Pavo Rotti my usually peaceful parakeet was in a surly mood so I tried to brighten his day. “Why are you so out of sorts this morning Pavo,” I asked, reaching inside his cage to polish his mirror.

“Last night after you put me to bed Big Guy, I heard nothing but thuds and grunts and groans. Then a lot of hollering and cheering. Kept me awake long past my regular bed time. Sounded like a love scene on a reality show.”

“Gee. Sorry Pavo. I forgot to turn down the volume. Bears were in a tough fight with the Lions.”

“Bears fighting Lions? I hope the Bears were winning. You know how I feel about cats. But wait a minute, I thought they came from different parts of the world. Is this a new Nature series on PBS?”

“Not PBS. Monday night football. And the growling and snarling wasn’t a hunt for a meal. It was football, a sports contest Pavo. All in fun. Bears and Lions are the names of teams.”

“I know about sports teams but life in the wild is not a sport Big Guy. It’s survival of the fittest so the names gotta go.”

“It’s an image thing Pavo. Bears, Lions, Tigers, Eagles, Sea Hawks, Bengals. Team names make them sound like hungry carnivores. It makes for good fang and claw fantasy.”

“But all sports teams aren’t named after meat eaters, are they?”

“Nope You don’t have to be a carnivore. Colts, Rams, Chargers and Broncos are big, tough grass eaters and they still conjure up visions of power, invincibility, and strength.”

“But why do you need power names. Why don’t you just name them after the guys who play the games?”

“That’s the way it used to be and we still have a few from the past, – Packers, Steelers, Cowboys, Oilers, and Forty-Niners, images that signify a certain kind of hard work and blue collar toughness. But Patriots, Giants, Raiders, and Vikings fall in that class too.”

“Since none of the players really do any of those things the names are sort of fraudulent.”

“Minor misrepresentation rather than fraud Pavo.”

“And what about names no longer considered to be politically correct, like Redskins, Braves, Indians, and Warriors.”

“I agree they should go Pavo.”

“And some of them are sort of wimpy Big Guy. Like Mets, Jets and Nets. What’s next, Pets? And what’s scary about Jazz or Clippers? Sounds like a cornet player or your friendly barber. And who cares if some teams wear Red Sox and some wear White Sox?

“It’s history Pavo. Most of the names have been around for years and alternative forces are tugging in different directions for and against change. It’s not easy to come up with solutions agreeable to everyone.”

“But aren’t some fans disadvantaged, not having rough, tough names for their teams? Wouldn’t you rather be an Eagles fan in a bar than an Orioles fan? ”

“An important consideration Pavo. But what’s the solution?”

“I think I might have one Big Guy. And my suggestion could bring a lot of new athletic supporters to sports.”

“What’s your plan?”

“We level the playing field. Put all fans on an equal footing. Start by eliminating politically incorrect names, discarding the wimps and cleaning up after the blue collar workers and savages. Then we get rid of teams named after wild animals. Finally we start over.”

“With what?”

“Flowers Big Guy. Name them after flowers. The great equalizer. Immediately, it will take the rabid passion, the fire and the ugliness out of sports. Brings back an aura if not a mystique of civility.

“My mind numbs thinking about it Pavo.”

Pavo looked away then tilted his head back as if seeing a vision. “Just imagine Big Guy, – The Toronto Tulips – The LA Lilacs – The San Diego Snapdragons – The Boston Begonias, – with uniform colors matched to the team flower, prints of flowers appliqued on shirts or jerseys, pants or shorts of a matching hue, even carrying an appropriate posy on the seat. Think of how colorful the leagues will become as the teams soften their images. Fans will become friendlier, more symbiotic, less truculent. Stadiums and grounds might plant team flowers in the ball fields during off season, or around the parking lots and spectator boxes. Fans would become attached to their symbols and have competitions to see comes up with the best fertilizer. They could wave flowers instead of pennants and throw flower petals in the paths of their favorite players. Think of the color brought to cheering sections at games with cheerleaders waving bouquets rather than pompoms. Use your imagination Big Guy. The possibilities are endless.”

He stared off into space for a moment and then continued, “But the most important change will be how sports become a true metaphor for life. Success or failure will no longer depend on winning a playoff, or being awarded an imaginary title or being voted best in class by press scribes. It will depend on the ability to sow good seed for the community for the following year. Cries of ‘Wait ’til next year’ will become remnants of the past. Think of the power of the image Big Guy. Next year when you have to go through it all over again it would be like the rebirth of a new garden.”

Pavo’s eyes sparkled with a new radiance. “Well, what do you think of the idea Big Guy?”

“You’re sheer genius Pavo. A philosopher for the New Age. But I hate to burst your bubble. Pansies wouldn’t play well in Pittsburgh.”


About D. B. Guy

ex-traveler, ex-Navy vet, ex-depression baby, long time retiree, current lounge chair occupant, husband, grandfather, computer novice-junkie, man-about-town(ret.), jolly good fellow
This entry was posted in My Pal Pavo. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Names

  1. Jean says:

    Dear Mr. Guy,

    Your latest conversation with Pavo is by far, your most deeply profound and philosophical yet. I commend you both! For an avian, he is an astute and loquacious observer of the human species.

    I am reminded of the college football team in my home town. They were known as the “Rams”. Naturally, but possibly inadvisably, the high school team became the “Lambkins” with the symbol of a darling little gamboling white lamb. You can only imagine the derision other tough teams indulged in when they came to meet such a formidable opponent. It backfired though. It only served to rile up the “Lambkin” team to beat the daylights outta ’em!

    I was involved in modern dance for a long time. The rigorous training is the same for ballet as for modern dance. One time the “Rams” coach and our teacher conspired to bring the football team into the class so we could teach them, one on one, how to fall flat on their faces or on either side without hurting themselves. And to do so gracefully!

    The ill-bred big bruisers of the “Rams” team came into the gym clowning around loudly about learning how to “trip the light fantastic.” That sort of got our dander up, so we decided to just demonstrate quickly. It is not as easy as it looks! Then we showed them how to point their toes, extend their hands with the two middle fingers together and to assume the proper position as they alit on the floor. They finally left the gym, battered, bruised and considerably chastened.

    Perhaps Pavo is onto something. If the “Pittsburg Pansies” could run on to the field in tights and tutus instead of helmets and shoulder pads, the game could be transformed into a civilized contest of grace and beauty. Their loyal athletic supporters would undoubtedly cheer the absence of concussions and crushing injuries. Sounds like a plan to me!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s