Monday, December 22, 2008

Rainbows, Warriors, and Rainbow Warriors

Following up on our dim sum conversation, here's a story from July 27, 2000 explaining how Hawaii football dumped the Rainbow mascot for Warriors.

"Being called the Rainbows, especially for men's teams, left them open to ridicule," Mosley said. "Warriors has a much stronger connotation."

And this from the next day:

But after receiving praise for highlighting native culture in the new design, the university is being criticized by gay rights advocates. That's after athletic director Hugh Yoshida acknowledged the decision to change the logo stemmed, in part, from concerns about how the rainbow has become a symbol of gay pride and acceptance.

"That logo really put a stigma on our program at times in regards to it's part of the gay community, their flags and so forth," Yoshida told KGMB-TV in remarks aired yesterday. "Some of the student athletes had some feelings in regards to that."

If the football team showed some serious interest in studying Hawaiian warrior traditions, I might be more sympathetic. But they have adopted the Warrior mascot merely to be macho in a 21st century American football grunt-shove-growl-and-smile-for-television kind of way. Somehow I don't think King Kamehameha's warriors would have been very scared of these guys.


Mr. Pony said...

Years ago, I chose the name "Mr. Pony" because it was the least threatening name I could think of to call myself in the first-person shooter I was doing pretty well at. Years before, I had seen the psychological value in this; when I was part of a soccer team called the "Potato Heads". We didn't win a lot of games, but the teams we beat. . . Well, you should have seen their faces.

The UH football team would have been smart to instead change their name to the "Rainbow Homos", or the "Gay Gay Gay Rainbows". I really don't think macho fools anyone outside of the person doing it, but confusion goes a long way.

Ruby Tenneco said...

I agree with Mr. Rainbow Pony.

By the way, I think the same thing may have happened with "On Deadly Ground," working title "The Rainbow Warrior"[1]. Weirdly, that (definitely un-gay) guy in that picture looks a lot like Mr. Segal.

Fugu said...

I worked with a lady who also coached soccer, and she named her team The Smurfs. They had blue uniforms, and if they started losing, she would play the Smurf's theme song (presumably on giant speakers over the playing field). So this actually worked both ways--it not only confused the enemy, but also really, really motivated her team to try to win as often as humanly possible.

Mr. Pony said...

I bet they still feel a secret rush of pride and adrenaline whenever they hear the theme. How great that must be.