The Associated Student Body is meeting to re-hash an issue (HT: Rebel91) this platoon of bloggeurs had assumed long dead. We, being Southern people, should have never assumed such. The idea of giving Ole Miss a new mascot is being brought up once again and, personally, I cannot see this ending terribly favorably.
Most of us don't find Colonel Reb offensive. No, we don't care whether or not youfind Colonel Rebel offensive. The fact that many do find him offensive however, whether you perceive such offense as being justifiable or not, should hopefully be reason enough to give you a favorable understanding of his removal. Yes, I do find our society's hypersensitivity towards political incorrectness to be annoying and yes, I do find our university's continued profit off of Colonel Reb-emblazoned merchandise to be both ethically questionable and hypocritical.
All of that considered though, why this isn't a non-issue is still a mindboggling enigma to me. As far as I can tell, there are three distinct camps on this issue and I would have myself firmly placed in the latter.
- Camp One: Bring Colonel Reb back!- This camp is so unbelievably ignorant that it literally causes me to regret my Ole Miss fandom and alumni status -- if only for a minute. I'm serious. Notice, I said "ignorant" and not "stupid." Before you bitch at me in the comments, acknowledge this: I never called you "stupid." Ignorance isn't stupidity, although they oftentimes can go hand-in-hand. Ignorance is, simply, the mental state resulting from a person or group of persons ignoringsomething. To support the cause to bring Colonel Reb back, one would have to deliberately ignore the controversy surrounding his removal, the undeniable media shitstorm that would rain down upon us were he to be brought back to Rebel sporting events, and the fact that so many of us either don't like or care for the idea of his return.
Camp Two: We need a mascot!- Alright, so whatever it is won't be Colonel Reb, and a few of y'all are even fine with us scrapping the "Rebels" moniker altogether for something along the lines of "Flood," "Bears," or "Landsharks" (please no). I can understand this, sorta. Most folks in this camp want a mascot. They want some anthropomorphic animal with which their children can pose for photographs. They want some undergraduate wearing a foam suit doing silly dances and making wacky hand gestures. I SLASH MY THROAT AT YOU, LSU! That's cool, and that's harmless. You're simply looking for the living, physical embodiment of our sports programs. There is, however, an unfortunate group of this contingent which somehow believes that the presence of a mascot translates directly into success on the field.
"Surely you jest!"
I jest not! They're out there, and they know how to operate QWERTY keyboards well enough to convey their bizarre, illogical messages. Rivals.com, Scout.com, Clarionledger.com, et cetera: check them and their message boards out. I guess when you really want something to happen, and are stupid, you'll convince yourself of anything so long as it makes you feel closer to your goal. To these people, I have but one example to demolish their argument: The Michigan Wolverines are both mascot-less and the winningest Div-1 football program ever.
- Camp Three: Who cares? - This is where I am. Just win ballgames. Stop losing to State in shit and keep embarrassing Les Miles. That's all I want our programs to do. Give me effort, athleticism, performance, and coaching that I can be proud of, and I'll never even waste my time thinking about a mascot.
So what will become of this looming controversial war of "ideals" amongst our student body? Well the university administration will -- thankfully -- never allow Colonel Reb back to Ole Miss sporting events, so we're either going to continue our mascot-less ways or we're going to get something shiny and new. If the latter is to take place, let's hope that, in a rare moment of acumen, our administration does something which is neither offensive nor embarrassing.