I’ll be honest with you. I have crossed the threshold from interested into disinterested when it comes to what the University of North Dakota’s new nickname is going to be.
But still, if I don’t put up a post about this news, I’m sure I’ll get a thousand emails from you readers asking why.
So here it is. The committee tasked with choosing a new nickname for UND has eliminated plain old “North Dakota” as a possibility despite that seeming to be the choice of most in the public. Particular supporters of the now-retired “Fighting Sioux” nickname who felt that leaving the school with no official nickname would create a vacuum allowing the old nickname to persist unofficially.
As of the time of post a Grand Forks Herald online poll is showing almost 80 percent disagreement with the committee’s choice. That’s not scientific, of course, but it does jibe with my sense of where the public’s at on this issue.
I honestly believed that no nickname was a solid compromise going forward. No nickname, no problem.
The rabid “Fighting Sioux” haters got their victory in getting rid of the nickname officially, and the proponents of keeping the name got to move forward without having to make peace with what will, at this point, be a lame alternative.
But since when has this process ever been about finding common ground? Certainly the anti-nickname people have taken a scorched earth approach, and it has certainly seemed to this observer as though UND, under President Robert Kelley’s leadership, has done everything possible avoid giving “Fighting Sioux” supporters anything they want.
But whatever. The possible nicknames left are the Fighting Hawks, Green Hawks, Nodaks, North Stars, Roughriders and Sundogs, and they all pretty much suck.
Nothing about this has been about building consensus. Nothing about this has been about finding a peaceful way for all sides of this contentious issue to move forward. This has always been about anti-nickname people, up to and including Kelley, manipulating a rigged process to impose their will.