You are aware that Springville High School students will continue to be called the Red Devils, thanks to a rare display of common sense by the general public, who were given the chance to vote on the matter. If everyone in Springville starts worshipping Satan, then the rest of us will feel very stupid for having been in favor of not changing the school’s mascot. Otherwise, we’re glad.
The victory prompted this message, posted at www.HarkTheHerald.com, where the smart people hang out all day long and look at the stupid people, who are the ones posting messages. It is reprinted here exactly as it was posted:
“I am so Happy for them to keep it how it is im not from Springville but I know that is they changed our mascot in Payson I would be p***** I feel them people that comes in to our towns has we had a Cali. come to Utah into Nebo School Dis. and change one of are colors to Blue I feel it is the same diffrents I feel that if they don’t like it move they moved in and the can move the Hell out Enough Said!!!!!!!!!!”
I couldn’t agree more without injuring myself. The reason I bring it up is that Springville is not the only high school that has been asked to change its mascot. At the Web site for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of–Mmm, Bacon…), you can find this headline:
“PETA WANTS AUSTIN HIGH TO SEND THE ‘PACKERS’ NAME PACKING”
(They are clever with the wordplay over at PETA. Don’t they know that every time you make a pun, a kitten gets shot in the head?)
Anyway, the Austin High School in question is in Austin, Minn., where meatpacking plants owned by Hormel and other companies have long been part of the local economy and culture. I am not making up the fact that Austin is colloquially known as “Spamtown, U.S.A.” But the gloomy-gusses at PETA look at it differently. “Why would a high school want to be identified with the screams, beatings, blood and death associated with a slaughterhouse?” they ask on their Web site. More to the point, why would a town want to be associated with Spam?
In its letter to Principal Joe Brown, PETA says, “A far better name would be the ‘Pickers,’ which would promote a healthier, plant-based diet.” Because for sure if anyone makes fun of them for being called the Packers, changing it to the Pickers wouldn’t make matters worse. PETA should get out of the mascot-suggesting business and concentrate on its real skills, which lie in organizing underground cockfights and killing elephants for sport.
Fortunately, the people of Austin, Minn., responded to PETA the way PETA deserves to be responded to: They executed a badger in the town square.
No, they responded with a resounding, “Shut up, PETA.” As reported in the Austin Daily Herald, the superintendent of public schools said, “I would not support this change. The name Packers reflects the character of the community and its economic base.”
Or, as one AHS alumnus put it, “I’m proud to be a Packer.”
It takes a certain kind of man to say that, and I applaud the upstanding, carnivorous people of Austin for not taking PETA seriously, and for being proud of their Packerhood. Ditto to Springville, for being proud of its Devilhood. Them people that comes in to our towns shouldn’t ought to mess with are mascots.
The specific article at the PETA site is here. The article in the Austin Daily Herald is here.
It was a bit of kismet the way this column came together. The Springville mascot decision had been made two weeks earlier, and I'd been dying to use the Web comment quoted here. Then one day I strolled through PETA's site, because that's always good for a laugh. I found the Austin High School thing, and it all tied together. Kismet!
One thing I couldn't figure out a way of mentioning is how Austin High School represents its mascot. I wondered, do they have a guy wearing a bloody apron and carrying a hatchet run around at the football games? No. The school's visual representation is ... a duck. Seriously. I found a Web site for the school's swim team, and there's a picture of one of the players kissing the official school duck. I have no idea why this is. I assume ducks are plentiful in that part of the world, but if that's so, then why not make the school's mascot a duck instead of a packer?