September 01, 2006

Ding, dong, the Chief is (almost) dead

The last dance for Chief Illiniwek?After 80 years, Chief Illiniwek on Saturday will begin what is likely to be his last year of dancing at University of Illinois football games, university sources said.

The chief, who will appear at the season opener at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, will also dance at home basketball games this winter.

But after that, he will no longer be an official university symbol, the sources said.


Rob said...

As I always say, let's tackle the most offensive mascots first and worry about the others later. I don't think something like the William & Mary Tribe, with a single feather on its logo, is particularly harmful.

I'm also not big on confrontational protests or boycotts, not to mention burning things. Naturally, I think my approach--writing about the issues and educating people--is best.

Anonymous said...

Writer: Do you think that the departure of "Little Red" caused the hostility and violence you mentioned? Or was another factor at work?

Rob said...

Whenever Indians criticize a mascot, no matter how well reasoned their arguments, the fans seem to go ballistic. See Fighting Sioux vs. Fighting Irish for a good example of this. You have to wonder if there isn't some underlying racism behind their antagonism.

Rob said...

I had pride when I was a Titan in high school, but I didn't care when, years later, my school merged with another school and became the Panthers. If someone asked, I'd still say I was a Titan, not a Panther. Changing the name didn't change the historical record or my memories of it.

Therefore, I don't quite get this unhealthy attachment to mascots. I could (barely) see it if I were currently a student and had been rooting for Little Red or Sammy Seminole the other night. But what do alumni care about a mascot at a school they haven't attended in 20 years? Enjoy your nostalgia, people, but get a life.