The conversation transcribed below is one our sports columnist has had numerous times in the past two years.
William Cain: Why? Why does Gloversville have to have multiple mascots? It’s the same school, it should be the same mascot. It was the Huskies way back when, it should still be the Huskies for each of the sports teams.
Bill Cain: Way back when? Way back then? Do I have to remind you that you were once William? You were once Billy, too.
WC: Don’t tell people that.
BC: The point is, it’s not necessarily a horrible thing to be known by different names to different people. So the soccer people, basketball people and swimming people know GHS teams as the Dragons — so what?
W: So, it’s weird. What’s wrong with Huskies? It’s not the most intimidating mascot out there, but at least it’s a real thing. Were the basketball teams in the 1950s, when the name was changed a couple times and eventually became the Dragons, filled with cat people?
B: Just not dog people, I guess. But hey, Dragons is better than Kobuskie’s Kagers, which it was called in the 55-56 season. Better still than the Reindeer Five, which Jim Ellis said was the team’s nickname at some point before Kobuskie’s Kagers.
W: Reindeer Five? OK. I’d take Dragons over that.
B: Thought so.
W: Still, one mascot is good enough for most other schools in the nation. I don’t see any reason to break from tradition here. One mascot is even good enough for schools with less-impressive nicknames. Need I remind you of the Cyclones you played for?
B: Yeah, or the Dolphins and Orange. You rooted for those alma maters.
W: Exactly. Cyclones, Dolphins and Orange. A wind gust, a tuna additive and a fruit. Not very imposing or inspiring, but never did I wish the basketball team, or any other team, had a different mascot from the rest. Maybe a different mascot for the entire school, but not for individual sports I liked more than others. Look at Doan Stuart. The Thunder Chicken.
B: And you’re worried about Dragons? I’ve seen chickens. I’ve never seen one I’d consider “Thunderous.” Not even on a basketball court.
W: Yeah, but they don’t have a split personality on their athletic fields and gyms. They’re the Thunder Chicken and they embrace it.
B: Do they play chicken basketball instead of donkey basketball?
W: Let’s get back on topic. You go off on too many tangents.
B: Well, then so do you.
W: Touche. But what about when people get the Huskies confused with the Dragons or the Dragons confused with the Huskies? With DRAGONS written in big red letters across the front of the jersey, I’ve heard people on TV say, “And so-and-so scored 15 points for the Huskies.”
B: So get it right. Just because someone can’t read, or chooses not to, that shouldn’t mean the mascot should have to change.
W: Well, then don’t come crying to me the next time someone gets it wrong. Cry to them. Unless it’s us who gets it wrong. But we don’t make mistakes.
B: No, never. That would be too normal.
W: I think we’re proving we’re not.
B: Besides, the Dragons have been around now for 52 years. Those teams are now just as much Dragons as the Husky teams are Huskies. Their identity has been established. It’s far too late to switch them back to Huskies.
W: So the damage is done. That’s too bad.
B: We’re just going to have to agree to disagree.
Bill Cain is a sportswriter for The Leader-Herald. We invite your feedback on this or any other sports-related topic. E-mail your opinions or ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.