Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Tarball Yodda Yodda
Friday night football is back again, and I don't want to let the season pass without another appeal to update our team names and mascots.
The names in use today are so 20th century. How long since you were scared stiff by a wampus cat, a curley wolf, a grizzly bear? Yet those remain the operative symbols or totems or embodiments of the kind of ferocity we expect from our schoolboy athletes. Replace them, I say, with some more contemporary boogers. Slime weasels, loan sharks, staphylococci.
Our ancestors had to contend with wildcats, bobcats, leopards, panthers, badgers, bearcats, cougars, and bears, but we don't — and virtual encounters with Evil Otto or Robocrook are about the closest our offspring and descendants come.
Even the non-scary mascots have become antiquated, and many were inappropriate from the gitgo — for example, five teams still named for Indian tribes, and not a one of them for the tribes that were native to Arkansas or prominent here. A dozen Bulldogs and not one Blue-Tick Hound.
Back in my playing days (the early Jurassic) for the Sheridan Yellowjackets, I never came to appreciate being assigned a stupid bug as my doppelganger or avatar — an indignity I shared with players from Fordyce, Bryant, Wynne, Clinton, and Harmony Grove, among others, and the big boys from Arkansas A&M. Yellowjackets are still out there, I suppose, but a minor consideration in Century 21, like poison ivy, and we don't even have Boll Weevils in Arkansas anymore.
And so forth.
So here are some update team-name nominations.
Alma Airedales become the Alma Alamos. Ashdown Panthers become the Ashdown Awesomes. Altus Owls become the Altus Spodie Odies.
Bald Knob Bulldogs become the Bald Knob Gobblers. OK, then, Turkeys. Jeez, I'm not trying to offend anybody here. Barton Bears become the Barton Finks. Or Coliseums. Batesville Pioneers become the Bates(ville) Motel Psychos. Bauxite Miners (with Reynolds and Alcoa long gone) become the Bauxite Whatever. Benton Panthers become the Benton Slingblades. Brinkley Tigers become the Brinkley Hinkies. Bryant Hornets become the Bry(Fire)Ants.
Calico Rock Pirates become the Calico Rock Stars. Cave City Cavemen give way to the Cave City Geckos. Clarksville Panthers become the Clarksville Snarks. Clinton Yellowjackets become the Clinton Willards. Conway Wampus Cats become the Conway Twittiers.
Dardanelle Sand Lizards become the Dardanellys. Delight Bulldogs become the Delight Fantastics. DeQueen Leopards somehow or other become the Bohemian Rhapsody. Dierks Outlaws become the Dierks Dorks. Dumas Bobcats become the Dumas Deep Doo-Doo.
Earle Bulldogs become the Earle Snoop Doggs. Elaine Panthers become the Elaine Yodda Yoddas. Fayetteville Bulldogs become the Fayetteville Triumph FMTPOs. Flippin Bobcats become the Flippin Burgers. Fordyce Redbugs become the Fordyce Bedbugs.
Glen Rose Beavers become the Glen Rose Pencil-neck Gleeks. Greenbrier Panthers become the Greenbrier Gnarly Dudes. Green Forest Tigers become the Green Forest Gumps. Guy-Perkins Thunderbirds become the Guy Caballeros.
Hope Bobcats become the Hope High High Hopes. Hot Springs Trojans become the Hot Springs Trojans-ENZ.
Jonesboro Hurricane becomes the Jonesboro Jonesing.
Lake Village Beavers become the Lake Village People. Little Rock Catholic Rockets become the Catholic High Mass. Little Rock Central Tigers become the Little Rock Central Perennial Integration Crisis Anniversary Rehashers. Lonoke Jackrabbits become the Lonoke Loogies.
Magnolia Panthers become the Magnolia True Bloods. Marvell Mustangs become the Marvell Comix.
Newark Kangaroos become some more appropriate marsupial. Possums perhaps. Or Papooses.
Osceola Seminoles become the Osceola Obese. Ouachita Warriors become the Ouachita Puddytats.
Paragould Rams become the Paragould Ponzis Schemes. Paris Eagles become the Paris Hiltons. Piggott Mohawks become the Piggott Packers. (Heat, not meat).
Searcy Lions become the Searcy Saved. Shiloh Christian Saints become the Shiloh Christian Eyeblack Scripture Quoters. Smackover Buckaroos become the Smackover Yonders. Star City Bulldogs become the Star City Spin.
Texarkana Razorbacks become the Texarkana Texters. Turrell Rockets become the Turrell Tarballs. Tuckerman Bulldogs become the Tuckerman Tweets.
Umpire Wildcats become the Umpire Undead.
Watson Chapel Wildcats become the Watson Chapel WTFs. West Memphis Blue Devils become the West Memphis We-bads. White Hall Bulldogs become the White Hall WMDs Winslow Squirrels become the Winslow Homers.
Yellville Panthers become the Yellville Youbetchas. Or You Lies.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.
And loyal, to a fault.
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