I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten awfully tired of the ongoing complaints about certain nicknames for sports teams that the PC folks find offensive, for various reasons.
Well, now it’s time for me to jump on the bandwagon. I happen to be mainly of Irish descent (way, way back), and it distresses me deeply that the University of Notre Dame teams are known, and have been for decades, as “The Fighting Irish.”
One glance at a photo of any Notre Dame team, or reading a list of the players’ names, makes it apparent that not all the team members can claim Irish ancestry. Should we not provide relief to those players of other races and nationalities who are unjustly, not to mention inaccurately, labeled as “Irish”?
On second thought, there’s an old saying among those of us with the blood of Ireland flowing through our veins: “There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who are Irish and those who wish they were Irish.” So, perhaps we’re doing these non-Irish players a favor by bestowing on them such a noble term.
However, I digress. My main point is that I find the adjective “Fighting” warlike, demeaning and inaccurate when used to describe the Irish. I’m unaware of any other institutions that use such pejorative terms to describe their teams, no “Fighting Italians” or “Belligerent Bulgarians,” for example.
It’s well-known that we Irish are, in fact, a romantic, peace-loving lot, given more to writing poetry than to waging war. Therefore, I submit that the name “The Fighting Irish” has to go. I find it inaccurate and personally offensive, as well as politically incorrect and unacceptable, and demand that the Notre Dame authorities take immediate steps to abolish it. Otherwise, I may have to take a shillelagh and knock some sense into them.
What’s that? If the Irish are in fact so peace-loving, why have they been fighting among themselves for centuries? Well, I’m glad you asked. There are two reasons, the first being that they’re a vigorous lot and their battles are simply a form of recreation. However, the second and most important reason they fight among themselves is because they’ve never been able to find any other worthy opponents.