In the wake of schools like Northwest Catholic High dropping their Native American themed mascots and nicknames, several colleges like Syracuse and St. John's already having done so years earlier, and increased pressure on the likes of the NFL's Washington squad to follow suit, it seems only a matter of time before most schools will go this route.
So I propose my high school in my wonderful hometown of Newington, CT get out ahead of it. Change the name now before they have to deal with the letter writing campaigns, the protests and counterprotests, and the contest of who can get more angry about the damn thing.
But I know this is no easy task. So sleep easy America, Newington, the World. I got you. Here's my suggestions.
Newington the Washington Football Team- It's, admittedly, a little bit of a walk. But I think people will appreciate it's sly wit. And maybe Slate will finally HIRE ME! COME ON GUYS!
Newington Wus- Sometimes we call Newington Wuington or the Wu. This is a nod to that proud tradition. Plus I be the Wu-Tang Clan would totally play the next homecoming dance if the high school did this.
Newington The Ones- This one works on two levels. 1.) Newington is, in fact, #1. 2.) Our zip code ends in 111, thus, the Ones. It's pretty genius in its subtle layers, I think you'll agree.
Newington Turnpikes- One of the Wu's most distinguishing factors is the presence of a once vital strip of highway known as the Berlin Turnpike. Slicing through the southeast-ish corner of our town, it used to be a gateway for traveling salesman going from New York to Boston. Now it is mostly a collection of strip clubs, family restaurants, adult video stores, big box stores, and pay by the hour motels.
It is truly a beautiful and magical place worthy of being the basis of a high school's nickname.
Newington Cruisers- Another product of the Turnpike is Cruising Night, an event that occurs every Friday and seizes control of a 2-mile or so stretch of that once great road. Muscle cars and souped up neon Hondas from the build 00's rub carburetors as they tear up and down the asphalt and idle in the Arby's parking lot, hoods flipped up to expose mammoth engines.
I think that's a fitting metaphor for high school sports teams, right?
Newington Highland Cattle- Eddy Farm is a landmark in the town, sitting some 300 yards from the high school. Roger Eddy, the patriarch of the family created one of the most famous duck calls of all time (Screw you Duck Dynasty!) and was the last candidate to challenge now retired Senator Chris Dodd in any kind of meaningful way. And local celebrity Timothy G. Stevens was once a caretaker there. So clearly, it is an important place.
But Farms just aren't...sexy, you know? And duck calls aren't much better.
However, for years, the farm boasted the presence of buffalo like cows known as Scottish Highland Cattle. Now those make for a bad ass mascot.
Newington Ducks- See above. But less badass, more merchandisable.
Newington Mortensens- One of Newington's most famous families, a restaurant staple for years, and still the best ice cream in town. Plus, product placement means stacks and stacks for new stadiums and equipment, right?
Newington Meatball Grinders- Meatball grinders are delicious. (Grinders are sub, heroes, submarine sandwiches, etc, for those not in the know) And Newington boasts the greatest in CT from a restaurant called Steve's Place.
Newington Goldburgers- Speaking of product placement, why not turn to one of Newington's favorite restaurants which boasts one terrifying spokesperson, a burger that eats other burgers. Shake in fear, Central Connecticut high school students!
Newington (Cedar) Mountains- Newington was once part of one of the oldest towns in the U.S., Wethersfield, CT. But a steep hill--which we call a mountain--bisected the town so Newington spun off on its own solo project. Go with Cedar Mountains or just Mountains as a nod to our modern day rivals and sad, desperate oldie town we left behind.
Newington Victims of Political Correctness Run Amok- This will play huge with a certain segment of the population. I'm not saying I approve, per se, but, hey, let's move some merchandise.
Newington Waterfalls- Newington is home to the world's smallest natural waterfall. Boom!