Bakken: They’re the UND ‘team to be named later’GRAND FORKS — Recently, some University of North Dakota athletics department news releases and some Herald sports stories have used “Green and White” to refer to the university’s athletes.
By: Ryan Bakken , Forum Communications
GRAND FORKS — Recently, some University of North Dakota athletics department news releases and some Herald sports stories have used “Green and White” to refer to the university’s athletes.
One word of free advice from the crusty former sports scribe: Don’t.
Let the scab heal.
Some UND fans may think this is a strategy of running Green and White up the flagpole to see if it will become the new nickname by the osmosis of familiarity. I don’t swallow that conspiracy theory.
A more plausible reason is that writing a sports story without being able to use a nickname is awkward beyond belief. Groin muscles are being pulled by writers unable to use the word “they” because there’s no nickname.
Although nothing underhanded is at work, institutional and media-based scribes need to accept the groin pulls as a work hazard and forego the use of Green and White, or any other nickname substitute.
After all, the Ralph Engelstad Arena PA announcer has a more awkward job. He formerly trumpeted the impending arrival of the players on the ice as “Here come your Fighting Sioux.” Now, it’s “Here comes the University of North Dakota.”
Really, the entire university, including the steam plant, is coming on the ice?
Such awkwardness will continue until at least Jan. 1, 2015, as state legislators stipulated that UND can’t adopt a new nickname earlier than that date.
This was an unnecessary move by the legislators because it’s questionable whether UND will be agreeable to a different nickname in five or even 10 years, much less three.
There’s no hurry. The only wrong move would be a premature move. Time, as always, heals.
Fighting Sioux nickname holdouts have been well-mannered at games this year. Most everyone realizes that we need to move on.
However, there’s no hurry. So, there’s no need to substitute Green and White because it may open old wounds.
As noted earlier, let’s allow the scab to heal, whether it takes three or five or 10 or 20 years.
Bakken is a columnist for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications. Reach him at email@example.com.