Last Wednesday, the University of North Dakota unveiled their new Fighting Hawks logo and then social media blew up. My initial thoughts, when I saw the new logo was you've got to be kidding me? This is a joke, right? Like many UND fans, I was in a state of shock. I couldn't believe this is what they'd come up with. I didn't know what to think.
Then came the tweets and Facebook post. What's was more interesting was reading tweets from fans of other programs. Some were giddy. Some laughed. A lot of these same fans said they liked the new logo and couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. My own father said, "It's not bad." I said, "Seriously?" This is coming from a guy that spent a year at the University of Iowa. Go Hawkeyes, right?
Although, I expected the logo to be a bit lame, this wasn't what I expected. Not in the least. It was underwhelming. After almost $50,000.00 this is what the UND administration came up with. As a tax payer and an alumni of UND, I was disappointed.
After some thought and reflection, I am moving on. Like I said before, it could've been worse. The word mark is actually pretty good and I expect to see it on a UND hockey jersey in the future. The new logo isn’t great, but I accept it. I may not like it all that much, but I can live with it. The logo will probably grow on me with time.
Also, it doesn't do any good to stew about something that I have no ability to change. Yes, I like the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo, but it's not coming back, ever again. It's not possible in today's politically correct world. What's done is done.
I have a prediction: No matter how much the fans and players complain about the new logo, there isn't going to be any change to the new nickname logo. Sure, there will be some tweaks to the current logo, but the university isn't going to reopen the nickname selection process. People or groups can sue UND, but it’s not going to change anything.
I've taken some heat from some UND fans for using the new Fighting Hawks nickname. One fan posted this comment, North Dakota, UND and or Fighting Sioux. When I am writing for the Hockey Writers or Inside Hockey I can't use the Fighting Sioux nickname anymore. UND requested that media members (television and radio, bloggers and journalists) to no longer use the Fighting Sioux nickname. It's also really hard to write UND, UND, UND all of the time. Sorry man.
In my humble opinion, there were hundreds of other nicknames choices that would've been much better than the five bad choices the nickname committee came up with. I believe we were doomed from the start. Now the nickname debacle is finally over, I'm moving on. Whether you like it or not, Fighting Hawks is UND's official nickname. This past spring, UND actually won a NCAA title under their new nickname.
Again, like I've said in the past, Fighting Hawks was the best choice of five really bad nickname choices. At least the new nickname wasn't Sundogs. I'd like to see the university drop Fighting and just go with Hawks.
Now, some had suggested that UND didn't need to select a new nickname. They're right, but somewhere along the line, there would've been a group or organization that would've filed a complaint against UND. Others complained that being simply North Dakota was a pseudo way of keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname. UND needed a nickname to move on. I don't know. Picking a nickname didn't stop fans from yelling Sioux and Sioux forever. Right? So, that theory was shot down.
As I mentioned in a tweet, if UND had retained the Fighting Sioux nickname, UND wouldn't be hosting a NCAA West Regional in Fargo, ND again. Hosting in Fargo gives UND a major advantage. It could mean the difference between advancing to the Frozen Four and staying home.
Finally, I am a supporter and a alumnus of the University of North Dakota. I think that UND football head coach Bubba Schweigert said it best.
“UND football is going to embrace this logo and what it represents,” said Schweigert, adding the logo will be on the helmet for the team’s first game Sept. 1.
In conclusion, I will support the UND sports teams no matter what name they play under. It's up to each individual fan if they want to do the same.