February 22, 2007

Is "Bullies" an offensive team name?

"Anti-bullying advocates" are up in arms about the Syracuse Bullies, a new ABA team.
People who run anti-bullying programs are crying foul over the Bullies name. They say when children attend the games, they'll get the wrong idea that bullies are cool.

I just have one thing to say: Let's not be L-seven.

55 comments:

PatCA said...

I guess they could call themselves the Woolly Bullies, but then I guess PETA would be after them.

Bissage said...

Bullies, huh? I dunno. It’s not as bad as the “Syracuse Psychopathic Serial Killers.” But it might be worse than the “Syracuse Cigarette Smokers.” Tough call.

MadisonMan said...

If the mascot is a Bull, why not the Syracuse Bulls? Well maybe Chicago would complain. And Sports editors throughout upstate NY would prohibit using 'hit' after the team name.

Bulls hit Attendance Record.

Mark the Pundit said...

Well, the owner of Washington's NBA franchise changed the name from Bullets to Wizards because he thought it was helping to promote gun violence.

Last time I checked, gun crime in DC was just as bad...

Dadgum said...

I enjoyed that old Sam The Sham video. Bully for you!

Richard Fagin said...

No wonder we can't wipe out a few poorly equipped, ill-trained savages with turbans and beards - we're worried about BULLIES! EEEK!!

Oh, yes, PETA, the animal rights activists that throw dead animals in the trash. I have a use for some good old fashioned bullies.

Meade said...

I like Bissage's ideas.

I just have one thing to add: How about the "Syracuse Sexual Relationships?"

Doyle said...

I for one don't care what the team name is, or if people are complaining that Bullies is a bad team name. It seems at best an attempt at highlighting kooky political correctness. Again, I don't care what their team mascot is, but it doesn't seem like an adverse reaction to "Bullies" is entirely kooky.

I think the lameness tag was entirely appropriate for this post.

Doyle said...

So can we put you down as "pro-bullying" Ann? This would also illuminate your primitive understanding of foreign policy.

Peter Palladas said...

But the director of one Syracuse group, Jenna's Foundation for Non-Violence, says the team name goes against everything anti-bullying educators are trying to get across to kids.

And what would this 'everything' be?

Must be something like: feel free to enhance your victim status on all and any occasion howsoever non-relevant; miss no opportunity to diminish your sense of self-worth?

Just checked the JFN-V. Established to advocate a very worthy cause: no parole for violent felons who are being set free to murder people. Sounds like it's lost its way.

Peter Palladas said...

Well, the owner of Washington's NBA franchise changed the name from Bullets to Wizards because he thought it was helping to promote gun violence.

Last time I checked, gun crime in DC was just as bad...


...but have you seen the local stats on satanism. Gone through the roof:

www.giveadogabadname.com

[Register that domain name at once. It's free and it's a peach.]

Meade said...

Doyle, man, ever heard of Freudian projection?

Bissage said...

Hey Meade, thanks. I like your idea, too. Imagine the mascot(s)! Imagine the half-time shows! Imagine the logo collectibles franchises! There could be a farm team called the “Syracuse Premarital Sexual Relationships! The possibilities are endless!

Meade said...

They really are, Bissage, and your comment gave me one other idea, a name which might result in enough opponent no-shows as to ensure perennial championships for the "Syracuse STD's."

Peter Palladas said...

Off-topic, but I just gotta share:

Back home here we have this thing called a 'Government'. (It's a loose association of morons - sufficient working definition.)

This Government does stuff like pass Laws. (Keeps them off my street.)

They passed a law two years ago called the 'Mental Capacity Act 2005'. (It's really, really interesting. Truly. I make a living lecturing on it.)

Then they published a 184 page draft 'Code of Practice' to explain the Law. (You can see why the living is easy.)

Someone - about two million - said 184 pages is a bit long for something that has to be understood by every health and social care professional in the land.

They agreed.

Had a re-think.

Just published the final Code of Practice.

It's now THREE HUNDRED AND TWO pages long.

I love this Government. I have trade for years and years and years.

Doyle said...

Projection? No, being a regular critic on this board I never hear that one.

Bissage said...

While we’re on the topic of names and what they mean, I’m generally curious why some commenters pick the names they do. Some commenters pick a pretentious name like Reality Check or Alpha Liberal. Sometimes they use their real name like Elizabeth or Richard Dolan. Sometimes they pick a name that means something special to them but is mysterious to others like Palladian or Icepick.

Where am I going with this? Well, there’s a really good name out there that nobody seems to have claimed as their own. It’s descriptive, evocative, humble and yet a little bit grandiose, in its own special way. What’s more, it comes with its own picture thingy, too. What could be better?

Doyle, I offer it to you, free of charge, since you’re no longer Russ Feingold. Hurry up and stake your claim before somebody else beats you to it. What is it?

Okay, I’ll tell you, and it’s not Rosebud. It’s Gadfly.

Wear it in good health!

(Nana used to say that, too.)

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doyle said...

Thanks. I'll take it under advisement.

Meade said...

Oooo, Bissage, nice! It's even GREEN!!

Drew W said...

Given that the mascot for the "Bullies" was intended to be a "muscle-bound bull," how about changing it to the "Bullocks?" The dictionary's definition, "a young bull," sounds pretty good: youthful, impetuous, rarin' to go . . . But the second definition says a "bullock" has been castrated, which would probably be problematic. (Besides, who could stand to have their team's opponents dressing up in '70s punk attire to chant "Never Mind The Bullocks!")

The Bulwarks, which are "solid, wall-like structures raised for defense." Possibly a good name for a football team, but not basketball.

The Bulldozers. Sounds pretty powerful, but would probably be denounced as insensitive to Palestinians.

If they're still stuck with The Bullies, then maybe they could silence political correctness with patriotism. Instead of a "muscle-bound bull" as a mascot, how about a Teddy Roosevelt imitator? He could run up and down the court like John Alexander in "Arsenic And Old Lace."

Since none of these are likely to work out, I think they should embrace the "bully" thing whole hog, Jenna's Foundation be damned. The mascot should be dressed like Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons. And whenever the Bullies made a basket, the crowd would roar back with his familiar refrain: "Ha-ha!"

TMink said...

OK, here is a PC puzzle. Here is a High School with a VERY non-PC team name. The Fighting Warriors. Heck, they even use an Indian, I mean Native American spelling. You would think that the school would be under pressure to change this stuff. I mean it demeans Native Americans. http://www.paulbunyan.net/rlschools/hs.htm

I heard it on the radio this morning, that "every Native American rights organization opposes Indian names for teams and mascots."

The interesting thing is that the students are Native American.

Must be like the n word.

What can white people say that people of other races cannot because it would make us uncomfortable? "You're fired?"

Trey

Doyle said...

Trey -

First of all, can we distinguish between ethnic PC and not glorifying bullying?

But as for your (ethnic) PC puzzle, I've got a much simpler one for you.

Chief Wahoo: Offensive or not?

reader_iam said...

Bissage:

Icepick is a shortened version of two pop culture references: Stab Master from CB4 and Icepick from Magnum PI. His "full" handle is Stab Masta Icepick, his having "updated the spelling from Master to Masta to more properly fit with current usage," as he put it on an old Althouse thread many, many, many moons ago.

Me, I generally just refer to him as 'Pick, which I originally thought might annoy him (in a blogfriend way), but no dice.

Doyle said...

Also, Trey. Are you really that jealous of black people for getting away with use of the N-word?

So much white self-pity these days its absurd.

reader_iam said...

The many moons wasn't to imply you should know this, Bissage. I was just surprised how long ago (in blogosphere terms) that I got to know 'Pick!

reader_iam said...

As for the post topic, I sometimes wonder if kids think that we think they're stupid. Which then leads me to think it's a wonder that they ever listen to us at all.

Doyle said...

Having been exposed as a gadfly, I might as well get my money's worth:

Mark the Pundit's 11:03 comment is just an atrocious logical fallacy, which also fails to account for the possibility that "Bullets" might have been worth changing even without the (ridiculous) expectation of a measurable impact on gun violence stats.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Keeping with the bovine theme. How about the Steers. That would be motivating.

You know what they say about steers? All they can do is try.

ta dump dump rim shot....sorry.

Bissage said...

Reader, (may I be so familiar?) thank you very much for the info. It never occurred to me that your “many moons” reference might be nasty.

Even if the thought had occurred to me, I would have dismissed it because I’ve been visiting Althouse long enough to know you are a nice, thoughtful person. (While I’ve been visiting for a while now, I was surprised to see I made Steve Donahue’s old-timer’s list. I think of myself as a callow newcomer.)

It’s funny how we learn little things about each other. For example, I know you read therefore you am. Um, strike that. I mean, you read therefore you be. No, still not right. How about, you read therefore you is you is or is you ain’t my baby?

Hey! That video gives me another name for a sports team better than the Bullies. How about the “Syracuse Tom & Jerry Cream Pie Flat Irons?”

I know, I know, sometimes I’m just plain silly.

Ron said...

Why not just call them the Hannibals? That way the kids can fool the old geezers into thinking they're using a Carthagenian theme, but the kids know they're having the other teams liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti!

My team would be the Rat Bastards...

SGT Ted said...

"First of all, can we distinguish between ethnic PC and not glorifying bullying?" -Doyle

OK the distinction is that one is ethnic PC and the other is generic PC.

Saying that a team named "Bullies" is glorifying actual bullies is like saying a team named the "Warriors" glorifies warfare. The assertion of either is stupid.

Which is the whole problem with these sub-permutations of victimology. If this hypersensitivity were to be applied across the board, one could argue that a whole range of assorted (insert PC victim here)"studies" departments on College Campii should be abolished because most of their coursework is patently offensive and bigoted to someone. Nevermind the actual lack of intellectual rigor in said courses.

reader_iam said...

Haven't seen that any part of that cartoon in ages. Fun!

And thanks, but as a bit of (not so interesting, but perhaps revealing) trivia, the other handle I considered when I first went on blogger was "girlwithacurl." You know, in reference to the nursery rhyme.

So true. Sigh.

Doyle said...

Saying that a team named "Bullies" is glorifying actual bullies is like saying a team named the "Warriors" glorifies warfare.

Yeah, that's right. But glorifying warfare is kind of okay because presumably the Warriors are noble and on the right side or whatever.

Bullying implies a weaker or helpless opponent, so there's an ethical problem with it.

hdhouse said...

well boule or perhaps boolah-boolah...same same.

we have all manor of sports names...for crying out loud...why not. when the chicago bears were the monsters of the midway was that literal..perhaps....

will their mascot be teddy roosevelt?

vbspurs said...

Syracuse Bullies, a new ABA team

Short for...bulldykes? Wait, are they women?

American life is an alphabet soup of acronyms for a foreigner to master. Sometimes I gets confoosed.

Cheers,
Victoria

reader_iam said...

Hey! Wait! I think I've got it!

What if the team owners change the meaning to make "Bullies" refer to the "Bully Pulpiteers"? You know, in the sense that Teddy Roosevelt used it:

This term stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. Roosevelt also had political affiliation with the Progressive Party, nicknamed the "Bull Moose" party. It got the moniker when Roosevelt ran for President as its candidate in 1912, after declaring himself as "fit as a bull moose."

Everyone happy now?

Roger Sweeny said...

The Washington NBA team started out as the Baltimore Bullets and moved down the road because they thought they could make more money that way (they were right). Washington Bullets didn't have the alliteration and people started complaining about the name immediately--though, as I recall, it took them several years to change.

The name I don't understand why more people don't complain about is what the Colorado Rockies became when they moved to New Jersey: the New Jersey Devils. Hey, I don't understand the Duke Blue Devils either.

SippicanCottage said...
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Bissage said...

Roger, ask and ye shall receive. By the way, back in the 70s, IIRC, there was an ice hockey team called the Jersey Devils. They were sort of like the Charlestown Chiefs, with the fighting, and all.

Bissage said...

Sipp, you devil, you!

P.S. Years ago I was a Boy Scout in those Pine Barrens. Spooky!

johnstodder said...

How funny to have this PC discussion accompanied with a video of a Latino East LA rock band with a leader who dresses like an Egyptian, singing a song that was a huge hit on white top 40 radio in the mid-60s. And nobody had a cow over it.

P.S. Chief Wahoo, like Chief Nokahoma, and the Washington Redskins, actually does bother me. It's tradition, I guess, but I'm one alleged neo-con (or whatever) who can't see any excuse for keeping these insulting mascots.

Christy said...

I think Bullies is a lousy name for a myriad of reasons and none of them PC.

The Syracuse Baal's?
How about the Syracuse Djinns?
Syracuse Succubi? Yeah, that's the ticket! The Syracuse Succubi! What fun we can have with that name.

I started out with quite a romantic notion of Palladian because I misread his name as Paladin until I noticed the architectural sketch.

vbspurs said...

Syracuse Succubi? Yeah, that's the ticket! The Syracuse Succubi! What fun we can have with that name.

American sporting naming practises really don't shock me any more.

At least not after I read of the Southern Illinois Salukis.

Salukis? You know you've hit bottom, when you are called the Salukis.

No wonder these people chose the Bullies -- they've run out of original names.

They'll have to use Prince symbols next.

I started out with quite a romantic notion of Palladian because I misread his name as Paladin until I noticed the architectural sketch.

Hey! I thought the same thing too, at first.

In my mind's eye, Palladian still has the whiff of flying red carpets, Scheherezade veils, and the romanticism of the caliphate about him.

Oh wait. That's Saladin. Never mind.

Cheers,
Victoria

Christy said...

Victoria, I had quite a schoolgirl crush on Saladin. A wise, dashing warrior with excellent manners - an exotic Rhett Butler, if you will.

ploopusgirl said...

SippicanCottage said...

Change the team's name to:

The Syracuse Anti-Bullying Advocates.

That ought to strike fear into the very hearts of the opposition. I'm sure bullies everywhere wet their beds nightly contemplating all that vicious disdain and disapproval and all the tongue clucking they're likely to get from such opposition.


You know, for someone whose eyes are spread so far apart that he looks like the missing link in that whole apes-to-humans evolutionary controversy, you think you'd be a little more sympathetic towards the victims of bullying!

They can play in a league with the Fightin' Actuaries and the Rampagin' Flower Arrangers and the Palm Springs Metrosexuals and the Tofu Nibblers and the Terrifying Algae Blooms.

Yeah, and the Marion Antique Furniture Designers!!

reader_iam said...

Absolutely no one, from whatever side, picked up on the possibilities of my comment post regarding TR.

Oh, well. So it goes.

History's so boring. Not to mention the human nature of anyone other than that which corresponds with one's own.

vbspurs said...

Victoria, I had quite a schoolgirl crush on Saladin. A wise, dashing warrior with excellent manners - an exotic Rhett Butler, if you will.

I rather liked Saint Louis instead.

Very Peter O'Toole. :)

Cheers,
Victoria

Bissage said...

I must be losing my mind. How on earth could I not have recalled the “Broad Street Bullies?”

From Wikipedia: “It was during the 1972-73 season that the Flyers shed the mediocre expansion team label and became the intimidating "Broad Street Bullies", a nickname coined by Jack Chevalier and Pete Cafone of the Philadelphia Bulletin on January 3, 1973. . . . The Bullies would continue their rough-and-tumble ways, led by Dave Schultz's 348 penalty minutes, and they would reach the top of the West Division.

Bissage said...

You know, this wikipedia thing is amazing. Is there anything it doesn’t know?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, the JERSEY DEVILS.

I saw them once when I was a little kid. A fight broke out and both benches cleared completely. The brawl lasted so long that one of the goalies skated over to the other goalie and the two goalies pleasantly chatted with each other as everybody else was duking it out.

When things finally settled down, the game was delayed another 5 minutes as the players skated around the ice trying to find which gloves belonged to them.

That was about 35 years ago. Wow.

SippicanCottage said...
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Roger Sweeny said...

Sippican and Bisssage,

Thanks for the info on the Jersey Devil legend. But I'm still surprised more people don't complain. Professional hockey is nationwide (well, sort of) and most people outside Jersey have never heard the legend.

And would it matter even if they had? I no longer refer to a cheap person as "niggardly" because it sounds exactly the same as that other "n word"--even though the origin and meaning of the two words are completely different.

Pogo said...

My college intramural basketball team had cool names.

As freshmen, were the Nads, as in Go Nads! Go Nads!
Heh. Little boy humor.

Sophomore year we chose The Visitors. And one game was against the Scrota. No lie.

ploopusgirl said...

SippicanCottage said...

I'm pleased to help the few odd harpies that visit this page occasionally to work out their daddy issues while fantasizing about me. Makes me feel useful.

Please, carry on.


Daddy always said I'd get shut down by a pretentious, self-absorbed prick on the internet... because I'm not good enough and I'm too weak... I guess he was right.... again....!

:(((

TMink said...

Doyle asked "First of all, can we distinguish between ethnic PC and not glorifying bullying?"

We agree on not glorifying bullying. But where does this leave the Fighting Irish????? I see the warriors as glorifying Indians. Team nicknames of totems of power. Teams are not named the pantywaists or sissy boys or Frenchies for that reason.

And I do not care for Chief Wahoo, how about you? Also you asked "Are you really that jealous of black people for getting away with use of the N-word?"

Jealous, nah. I think it is self-hating and it makes me sad. I meant the question to be humorous. Guess I missed!

Trey