What’s in a name?


By Sue Curtis



The newest relative in our family is a woman our nephew married this summer. She is a wonderful person, lovely inside and out, and happens to be a high school principal in a town in Illinois. Our nephew is also a high school principal, which is how they met.

I’ve only met Hattie a few times, since we live so far apart, but I have “friended” her on Facebook and so I get a glimpse into her world from time to time. She posts interesting and upbeat photos and stories of the great things that are happening in her high school.

This week, many of the posts were about the upcoming Homecoming game. That’s when I noticed that she referred to their team as “the Pretzels.” She wrote a couple of entries about the Pretzel Nation and Pretzel Pride. I thought it was some kind of inside joke. Then I looked it up and found out that their team name and mascot for their school is, indeed, a pretzel.

I laughed so hard my ribs hurt. I thought to myself, “this must be the silliest team name ever.” I always like to investigate these kinds of thing, so I started looking up articles on the most unusual or funniest names for high school teams.

As it turns out, there was an article published on the website “Football Scoop” in 2015. Doug Samuels, a writer, related the 15 strangest mascots in high school football. He gave the Pretzels an Honorable Mention, so they didn’t even make the top 15! As I read his piece, I had to admit, there are some strange mascot and team names across our great land.

Now I realize we’ve been spoiled here in our area. We have relatively normal mascots — Trojans, Red Devils, Bulldogs, Arrows, Bees, Buccaneers, and Indians. I was always led to believe that the mascots are supposed to be somewhat intimidating to other teams. In addition, the mascot fosters and builds unity among the student population and helps lead groups in pursuit of common interests and goals.

That being said, I have to totally agree with Mr. Samuels that the Battlin’ Bathers up in Michigan don’t foster an intimidating image. In fact, imagining a group of men fighting and bathing makes me smile, and it beats out the Pretzels in strange.

Others that made his list include a team in Indiana known as the Hot Dogs and one in Tennessee simply known as Feet. Now, this mascot has to be hilarious. I wonder what kind of cheers they have? Give me an F – E – E -T or “give me an inch?”

Also in his top 15 are the Syrupmakers, the Orphans, and the Nimrods. Given some of these names, I guess the Pretzels aren’t so silly after all. When I consider how difficult my battle has been with carbohydrates and sodium, perhaps there’s more intimidation to the Pretzel Nation than I first thought.

Plus, I want to hear some of the cheers they use. Email me at suecurtis9@gmail.com.

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By Sue Curtis

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.