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Commentary: Understanding the changing of mascots

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Joe Williams

Joe Williams

Joe has been a contributor at the Herald since 2006. He took over as sports editor in 2013 and helped launch our live streaming of games in 2015. He has more than 20 years of experience broadcasting sports, including 10 years at WAKM-AM 950. Follow him on Twitter @whsports. 

Franklin High School has a new mascot. I understand why. I’ve wondered the last 10 years when this would happen; the changing of nicknames. It's not the first time it’s happened at Franklin.

But I’m not sure about “Admirals.”

My guess is it was enacted due to the large number of Franklin students who once were Grassland Middle School Generals and now attend, “The Flagship.” And Franklin High School is that for Williamson County. Let’s face it — based on zoning, the real Franklin High School sits on Mallory Lane.

I’m a little offended because “Admirals” seems a little nebulous when the biggest boat in the area is a three-man canoe on the Harpeth River, a body of water you can walk across at some points during August without getting your ankle socks wet.

Come to think of it, I’m offended by all of our mascots.

First, there’s the Brentwood schools.

Think about the “Bruins,” glorifying evil, aggressive bears that as recently as last month, according to published reports, were breaking into people’s homes and attacking the residents. Then there’s the “Raptors,” birds of prey that swoop down silently to deliver a death blow to some poor, unsuspecting living thing.

Nolensville has the “Knights,” often noted for chivalrous behavior, but better known for getting together in groups and invading sovereign states in the Middle East just because they could. And the “Spartans” weren’t far behind, putting male children into military academies at age 7, teaching them the art of death early. Is that a pretty picture for Summit?

Up the road, Independence swag features "Eagles," and who can argue with eagles? No. 1 on the list would be founding father Benjamin Franklin (yes, there is a connection to the name of the city), whose first choice for a national bird — the turkey — fell to the wayside to another evil, predatory dive bomber. And what about Fairview’s “Yellow Jackets?" Is there a more demonic flying attack drone on the face of the earth? No mercy, just painful sting after painful sting. And we celebrate this?

Then there are the Page “Patriots.” Sure, we call them patriots, but how offensive is that people of English descent? Think about it — if Cornwallis had broken out of Yorktown, they might well be the Page Hessians.

Finally, there are the Centennial “Cougars.” Again, an evil, slick predator that survives by silently slaughtering prey in an unfair fight. It’s also a term that is hated by 90% of 40-year-old-plus soccer moms I know. Soccer mom feelings should count, too.

Maybe it’s time to neutralize mascots, make them all easy to support, like flowers, maybe. Yeah, “Roses,” “Marigolds” and “Dandelions” — things like that.

I should have plenty of time to consider that fix while I’m trying to pull my tongue out of my cheek.

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