ATHLETIC SUPPORTER PETA Needs To Leave `Cocks’ Alone

Georgetown Hoyas. The two words just belong together – the school nickname is as much a symbol of the university as the Healy tower.

So what would happen if a bunch of tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, meat consumption-protesting, draft-dodging PETA-ites decided your university’s nickname and mascot were insensitive and should be changed? You’d be pissed, and much of the University of South Carolina community is, because People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent the university a letter stating that `Gamecocks’ should no longer be the university mascot.

Why?

Because “the Gamecocks are named after the birds used in cockfighting, a hideous `blood sport’ that, like spousal abuse, bank robbery and driving while intoxicated, is illegal in South Carolina,” wrote PETA Campaign Coordinator Kristie Phelps (who I’m sure has never driven 26 in a 25 zone, which is also illegal in South Carolina).

Wow, that’s noble: indirectly comparing a university’s mascot to spousal abuse, a horrible and serious crime. (Another PETA worker, Jay Kelly, compared the tradition of the Gamecocks to that of slavery: reality check, people!)

I guess that would make my dinner from Wisey’s homicide, and a backyard barbecue would be genocide. But then again, what can you expect from an organization that assaults people on the streets, coating fur-wearers in blood as a form of `protest,’ so that those people will go buy even more fur, in effect killing even more animals . smart.

Phelps also compared a name change for the Gamecocks to the one the Washington Bullets made a few years ago, changing their nickname to the Wizards. This was done because everyone who wore a Bullets logo or attended a Bullets game was suddenly filled with a murderous rage and went out and shot people. After all, the name change is why the murder rate in D.C. is down in recent years, isn’t it?

Heck, while we’re at it we should also change the name of the Miami Hurricanes (they cause damage and destruction), Green Bay Packers (they might be packing heat), Minnesota Vikings (all they did was rape and pillage), New Orleans Saints (implies religious ties), New York and San Francisco Giants (what about midgets), ilwaukee Brewers (bad influence for young children), Oakland Athletics (offends fat people), New Jersey Devils, Duke Blue Devils, Southwest Louisiana Rajun’ Cajuns, and the list goes on.

Idiotic requests such as this one by PETA negate the concerns of legitimate gripes that people have about mascot names. As much as I hate to admit it as a die-hard Washington Redskins fan, the name `Redskins’ can certainly be construed as offensive, especially since the Redskins logo features a Native American in full headgear.

I don’t particularly want the Redskins to change nicknames, however I can’t really put up an ironclad argument against someone who disagrees with me. But to want the name of the South Carolina Gamecocks changed is beyond ridiculous.

And it doesn’t stop there, as another reason cited by PETA for dropping the nickname is the secondary connotation that comes from the shortened version, the `Cocks.’ If you can’t figure that one out you either live in a bubble or . well, I guess that’s the only way you wouldn’t be able to figure that out.

Anyway, this shortened nickname is no more offensive than, say, all those Beavers T-shirts out there (yeah, my ass there are that many Oregon State fans) or those FU hats (do they even know where Fordham is?). Do you get rid of the name simply because college students such as myself have the maturity of a four year old? I think not.

It’s remarkable that people are willing to waste their time fighting for such a stupid cause, as if the Gamecocks’ nickname has ever caused a single chicken to be harmed – I’ve eaten more chicken in the last week than has ever been eaten by Cocky, the South Carolina mascot. Why not leave him alone and go protest something at least somewhat worthwhile, like world hunger or the designated hitter.

Frankly, even the chickens probably couldn’t care less. After all, they’re probably more concerned with landing on the Safeway shelf than they are with some goofy guy in a chicken costume dancing around after the South Carolina Gamecocks score a touchdown.

So PETA, why don’t you just leave the `Cocks’ alone and go find some other way to entertain yourself.

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