By Bill Tamburrino
I am seeing pink. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the sports community is a major player in making the nation aware of the dreaded disease. But at times I have to wonder.
Before I continue, I think that it is necessary that I disclose some facts. I have lost a mother, father, sister and grandmother along with too many friends and relatives to cancer. I strongly believe that breast cancer can be defeated and that we are on the right track. It may be wishful thinking, but I hope that it is more than that.
I have donated to several individuals who have participated in the Susan G. Komen races and 60 mile marches. They are not only making us aware of the disease; they are raising money to find a cure.
Here is where I have some concerns. Are too many people wearing pink because it is the fashionable thing to do? I at times wonder if some of the pink worn is just part of a ripoff. I have read that some ripoff artist made millions of dollars selling NYPD and NYFD hats and paraphernalia after 911 and didn’t give one dime to any charities.
I know that it is not always the case with pink. All of the major professional sports have not only worn pink but have donated generously to the fight. Pink bats, hats, jerseys, shoes, socks, etc have been sold and profits from them have gone to the fight.
However, some recent incidents have made me wonder. I recently attended a youth flag football league in another city. Kids in kindergarten were dyeing their hair pink and wearing pink tape on their shoes. I think that in that case it was more of a fashion statement than a statement against the disease. I know that none of the money from the hair dye or tape went to the fight. I asked some of the kids why they dyed their hair, and they said “Because it is cool.” Maybe the adults in the park understood why. I hope so.
I have seen several pink shirts and other apparel with messages about fighting cancer and I had to wonder if any of the money spent on that apparel went to the fight. I don’t know how to find out and I am not sure that it is my job to do so, but I do wonder.
My idea is this. Now that we are aware, let’s just fight. Make sure that some of the money spent on pink goes to the fight. Go to the Susan G. Komen website and see how you can officially join the fight. Make sure that some of the money you spend on pink goes to the fight. There is an infamous well-traveled road that is paved with good intentions.
Other peeves, likes and dislikes: I like live mascots — the Colorado Buffalo, the Auburn Eagle, the Air Force Falcon, the LSU Tiger, Georgia’s Bulldog , the Texas Longhorn, Baylor’s Bear. I even like the wagon the Oklahoma Sooners ride. The horses that are ridden around the fields by USC and Florida State can stay but their riders are questionable.
I recently watched a documentary on ESPNU where they had to paint the skin of the Florida State horse rider so he looked like a Seminole. Find a real Seminole.
I don’t like phony human mascots. I am a Notre Dame fan but the phony leprechaun has to go. So does Monty Montezuma unless he is a real Aztec. I met one of the Monty Montezumas at a party and he didn’t even go to SDSU and he wasn’t an Aztec. He won a contest or a tryout and made money by attending parties and his costume wasn’t even authentic.
I do like Hawaii’s human mascot. He is a real Hawaiian and he scares me. I have seen him in person and he is really scary.
I hate rubber mascots, the ones with the phony foam rubber heads and phony bodies. The Nebraska Cornhusker, Michigan State Spartan, San Diego Padre, Philly Phananic and too many others all come to mind. They are annoying and have as much effect on the outcome of the game as the guy cooking kettle corn.
They shouldn’t even be allowed to stand on the side of a road and twirl a sign announcing pizza restaurant openings. They take away from the cheerleaders and their staged fights have started some real fights.
The San Diego (originally the KGB) Chicken was an original but the copycats have got to go. Ramona has at times had phony mascots but I like the real bulldog best. Michael Jordan II did use some originality when he was an RHS student mascot but things have become trite since then.
This is not a personal attack on any mascots. I have known Boltman since he was in grade school and he didn’t do any of the phony shtick, but I don’t like rubber mascots.
I have an Idea. Let the players play and the spirit squads instill spirit and let the fans watch. That is old school.