Monday, December 11, 2006



Have I ever mentioned my bad luck with mascots? I was just talking with a few friends about this um, contentious, topic. In high school we were the Indians. I grew up in northern Westchester county in a town that has a history that include american indians. And when I can sometimes understand (but can never condone) the "we call our team the Indians because we love and respect the Indians who helped make our town special" excuse, I cannot get behind the stereotypical representation that was the Ossining Indian.
How the hell did a Sioux end up in Ossining? Other things I can't get behind? Our school store. Called Teepee. Our newspaper (edited, quite well, I must say, by many a smart kid), Smoke Signals. Could I make this up? The marching band, led by a another smart kid (namely, me, on this one, among others) played a song called Cherokee. Daaahh, Daaahh, DaDaDaahhhh! DaDaDaDaDahDahhhDahhhDaaaaah! Seriously. Our war chant. What the hell?

To make this worse Ossining was (and still is) a hugely diverse place that had some history of race struggles. To fix these "struggles" the school board instituted a complete busing plan to integrate neighborhood schools. The Ossining Plan created mini communities of learning on grade level clusters. It also created a sense self that leans towards multicultural and progressive. Ossining was a great place to grow up but the Indian stereotype, long a hero for the high school, didn't have a place in the community.

In 2001 or so Governor Pataki insisted that all public schools in NY State who currently used the Indian as a mascot needed to switch to something less racist. Ossining chose the Riverhawk. The townies revolted, started pro-Indian clubs, protested, groused and all together spent wayyyyy too much time and energy fighting to keep our town Sioux.

Anyhow the point of the story is not the Indian. It's not the Riverhawk. It's the Big O. Yes, ladies and gentlemen the students of dear old, Ossinin' High have voted to change the mascot to, well, a letter I guess. Minimalist. As my friend Matt said, "Oh no! We're one step from becoming the school formerly known as the letter O." Another friend made a Sesame Street reference.

And then ofcourse is the orgasm. It's no wonder I'm a dyke. Have I ever told you about my college team? The Conts (say it loud and proud folks, conts!conts!conts!conts!conts!)

Could I make this up? If you could see the back of this swimmer's speedo? You would see it plastered right there- CONTS


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