Will Colgate Athletics Be Sending In The Clowns?

On Tuesday, the Student Academic Athletic Board (SAAB) announced that the University will be changing its mascot from the “Raiders” to the “Clowns.” The change is set to take place in the fall and will affect each team. However, teams from previous years will be known as either the “Raiders” or “Red Raiders.”Four years ago, Colgate “got the red out” when the University changed its mascot name from the “Red Raiders” to simply the “Raiders.” In the summer of 2001, the Students of Social Justice conducted weeks of research devoted to determining the history of the name “Red Raiders,” and found that the name could be interpreted as insensitive towards Native Americans. As Colgate teams became the Raiders, it proved very difficult to “get the red out” of Colgate athletics. “Red Raiders” still hangs from the banners at Cotterell Court and on the scoreboard at Starr Rink. The color red is present in each teams’ uniforms and in the name of the oldest college weekly in America.The University athletics program is suffering from an identity crisis. Are we the Raiders? If so, then why all the red? After all, the only professional sports team known as the Raiders, the version that plays football in Oakland, is synonymous with silver and black. So, shouldn’t Colgate colors be silver and black? More importantly, this name crisis has prevented Colgate from adopting a mascot. Should we use an Indian, like the Red Raiders of Texas Tech? Or a squash-buckling pirate like the Raiders of Oakland? What about a Harrison Ford lookalike, as in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc? After all, what really is a Raider?Grasping with these difficult issues, the SAAB held a closed-door meeting. At the meeting, it was debated what do about the athletic program’s identity crisis. It was determined, for the second time in four years, that Colgate University should change its mascot. The group then determined the criteria for the mascot. It was decided that the mascot must have an energetic personality, so that a real live mascot that could attend the games could be created. It was also determined that the mascot must incorporate the color red, both to embrace the University’s rich athletic tradition and so that there would be no confusion as to “what it is,” as a member of the committee stated. There was much discussion that the team should be named simply “The Maroon,” as many schools such as Syracuse, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, but surprisingly not Brown have adopted colors for their team moniker. However, the SAAB hit a stumbling block when it was not determined what a proposed mascot or logo would look like. The conversation then shifted to animal names such as “Wildcats,” “Lions” or Tigers,” but it was debated how these warm-weather animals would react to the brutal Colgate winters. In addition, these names were viewed as unoriginal and boring.Then after several more hours of deliberation, it was determined that Colgate University’s athletic teams will now be known as the “Clowns.””It’s easy to dress a student and have him or her attend the games as a clown,” a member of the committee, explaining the decision, said. “Plus, the clown will have red hair and a red nose, sort of like Bozo. And who doesn’t love an affable clown!”There was initially some concern that opposing teams and prospective students would not take a team known as the Clowns seriously, as the name is normally associated with buffoonery and those with low levels of coordination. Most students today use it as an insult, in the spirit of “check out that no-talent a**clown,” as stated by computer technician Michael Bolton, in reference to his musical namesake, in the pop culture classic Office Space. In the film Season on the Brink, about the 1985-1986 Indiana men’s basketball team, head coach Bob Knight instructs his players to “let those clowns shoot those long outside shots.”Regardless, members of SAAB see this as a non-issue.”It’s all a bunch of nonsense,” one member said. “Did you know that Baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron started his career on a team named the Indianapolis Clowns? He turned out okay. And a clown could be very intimidating. Who wasn’t scared of clowns as a kid?”Along the lines of great clowns in history such as Bozo, Ronald McDonald and Krusty, it was then the responsibility to come up with a mascot that would attend sporting events, and could compete with the Trojan of USC, the Gator of Florida, or, on a professional level, the world-famous Phillie Phanatic or San Diego Chicken. Donning a red nose and a poofy red wig as well as white face paint, please meet “Gatey the Clown,” Colgate’s new mascot. Starting in the fall, Gatey will be in attendance at all of Colgate’s home games. An anonymous student has already been selected to play the part of Gatey for the upcoming academic year.”We chose this candidate due in large part to his exuberance and his willingness to smile and to make others smile,” a member of SAAB said. “We look forward to the addition of Gatey for the upcoming season.”The mascot will spend the summer at College Mascot Camp in Raleigh, NC, where Gatey will learn simple cheers and gags. After learning the basics, Gatey will be on his own to develop his unique mascot style.”I don’t know what I’ll be doing yet,” Gatey said. “Maybe some tummy rubs or hot dog guns; I don’t know. All I know is that I plan on having some fun and I look forward to being Colgate’s newest mascot.”Oh, and Happy April Fool’s Day.