In most newspapers and their online versions around the country, there is a section listing recovery group meetings, times, and locations. There should be a recovery group formed for those of us who have grown up as Sioux fans and who now, after the recent day at the polls that concluded with a move to retire the nickname, have to move on from that reality.
Hi. My name is Stacy. I am a recovering Fighting Sioux fan.
From my earliest memories as a resident of Grand Forks, North Dakota, I have been a Fighting Sioux hockey fan. (Side note: I do know that UND has other sports, but hockey is the most exciting and contagious sport for a fan.) This is part of my existence, part of my definition of self, and part of my core being. To change this is like saying that I am a girl one week and then changing that statement to something else.
Let me say for a few moments that I understand the move that voters made on Tuesday. If school and state officials are telling the truth (and why would they not???), this is a necessary move. The battle is over. The fight has been fought. The NCAA has won.
Tangent: I was in Indianapolis in November and walked past the NCAA headquarters. The Italian in me really wanted to stop in and demand an audience with some important suit-wearing person (I will assume man…) who is at the heart of this decision. I wanted to tell – him – that he should attend a Fighting Sioux hockey game (what the pastor huz refers to as a religious experience) so that he could see how much we love our name.
I did not do this; I really did not think it would help. But it was fun to think about.
Back to my thoughts: So – the logical side of me says that this move was needed. “The Man” has won, and we will do as “he” says so that our athletic department can still recruit the finest athletes and compete with other schools around the nation.
All of that works with my brain, but my heart is sad as I feel like I am losing a part of home. I understand why there are so many who have worked so hard to keep the nickname. It is who we are: the Fighting Sioux. And changing who we are will not be easy, will not be fun, and will not happen overnight. Perhaps it will never actually work.
We could follow in the footsteps of Prince and take on a symbol as our nickname. Then we could be announced as the team formerly known as the Fighting Sioux.
Either way, we will likely need a recovery group.