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MORE MASCOT MANIA—AND PIGS

I’ve written about sports mascots several times over the years, usually lamenting progressive bullies who’ve “cancelled” so many symbols and nicknames. Some fair points were raised about some Native American Indian Indigenous symbology perhaps being culturally insensitive. So, despite respectful compromise proposals, politically correct bullies still defined nicknames on their negative terms, so it was goodbye Indians, Redskins, Chiefs, et al. and hello Big Green and Blue Pride et al.

Kudos to the Atlanta Braves, Laconia Sachems, Colebrook Mohawks et al. for standing up to the bullies and retaining traditional nicknames—which most real Indigenous Native American Indians actually support.

Anyway, I noted with interest an MSN.com piece by commentator Noah Smith concerning a new nickname controversy involving a minor league baseball team in Minnesota—the St. Paul Saints.

No, the progressives haven’t yet cancelled the “Saints” nickname to replace it with Blue Devils or Red Devils et al. At issue is the team mascot, who happens to be a pig.

According to Smith, each year the Saints hold a “Name the Pig Contest,” which draws thousands of submissions from fans eager to christen a porcine personality who’ll then be a regular at Saints games. This year’s selection, “OzemPig,” emerged victorious from nearly 2,300 entries, beating out contending proposals aimed at reflecting current events, pop culture, or humor.

Apparently, Ozempic is a medication prescribed for diabetics. Some folks take Ozempic (and its sister drug Wegovy) to address weight issues, et al.

So, OzemPig generated an unexpected backlash. Despite the outcry, the team bravely stood by its choice, claiming no harm was intended with the playful twist on the medication name. OzemPig himself had no comment.

Sean Aronson, the Saints’ vice president and director of media relations, expressed surprise at the reaction to the name, which was immediately met with criticism upon its announcement. Social media platforms became battlegrounds as commenters voiced concerns that the name was hurtful and insensitive, seeing it as a form of fat-shaming. But Aronson cited the team’s history of offbeat humor and insisted that there was no ill-intent.

“In today’s world, people don’t want to be diminished or be made to feel a certain way and I’m not going to tell them how they feel is wrong,” Aronson said. “But I can tell you there was no maliciousness involved here. No one thought this name might offend some people.”

Kudos to the Saints and OzemPig for not being “cowed” by the thin-skinned, easily-offended, virtue-signaling, intolerant, judgmental progressive bullies et al.—the folks who brought you the Dartmouth Big Green, the Cleveland Guardians, the Washington FT, and the Stanford Tree. (Yes, Stanford University—née Indians—now has a tree as a mascot. But don’t try to hug it, lest humorless progressives charge you with assault. The Tree itself was recently suspended for waving an unauthorized sign. So much for free speech on campus. But I digress.)

Perhaps it “bears” mentioning that while pigs are generally good-natured, more people are killed annually by pigs than by sharks. (So don’t mess with OzemPig!)

In 2025 we’ll have to check in with the team to learn the name of next year’s pig, assuming OzemPig moves on to greener pastures—or outfields.

How about just naming the pig “Saint Paul?”

Except that would certainly offend progressives, non-Christians, and secular humanists, et al. Maybe just Paul? Paul the Pig? Or Paula. But female pigs are probably not de rigeur—for reasons I won’t try to explain here.

How about Boss Hog? Or Chief? Or better yet, Geronimo!

But pigs will fly before any porcine mascot is named Geronimo.

Maybe Mike? But Mike the Pig would likely be too masculine—for reasons I won’t try to explain here.

Porky Pig might work, being alliterative and gender neutral. But I think it’s trademarked.

An aha moment:

Name next year’s pig “Virtue-Signaler!” Dress him/her/it in a tee-shirt saying “Climate Action Now!” and announce that Virtue Signaler will only be fed organic greens, distilled water, and CBD gummies.

Pig problem solved.

“Go Saints!”

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State Representative Mike Moffett was a Sports Management Professor for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord. He co-authored the award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” which is available on Amazon.com. His e-mail address is mimoffett@comcast.net.

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