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Report: Cleveland Indians to Drop Name


Bill0813
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9 hours ago, O.C.D said:

What makes Spiders generic and interchangeable is it's lack of specificity. It would be akin to a sports team named Dogs or Cats. Birds, etc.

 

Indians refers to a specific type of person, a unique ethnicity within human beings (in which exists group with even more specificity and ethnic diversity)

 

If "Spiders" is too generic, too interchangeable, and not specific enough to be a good nickname for a sports team, then "Indians" is equally unworthy for all of the same reasons.  Among all of the people across the Americas that have been lumped together as "American Indians" by Europeans and descendants thereof for multiple centuries, one will find hundreds of ethnic groups ("nations" or "tribes"), each with discernibly separate languages and cultures.

 

In the Southwestern United States, the Diné ("Navajo") live in a reservation that encircles the Hopi people's reservation, yet the Diné and the Hopi differ widely in their languages, cultures, and even economies.

 

In the 19th century, the US federal government forced the five "civilized tribes" (the Cherokee, the Chickasaw, the Choctaw, the Muscogee ("Creek"), and the Seminole) of the Southeastern United States to move hundreds of miles west to what is known now as Oklahoma -- a place whose established Indigenous groups (e.g. the Arapaho, the Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Osage, the Quapaw) had languages and cultures that were distinct from one another and were definitely different from what any of those freshly exiled newcomers had.

 

Even the Aztec and the Maya, pre-Columbian Mexico's two best known ethnicities, are known to have spoken languages that differed enough to be classified by most linguists as belonging to completely separate lingual families.

 

In short, I think that any belief and/or claim that "Indian(s)" refers to a specific enough and unique enough kind of human being, let alone a more specific and more unique kind of life form than "spider(s)," is naïve at best, and arrogant and insensitive at worst.

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Feel like part of the anti-Spiders angst here as well is that the current conventional wisdom for Big Four rebrands and teams requires some sort of local reference, to feed into the townie idea that every North American city is a special snowflake with a distinctive and best culture, and spiders are not uniquely local the way certain snakes or sea creatures are local to their places. 

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7 minutes ago, Walk-Off said:

In short, I think that any belief and/or claim that "Indian(s)" refers to a specific enough and unique enough kind of human being, let alone a more specific and more unique kind of life form than "spider(s)," is naive at best, and arrogant and insensitive at worst.

 

I wouldn't even go that deep into the comparisons, I was comfortable accepting "Indians" as a name that Just Is (or was) without thinking of how they compared with subspecies of animals, for obvious reasons

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Just now, Digby said:

Feel like part of the anti-Spiders angst here as well is that the current conventional wisdom for Big Four rebrands and teams requires some sort of local reference, to feed into the townie idea that every North American city is a special snowflake with a distinctive and best culture, and spiders are not uniquely local the way certain snakes or sea creatures are local to their places. 

 

No, it's that the Spiders were a short-lived 19th-century team that's famous for being historically bad and there's no reason to take up history like that other than it being an internet hobbyhorse for 15+ years. There's not a lot to work with in Cleveland; it's quite arguably the most featureless of the Great Lakes cities. Every Indians concept I've tried to workshop that just goes for civic imagery hits a wall because there isn't any -- not any worth caring about, at least, pace the Cleveland posters. I get the impulse for something/anything novel after a metric ton of Spiders concepts over the years, though. 

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13 minutes ago, the admiral said:

No, it's that the Spiders were a short-lived 19th-century team that's famous for being historically bad and there's no reason to take up history like that other than it being an internet hobbyhorse for 15+ years. There's not a lot to work with in Cleveland; it's quite arguably the most featureless of the Great Lakes cities. Every Indians concept I've tried to workshop that just goes for civic imagery hits a wall because there isn't any -- not any worth caring about, at least, pace the Cleveland posters. I get the impulse for something/anything novel after a metric ton of Spiders concepts over the years, though. 

That, and you just know they'd screw it all up with some kind of silly cartoon spider logo somewhere in their logo set and gimmicky web patterns on the jersey to make it look "fresh". It's a deep rabbit hole of bad design ideas I have zero faith the Dolans would avoid.

 

The last thing a team as long-lived as Cleveland AL needs is to go from a incredibly controversial logo to a good, if basic, logo...to a silly-looking logo of a thing you smash under your shoe or whack with a newspaper.

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47 minutes ago, Digby said:

Feel like part of the anti-Spiders angst here as well is that the current conventional wisdom for Big Four rebrands and teams requires some sort of local reference, to feed into the townie idea that every North American city is a special snowflake with a distinctive and best culture, and spiders are not uniquely local the way certain snakes or sea creatures are local to their places. 

 

Wildcats would be fine. Let's not make this any harder than it has to be.

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5 hours ago, Marlins93 said:

I'm a little surprised that Spiders is getting so much traction. I'm not an arachnophobe but it sounds skeevy in a way that Rays or Diamondbacks doesn't.

 

I can think of two potential reasons why so many people want the team to be renamed the Spiders:

  1. Spiders seems to be the most timeless, most specific, and classiest -- or, to put it another way, the least old-fashioned, least generic, and least cheesy -- of all of the pre-Indians nicknames used by professional baseball teams based in Cleveland.  To me, this is the best reason why Cleveland's current MLB club would rebrand as the Spiders.
  2. I suspect that many people want Cleveland's MLB team to be called the Spiders for essentially one of the likely reasons why so many people clamored for Kraken to be the new Seattle NHL team's nickname (and maybe even why, in the end, the Seattle NHL club's ownership branded that team as the Kraken) -- a desire for a nickname that is dark, edgy, and intimidating enough to "strike fear in the hearts of opponents and their fans."  To such people, the actual or supposed skeeviness of a name like Spiders might be a plus, not a minus.
Edited by Walk-Off
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On 12/13/2020 at 11:55 PM, O.C.D said:

What about an automotive/mechanic logo package and calling the team the Cleveland Engines?

 

Engines. A word that sounds exactly like a slur for Indians.

 

What is your malfunction?

 

Feeling Dumb Jim Carrey GIF

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2 hours ago, Digby said:

Feel like part of the anti-Spiders angst here as well is that the current conventional wisdom for Big Four rebrands and teams requires some sort of local reference, to feed into the townie idea that every North American city is a special snowflake with a distinctive and best culture, and spiders are not uniquely local the way certain snakes or sea creatures are local to their places. 


Most cities do have a distinct culture and the nature of sports is that you are rooting for your city’s team over another city’s team. The players on all major league teams come from everywhere. The only difference is the name on the front of the jersey. Two teams could trade their entire personnel completely with each other and fans would still end up rooting for the same one that represents their city.

 

Your argument is akin to saying “why don’t we take city names off jerseys... After all why should your special snowflake city have its very own unique name???”

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