June 03, 2003

My Sordid Past

I have to come clean. My history is not clear of suspicious team associations.

When I went to Ossining High School, we were the Indians. Actually, strictly speaking, the jocks were the Indians — I was on the Debate Team and the newspaper. Last fall, the High School dumped the Indians mascot, despite the historic association of the town with the Sintsink Indian tribe. (Originally the town was called Sing Sing, but the infamy of the prison led to a name change in the mid 20th century.)

Our arch-rivals were the Headless Horsemen of Sleepy Hollow. No one objected to that name, I guess because the headless don't have a constituency in America (or as my wife said, they don't have a voice). This despite the number of them in Congress.

McGill University's teams are The Redmen. (The women are The Martlets, and the baseball team The Redbirds.). I'm not certain if Redmen ever referred to an Indian mascot (I suspect it did, maybe someone can enlighten me). The school colors are Red and White so that is apparently the imagery they encourage now. Given the origin of the James McGill fortune, we're just lucky they weren't The Beavers, I suppose.

{By the way, McGill was critical in the history of football, inventing many of the basics back in 1872-1874. For more.}

Apropos of nothing perhaps, I wanted to point out that my son's High School has an elaborately complex set of team names, since apparently they could never agree on a single image. Makes reading the school paper confusing at times.

Stuvesant High School:
Boys —
baseball, tennis, soccer: The Hit Men
basketball: Runnin' Rebels
Football: Peglegs
Swimming: Pirates
Handball: Dragons
Girls —
basketball: Phoenix
swimming: Penguins

Peglegs because Peter Stuyvesant had a wooden leg, of course. I hate to think of the origin of Hit Men (must have been when the school was on the lower east side).

My son is on the cross-country team. Needless to say, they don't run as the Peglegs, just Stuyvesant Track.

Posted by campbell at June 3, 2003 11:38 PM | TrackBack

An update as to the team nicknames of Stuy teams.

Volleyball: Men of Steel
Wrestling: Pride
Girls Softball: Peaches
Girl's Soccer: Mimbas
Girl's Gymnastics: Felines

As a Stuy Alum (class of '97) and a former Pegleg (Stuy football) I think it is quite silly that there is such a multitude of team nicknames. I think it shows how little school pride there actually is...


Posted by: TiK Ishizuka at October 2, 2003 06:39 PM