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Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005 08:26 am

Solving Chief Illiniwek

Instead of dancing, the U of I mascot needs to chop something


Given the recent NCAA ruling regarding Native American-themed sports mascots, it was time to call in the big guns, the committee of the highest rank: Yanks Avatar, Knuckles Kloof, Tom “Snorts” Sullivan, and Sam “Frog” O’Malley, Illini fans for 40 years each. Knights of truth and reason. Social scholars. Enlightened four. Sportsmen sensitive. Giant but gentle men. Time to tackle the big one!

Time to decide the fate of Chief Illiniwek. Four masters of logic will work long hours this celebrated day. Recognized community standards are key to this most important resolution: no stereotyping tolerated, all will be civil, all concerns will be heard and respected; a convention of point-and-counterpoint will guide the delicate proceedings.

Hardcore honesty starts the agenda. Our four Illini fans admit that they have ducked the issue, stayed too long on the sideline, avoided the question, let it slide, let it fester, done nothing. No more! Time to give back to the community. Time to step up! Time to settle the question, even if two (who shall go unnamed here for security reasons) of the four are fans of the Illini only in basketball — in football they favor another.

“Notre Dame has a leprechaun mascot, a green dwarf!” noted one of the unnamed half-traitors. “It don’t bother us any.”

Counterpoint: All Irish are drunks.

Point: What about the Florida State Seminoles, who are going to court to fight the NCAA dictate? The Washington Redskins? The Atlanta Braves? The Cleveland Indians?

Counterpoint: Gentlemen! Gentlemen! We must not generalize here — for example, we can’t assume that “all” Seminoles approve of Florida State’s using a Native American mascot, and besides, all Seminoles are drunks, swamp-squatter welfare drunks, too drunk to approve or disapprove anything. And all people in Washington are government bureaucrat slacker drunks. And all people in Atlanta are hillbilly marry-their-cousin moonshiner drunks. And all people in Cleveland are unemployed Rust Belt bum street-beggar drunks. None of any of ’em cares ’bout anything but the next bottle.

Point: Could be the chop.

Counterpoint: The chop? What the hell ya talking about?

Point: Seminoles, Redskins, Braves, Indians — they all use the “tomahawk chop” to represent chopping up foes. You’ve seen it, fans in heat, all wild-bending forearms, doin’ the tomahawk chop, butchering everything and everybody in sight — makes the respective Indian group proud.

All Chief Illiniwek does is dance — no killin’ at all. All is evident now; even simple logic tells us that the only possible reason the Illini Indians are offended is because the Chief’s dance makes ’em look like fop sissy-boys, dance-prancin’ all over the joint with painted made-up mugs. The Chief couldn’t whup up on a Canadian figure skater, much less a real man.

Solution: Have the Chief cut someone to pieces, shoot arrows in eyes, skin a few folks, burn somebody alive, cut off a head, and mount it on a high pike, and you got yourself happy fans and a mighty proud Tribe Illini. Plus, it’s educational for the schoolkids, historically accurate as to the Indians’ torturing the settlers all the time.

Counterpoint: Won’t do. Not enough. Chief Illiniwek has been sissy-dancin’ for 50 years — we owe it those we’ve offended for so long to do something extra-special to make up for our years of disrespect.

Point: Have the Chief kill a guy dressed up as George Armstrong Custer. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to chop him up ’cause the chop is already taken.

Counterpoint: Custer was an Army officer; you disrespected the Native Americans for 50 years — now you want to disrespect the United States Army, you America hating potato-breath Irish terrorist dog? The Irish always were terrorists, always will be; first the British, now us.

Point: How about a George Armstrong Custard?

Counterpoint: You want Chief Illiniwek to tomahawk-chop a custard?

Point: Pay attention here, you German jackbootin’ Nazi freak! Listen up! I told ya twice now, the chop is already taken, and we need somethin’ more vicious than a chop anyway — we gotta be tougher, meaner than those other Indian mascots.

Counterpoint: How about we cook it alive?

Point: I like it. No stereotypes anywhere, and it works on so many levels. It’s educational — everyone hates custards anyway ’cause the French invented ’em and real Americans eat pie! And Illini Nation-Tribe people are happy ’cause we remove the fop-prance.

Counterpoint: It’s settled, then; the Chief stays, but instead of a sissy-prance dance, he comes out at halftime and bakes a custard.

Point: None.

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