business standpoint the wait until 2019 can be understood. Organizations as large as professional baseball teams have likely already ordered their merchandise to be sold during the 2018 season making it hard and costly to update the teams branding for the 2018 season since they would effectively have to do so retroactively. Even knowing the season is yet to begin.
*Is it a shameless money grab to cash in on the logo one last time? A poorly timed announcement? An effort to make the big wigs at the MLB happy since Cleveland is hosting the 2019 All-Star Game? A genuine good deed they wanted to make known as soon as possible? Some combination of all the aforementioned? Who knows.
Constructive critique, and respectful debate are important parts of the public discourse. This is no different.
Making this the perfect time for me to inject my personal opinion into all of this.
I applaud the Cleveland Indians for their phasing out of Chief Wahoo. I understand why the move won’t be in full effect until 2019 and *some items still bearing Chief Wahoo will be available in the northern Ohio market.
In the long run Chief Wahoo should be fully phased out. To a degree I can understand how fans can cling to something near and dear to them especially when it has persisted for so long. Even if it isn’t a shining example of a progressive and inclusive culture.
We can’t white wash our history. Chief Wahoo should serve as a lesson of what not to do going forward, and how to move away from your past. That past can progressively fade overtime. It doesn’t have to disappear into the immediate darkness.
I agree with that, but just because I agree with their right doesn’t mean I’ll support them.
To end this on a slightly more cheery note showcasing that people can change their way of thinking for the better; here is an Indians fan confronting a group of activist while wearing red face saying he’s “honoring Native Americans”…
…And some other completely hypothetical deciding factors.
A few weeks ago, a debate was sparked in a group chat I belong to. Who would win in a fight? A Grizzly Bear, or a Silverback Gorilla? It’s been hypothesized before, but we decided to take it on for ourselves.
It’s a fun argument to have if you and your group of friends are obsessed with the idea of winning arguments that have no practical purpose, and can also never be tested due to environmental, ethical, financial, and legal reasons.
The real crux of the initial argument came down to bite strength. If one of these two giants of the animal kingdom got their jaws around the other who would win?
Turns out this is closer than one might expect. A Grizzly Bear is reported to have a bite strength about 1,100-1,200 PSI. While Silverback Gorillas chomp in at 1,200-1,300 PSI.
On any given day you might have a particularly determined Grizzly, and a gorilla that is feeling a bit under the weather. Maybe it had a bad weight cut going into the fight. Who knows?
Our final determination, based of little to no scientific evidence mind you, was that a Silverback Gorilla would win in a fight vs a Grizzly Bear. With the main sticking point being that a Silverback Gorilla is far more dexterous.
If it gets the back its all over.
It’s Nate Diaz Choking out Conor McGregor all over again.
Ramblings on the great gorilla vs grizzly showdown might have you wondering; what does this have to do with the New Year’s Six bowl games?
The answer simply is I like college football, I like animals, I like hypotheticals that can be turned in a flame war. So here goes nothing.
Cotton Bowl – No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 8 USC — Dec. 29, 8:30pm ET
The Ohio State Buckeyes Vs. the USC Trojans. A battle of ancient warriors’ vs a plant known to botanist as the Aesculus with some subspecies known colloquially as buckeyes or horse chestnuts.
A softball question is always a good way to get things rolling.
A buckeye doesn’t have a mouth which is a highly limiting factor in its bite strength. If we’re giving them a fair shake though according to the USDA the Aesculus is moderately toxic… But only if ingested which is going to be highly unlikely to happen to any Trojans.
In a real effort to give The Buckeyes a fair shake a Buckeye is also a delicious confection. What can you do when eating a delicious confection?
They are both in the same neighborhood when it comes to bite strength, so who wants it more? Because on the any given Sunday principle either one could come out victorious going off bite strength alone.
As always, you’ve got to consider some outside factors though.
A small Cougar is more than double the size of a healthy male Siberian Husky. They are also elite, stealthy hunter in the wild. They are quick and agile moving over rough terrain and climbing trees with ease. They are a true apex predator.
Conversely the Siberian Husky is nothing to scoff at. With a killer bite, faster than average running speeds, and a pack mentality they use for hunting and safety. If a group of Huskies could corner a Cougar it could be bad news for said Cougar.
So, who wins in the battle of Nittany Lions Vs Washington Huskies?
Going to give this one to the Nittany Lions. It would/will be a close one but the tremendous bite strength of the Nittany Lions and predatory edge in the wild allows them to edge out the Huskies ever so slightly.
Orange Bowl: No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 10 Miami — Dec. 30, 8pm ET
The Orange Bowl, a matchup of Badgers Vs. a force of nature, an act of god, a hurricane!
What can possibly be said about this one. It doesn’t even matter what the bite strength of any given badger species is because a hurricane can hardly bite back. Or be bitten for that matter!
What a hurricane can do is really ruin your week, or year, or in some cases ruin entire decades of economic prosperity for a region. Not that a badger really cares about economic prosperity.
The American Badger typically found in Wisconsin doesn’t even have a territorial range that gets anywhere particularly close to places hurricanes often occur.
However the Japanese Badger, Chinese Ferret-Badger, and Honey Badger all live in regions which can be afflicted by typhoons. Which are sort of like hurricanes but not.
The point here being that badgers of one form or another have long withstood heavily amount of water being dumped from the sky from extended periods of time with sustained gale force winds. Every hurricane ever has dissipated eventually, even if it caused some problems in the interim.
Conclusion, Wisconsin walks away from the Orange Bowl victorious.
Peach Bowl: No. 7 Auburn vs. No. 12 UCF — Jan. 1, 12:30pm ET
UCF is the Knights. Auburn can’t make up their mind as to what they are. Are they the tigers, or is it War Eagle? Commit to something.
Mascot angst aside a Knight is similar to a Trojan, both of which are just humans. As covered already humans have a bite strength of around 171 PSI.
A tiger is a new one for us though. According to National Geographic Tigers all exert a bite force of around 1000 PSI. Auburn has a tiger, and an Eagle. A Bald Eagle can’t do much in the way of bite strength, but it could be a good distraction while a tiger tries to maul you to death. If the two could somehow manage to work in tandem. Which is unlikely.
Now a Knight does have the advantage of being up armored, and they usually have a sword. Which could do inflict some serious damage to an eagle or a tiger. One wrong move and its game over for the tigers. The armor though will make it harder to maneuver which could be a disadvantage around an animal as agile as a tiger.
Tiger attacks against humans have been a documented issue for some time now as well. This isn’t to say that humans never kill tigers, but they seem to have a certain propensity for succeeding in doing so more often than a lot of other animals.
To close this one out Auburn will emerge victorious in the Peach Bowl. UCF shouldn’t be counted out though because one lucky swing of a sword could change everything. Figuratively speaking.
Rose Bowl: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Georgia — Jan. 1, 5pm ET
Boomer Sooner vs the Bulldogs in a showdown between ponies and a breed of dog so ugly its cute. In a Rose Bowl that is departing from tradition with a Big 12 Vs SEC team playing for the lower seed of the CFB Final.
How hard a pony can bite is a data point that is somewhat hard to come by. It is also somewhat hard to track down how hard a horse bites. What is known is they aren’t particularly pleasant to experience, albeit not that powerful. At least in comparison to a lot of other animals.
After all most people are well aware of the stereotypical guy who got kicked by a horse and was never quite the same.
As for the Bulldog. They are able to chomp down with a force of 305 PSI. Making them one of the weaker mascots thus far but still a decent contender.
How does a Bulldog standup to a pony though? Dogs both as individuals and in packs have been known to take down horses from time to time and a pony is basically just a horse but of lesser stature. Two ponies might appear to be difficult but we’ve all seen the movies. As soon as something goes sideways the horses panic and gallop off into the horizon.
Maybe a pony lands a lucky kick on a Bulldog and changes the entire outcome. It seems far more likely that one pony it put under pressure while they other hightails it out of there. Leaving a single pony to fend for itself against a dog capable of taking it down.
Georgia walks away champions of The Rose Bowl.
Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Alabama — Jan. 1, 8:45pm ET
Finally, the matchup we’ve all wanted three years in a row. The Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. the Clemson Tigers. Alabama might be The Crimson Tide but they’ve got a large pachyderm on their side in the form of Big Al (Get it? Al, Alabama.)
For those of you keeping score at home tiger, bite strength, 1000psi, we got it.
Elephants, much like a pony, hard to find how hard they can bite.
Much like the badger though the elephant doesn’t need a ton of bite strength to overcome its assailants. They are large, muscular, thick skinned, pack animals who have little to no real predators. Once in a blue moon the smaller ones have to fight off lions. That’s lions with an s, as in multiple lions.
Tigers are animals that often (if note exclusively) hunt on their own. A single tiger is likely no match for an Elephant. Which is why, as painful as it is to say, Alabama walks away with this one.
And even worse is this means that by the transitive property they also win another national championship.