Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"Fighting Irish" and the Leprechaun Under Review?

Mark Layne filed a rather disturbing story today claiming the the University of Notre Dame is reviewing its use of the "Fighting Irish" nickname and leprechaun mascot in order to stave off potential NCAA legal action. You should read the whole story, but here are some excerpts:

A mythical figure from Irish folklore, the leprechaun is a small male faerie known for his feisty, ill-tempered, and mischievous nature. Said to be possessed of magical powers, leprechauns can supposedly guarantee wealth and protection to any who might capture one ....

The irascible, elf-like creature first appeared in a cut-away green suit, Irish country hat, and shillelagh at the start of the 1965 football season. He has since become a fixture at all home varsity sporting events. Prior to the leprechaun, the University’s official mascot was an Irish terrier named Clashmore Mike, and prior to that, an artichoke.

Surprisingly, though a seemingly benign if not embarrassing symbol, the familiar leprechaun does not enjoy the support of all Notre Dame fans and faculty.

Notre Dame alumna, Eileen Shanahan, is disgusted by what she considers an abuse of elfin iconography. “I mean – leprechauns are people too, aren’t they? So is it fair to stereotype them all as odd, nasty little men always begging for a fight?”
As I said, if you care about this issue, you should read the whole article. Thanks to Mr. Layne for bringing this issue to our attention.

1 comment:

iRiShMaN said...

OC, i posted this on march 3. if we want to stop the ncaa and the others against everything, something needs to be done. In his Ash Wednesday homily Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, the primate of All Ireland, asks:

Has the time not come for us to ditch, once and for all, the caricature of the drunken Irish and to consign it to the realm of history along with the slur of the Fighting Irish? [emphasis added]

Slur? Does that mean the term shouldn't be used?

American college football fans have already seen Redmen and Warriors morph into politically-correct birds and mammals. Now the Fighting Illini will be what, The Urbanaites? But if the day comes when you see the leprechaun in the South Bend unemployment line, you can kiss the Notre Dame endowment goodbye.

Maybe it's just my rant to the world, but we can't let this continue. First the NCAA gets to choose our seed for the upcoming tournament this weekend. What's next, each team going with a number based on longitude and latitude, or maybe just a number. We could be the fighting 125th's, or the 41° 40' 29" -- -86° 14' 55". Which I personally feel is too long.....

Would that make everyone happy? Probably not. There has to be a group that is against numbers.