VETTEL: Now, About Those Mascots

The NCAA Committee on inane interference and political correctness has sent letters to a number of schools demand their offensive nicknames be changed and, in some cases actually suggesting acceptable alternatives.

Undeterred by the near-unanimous condemnation of their heavy-handed actions regarding Native American-oriented nicknames and mascots, the committee is taking steps to ensure there will be no hurt feelings anywhere to be found in and around intercollegiate athletics. has obtained several of these letters for your edification and indignation. We are including excerpts of the correspondence to each institution so you understand the seriousness of this issue.

Notre Dame "Fighting Irish"--- We have received dozens of letter from Irish-American citizens who are pacifists and deeply resent the nickname "Fighting Irish" as stereotyping all Irishmen as bullies. The bearded leprechaun only adds to the humiliation they are feeling. We suggest using the "Irish Rovers" instead. Not only does it pay tribute to the Irish folk band of the same name; it also accurately reflects the reality that your football team plays like dogs.

Rhode Island School of Design "Nads"--- First, this is a pretty darn strange nickname and we don't ever want to see the "mascot". Second, in this era of Lance Armstrong don't you realize how many just have "Nad"? The plural is forcing them to relive a trauma over and over. And what of the women? We recommend switching to "Genitalia" which is all encompassing, even for transsexuals. However your P.A. announcer is banned from introducing you teams with the phrase, "Here come the genitalia".

South Carolina "Gamecocks"--- What were you people thinking? This is not Tijuana! You want your mascot to be a chicken on steroids, fine. But you don't have the right to besmirch all male barn foul at one time. Roosters will be just fine. At least you'll be able to say no one can beat/lick our "Roosters" without getting arrested.

Tennessee "Volunteers"--- I'm sure the state is proud of all those who came down form the hills, put aside their stills and signed up to fight Yankees, Mexicans and who knows whom else. But your nickname offends those who were drafted. Perhaps the Tennessee soldiers would work better. Otherwise you will need to change to "Volunteers and Conscripts".

Whittier College "Poets"--- To begin with, what kind of athlete would want to compete as a Poet? Ever try a pre-game pep talk by strictly adhering to the rules of iambic pentameter? It ain't easy. But that's beside the point. Many of your students contacted us that they suck at rhyming anything other than Nantucket. Therefore a less offensive and far more inclusive choice would be "Authors." "Wordsmiths" would also be acceptable.

California Santa Cruz Banana Slugs"--- There is a world of blood-sucking creatures out there that could have been included and singling out just one form of slug in completely unacceptable. What about Welfare Queens, Congressmen, Trial Lawyers and Sports Agents just to name four. Broaden your reach and your constituency with a switch to "Parasites."

Oklahoma Sooners --- The American society of Procrastinators is formally demanding this be changed as once. I mean, really, what's the hurry? Is being in a rush necessarily a good thing? As we move forward, respecting people of all races. And all paces. We would like to see all tempos given their just due. From this point forward, The Oklahoma "Sooner or Laters" will accomplish this noble goal.

Alaska Southeast "Humpback Whales"--- Have you people even heard of the "Americans with Disabilities Act?" You'd think these poor creatures get enough teasing about their deformity under the sea without you people adding to it. How about the "Orcas" instead?

Sweet Briar College "Vixens"--- We have in our hands a petition signed by fifty or your heaviest, ugliest female students who feel completely shunned by this homage to the hotties. Where is your compassion or sensitivity? Doesn't society do enough to degrade the aesthetically challenged? We suggest "Daughters" since every girl is one.

This is just a sort sampling of the widespread effort underway to make everything just right in college athletics. We applaud the NCAA for its bold and innovative approach to solving a problem that didn't exist. We look forward to the continuing effort to erase other nicknames that offend Hindus (South Florida "Bulls"), Mexicans (San Diego State "Aztecs"), Mafioso (San Francisco "Dons"), Catholics (NC Wesleyan "Battling Bishops"), Witches and Wickens (Wake Forest "Demon Deacons", Duke "Blue Devils" and more) and many others. Hateful nicknames can and must be done away with.

Next month a whole new group of letters will be sent to schools who --- in the opinion of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals --- are guilty of portraying various animals in an aggressive and unpleasant light.

Gator fans can rest easy. Even the bleeding hearts at PETA have no affection for reptiles.

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