We learned last week that School Administrative District 54 board had the last word and voted against dropping “Indians” as the nickname and mascot from their sports teams.

We understand the deeply felt concerns of our many Native American tribes. This offensive name was created by the racist, murdering, offensive Christopher Columbus, who thought he had succeeded in arriving in Jaipur, India, to install his aging mother-in-law in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. When he discovered not even one Maharishi, as the Beatles did, he named his landfall the Bahamas after his shirt maker Giuseppe Bahama, the great-great-great-great grandfather of designer Tommy Bahama. A sweet gesture.

OK. The fuss over the “Indians” name in Skowhegan is a serious argument between serious folks and should be treated with respect. But is it really too soon to interject some humor? This name game has been running longer than the one over “Bridgegate” in New Jersey, and now it’s over.

Most, but for our local Native Americans, are happy it’s over. I consider it a rush to judgment. In order to bring a few smiles to all the solemn faces, I had been preparing some exciting alternatives for the board to consider, and apparently did not make the deadline for submissions.

I had a list prepared to post by snail-mail or email, as I never go to Skowhegan. It’s a nice, friendly place, but I’m nervous about that bridge you have to take to get into town.

So today I’ve prepared my list for my loyal readers in Skowhegan to consider, should the argument erupt again. None of them use the word “Indian” or anything close. I think you will find them to be completely inoffensive.

Consider the following, preceded of course with the title “Skowhegan,” so that I don’t have to keep typing “Skowhegan” over and over.

First, some classical choices.

THE MUSKETEERS

I’m assuming that most of the players in the brouhaha are familiar with the famous Alexandre Dumas novel set in 17th-century France, “The Three Musketeers.” If not, surely they’ve seen the many movies made of the story. The one with Gene Kelly as d’Artagnan was my favorite.

Musketeers are defined as “soldiers with muskets.” And they are French. For a town that, like most of Maine, is populated by Franco-Americans, this seems to me to be an exciting alternative, especially to the Second Amendment crowd.

OK, the musket thing may annoy the anti-gun folks, but that’s for a different board meeting. This is not to be confused with the “Three Musketeers” candy bars or with Disney’s “Mouseketeers.”

THE BUCCANEERS

This is one of my favorites. Buccaneers were a more elegant breed of pirates who originally roamed the Spanish-American coasts. They are defined as “daring” and “adventurous.” What sports fan could not love that description? It evokes the glamour of Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series.

Imagine basketball uniforms with crossed swords and skulls on the shirts that would strike fear in Skowhegan’s rivals. The cheerleaders could invent their own outfits fitting the image.

THE ROBIN HOODS

The team players would storm onto the playing fields to the rousing original theme from Warner Brother’s “Adventures of Robin Hood,” created by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Team players would wear green hoodies. Cheerleaders could wave rubber swords and bows and arrows.

Imagine the excitement.

THE PIONEERS

Celebrating the early American pioneers who settled the West. We would be honoring those pioneers who journeyed from Nova Scotia to settle in the West, but only got as far as Skowhegan, because of the fact that GPS was years away.

THE RANGERS or THE OUTLAWS

These are two more options, but a bit iffy.

LOS BANDITOS

I kind of like this one to pay tribute to those Skowheganites of Hispanic heritage. On second thought, it’s apt to kick up yet another storm with our Latino friends.

THE SAINTS

We might use that if we want a religious theme.

THE SHERIFFS

No?

Last on my list are attempts to appeal to the media-hip youngsters, and they’re worth considering:

THE HACKERS

THE TEXTERS

THE SKOWHEGAN SELFIES

Do I hear anyone laughing yet? Boy, this is a tough house to play to.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.


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