|For a hundred years, the cadets were represented by mules.|
Mules are hardworking, and they were symbolic of the Army at a
time when soldiers used them to pull caissons for the Artillery.
So why change the name?
|The Black Knights of Army.|
In fact, academy teams still do very well in sports that are not much governed by money. For example, Army fields excellent Rugby, Lacrosse, Sprint Football, and Wrestling teams, but in sports where major college money and potential professional post-collegiate careers are important, Army and the other academies can't really compete. That's not so much a problem as it is a simple fact of life. Speaking personally, I prefer to watch legitimate student-athletes compete for pride. When Army plays Stanford, for example, I'd like to see only the kids--on both sides--who have to take Physics as a required course compete on the field. That would be a more legitimate kind of competition in my mind given Stanford's otherwise dominant recruiting position.
|Vince Lombardi's "West Point" coaching sweater.|
Since Lombardi's time, West Point has made a concerted effort
to better represent the Army as a whole.
I don't know what the new logos, lettering, numbering, etc. look like, but I am more than ready to go away from the "Black Knights" era. Speaking historically, students at West Point are and always have been "cadets". This is who and what they are. Jettisoning "Black Knights" to me means jettisoning fifteen years of athletic overreach and failure. That's a good thing.
|The coming season is my first as an Army Football season ticket holder.|
So. This change is all about a return to tradition and not about any kind of political correctness. Frankly, a return to West Point's true traditions is long overdue.
Also in this series: