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Thursday October 5, 2000

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By Ryan Finley

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Editor's note: At the advice of his agent, Ryan Finley has decided to tackle

a semi-serious topic this week. However, Ryan has promised to try to work the

words "ass" or "hell" into the column to keep his usual fan base. Don't

expect this kind of seriousness every week, folks. We'll get him back on his

usual "cocktail" of Vivarin and malt liquor soon.

This is ridiculous!

Last week, the Student Advisory Council at San Diego State University recommended that the nickname "Aztecs" be done away with because the mascot - an Aztec person wearing a headdress - can be potentially offensive to those of Aztec descent.

The last time I checked, the Aztecs became extinct a long time ago. And when the Aztecs did rule central Mexico, human sacrifice and torture were a part of daily life. I think they missed the political correctness left turn.

Show me an offended Aztec. Hell, show me any Aztec, I would like to meet one. Oh, that's right, there aren't any.

It would be like meeting a member of the Holy Roman Empire or Fertile Crescent - other civilizations that have been in ruins for centuries.

In SDSU's race to become empathetic, it should stop to realize that passing a measure to eliminate a harmless mascot like the Aztec would open the floodgates for widespread removal of potentially "offensive" mascots.

For instance, anyone of Greek descent could claim that the Michigan State Spartans or USC Trojans offend their proud Greek heritage.

Satan worshippers could claim that the Duke Blue Devils and DePaul Blue Demons undermine their religious beliefs...

...My name is Ryan Finley - maybe the "Fighting Irish" mascot offends me.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for removing horrific characterizations of Native Americans as axe-wielding savages hell-bent on scalping the opposing team.

The Washington Redskins nickname and mascot is horribly insensitive.

The "Tomahawk Chop" done at Atlanta Braves and Florida State games is bad. Hell, I can even understand getting rid of all Native American mascots because of the mistreatment they faced at the hands of white folks.

But removing the name "Aztecs" would be akin to removing the "Trojans" and "Spartans." Stupid.

It's just another example of misguided, though well-intentioned activism. You know what they say the road to hell is paved with - good intentions.

Maybe everybody will be happy when schools with nicknames like the Zips, the Red Storm, the Avalanche and the Express become commonplace.

Hopefully by then, I'll be in the cold, cold, ground, rolling over.

...By the way, Hofstra University on Long Island in New York changed their nickname from "The Flying Dutchmen" to the "Pride."

They must have been tired of the Dutch - who by the way, settled the New York area before any other Europeans - complaining.

Is there even a Dutch Rights Movement? If so, what's next on their hit list? "Double Dutch" jump-roping? Dutch apple pie?


...The UA football team heads to Los Angeles this weekend to take on USC at the Memorial Coliseum. USC's a funny place: take 5,000 of the West Coast's richest kids and put them in the worst neighborhood in all of Southern California.

Sounds like a good sitcom idea for the WB...

...Speaking of USC, people are talking about Trojan quarterback Carson Palmer. Shane Newell of the El Paso Times said that "Rarely has a Trojan quarterback demonstrated as much as Carson Palmer. He could be USC's biggest name yet." USC's tailback, Petros Papadakis, said in a press release that "Someday I can tell my kids that Carson Palmer handed me the ball once."

By the way, Palmer - who has been described as 'average' by his own coach - is just 76 of 126 for 982 yards in 2000. The folks in Canton, Ohio should stop making the bronze Palmer bust and wait for this kid to do something.

...Just a thought: if it's true that tying is like kissing your sister, do people in the deep South purposely go for the tie in the final minutes of football games.

Y'know, hit the P.A.T instead of going for two?

"Aw hell, Jenny Mae, we done tied again."

...This just in: a group of people representing indigenous Arizona wildlife has complained about the exploitation of local creatures.

It turns out that the "Wildcats" have hired a public relations firm to change their image.

I guess they're not so wild.

So starting next Monday, the Arizona Daily Wildcat will be called The Red and Blue Extreme Newspaper Experience.

And I guess I'm no longer a journalist.

Rather, I am an "ink-stained American person indigenous to the newsroom environment and its unique culture."

I love political correctness.

Ass. Hell. Hell. Ass.