Last night the ASU "Indian Family" were officially retired. They had a ceremony at half-time during the men's basketball game.
Back in 2005, the NCAA announced a ban on ethnically or racially "hostile" or "abusive" nicknames, mascots and imagery.
Which I think doesn't make a whole lot of sense. For me, personally, I think it would have been much better to take what they thought was "offensive" and correct that, instead of throwing out years of meaningful school traditions. Especially since Indians are so misunderstood. Why not take this as opportunity to teach people and grow awareness on the situation many of the American Indians find themselves in today? Instead ASU, at no fault of their own, has to retire a symbol that has been around since the 30's! They've spent an entire year in research and development and paid a firm from outside the state who knows how much money to help with the new mascot selection. The official introductory of the new mascot will not be for a while yet, but we know it will contain "Wolves" and there is much speculation that the name will be "Red Wolves". Which I don't completely dislike. I like actually really like the "Red" part in the name. If I remember correctly, Red Wolves were on the extinction list several years ago and have now been brought back and are a thriving member of the wolf species. So that's interesting. . . and makes an encouraging analogy for a smaller college like ASU.
Of course, we were at the game last night! It is after all, the school Jarrod graduated from. Even if he didn't go there for his entire college career, I think he feels a certain loyalty to ASU. There was a pretty large crowd at the game. The men's basketball team hasn't been doing very well lately and the attendance has been down. It must have been a great encouragement to see so many fans there last night, because they WON! Ending a current losing streak!
I, not being a ASU alumni, wasn't into it as much as most of the folks there. But even I got a little teary eyed when the "Indian Family" made their very last entry onto the ASU basketball court. It's just sad! I mean it seems like this town is centered around ASU and the name "Indians". So many changes will be going on not only at the college but also to the entire city in the months ahead!
I am anxious to see what the new logos will look like!