Monday, September 22, 2008

It's time to evoke your inner Dee Snider: Our Queen's is Golden

As I pointed out Friday Queen's alumni are not happy with the decision of the university to drop the name Golden.

Most people can understand the emotional attachment alumni and students feel to the name Golden Gaels. However, from an outside perspective it may not be as obvious why a neutral journalist should give it much thought. Except that it's another example of the PR industry exerting control and the weak willed media just rolling over and taking it.

As a reminder, it was a journalist that put the Golden on there in the first place. But, that was a different time. A golden time for the craft, even. So, it's terribly sad to see the very paper that was responsible for the name, the once influential Kingston Whig-Standard, so completely capitulating to the whims of some Sports Information Officer. Why? What benefit is it to the public for the media to take its marching orders from a PR flack?

Yes, this ultimately is a frivolous issue. It's just a sports team's name. But, it speaks to a larger issue. The PR industry's need to control everything. And the media's lack of a backbone to stand up to it. The loser in all this? The public. People can talk about hidden MSM agendas all they want, but the PR industry doesn't hide what its trying to do. And, its only interest is to its client.

Again, in a time when kids from this country are dying in Afghanistan almost every day, this hardly matters. Except it does. If the media rolls over for something this minor, what is it going to do when the stakes are higher? Anyone that read a newspaper in the United States in the lead up to the war in Iraq might have an idea.

As someone that is passionate about journalism I believe that it is time to take a stand. It's time to take back the craft and to stop letting the flacks control the conversation. And, as someone that is passionate about CIS sport, this issue is the perfect battleground.

It's a small battle, yes, but the only way to regain control of the dissemination of information is to grab it back bit by bit by bit.

It's the Golden Gaels, thank you very much.


Mike said...

Agreed, it's hard to just change tradition midstream - especially when there's really no obvious reason for doing so! It felt weird when Ottawa came back as the Renegades but they lost the name, couldn't use it any more. But even though that had some reasoning to it, an odd change I still don't like (how does one live without making Roughriders vs Roughriders jokes? They even made that joke on South Park!)

I've heard rumblings thru a sports uniform blog that the Miami Dolphins are looking to completely revamp their logo and colours, so I'm bracing for that one right now. As much as tradition can be a bad thing at times and lead down dangerous roads, major revamps just for the sake of them aren't always necessary and can often lead to lots of negative feedback (as seen with this story here).

I agree with you here Duane and hopefully the msg gets across to the Queen's admin - it's not so much a fear of change in this case as it is making an unnecessary change to something so many have embraced.

Tyler King said...

For the record - still not a single use of the phrase "Golden Gaels" in the Queen's Journal since the name change - excluding the brief editorial on the name change itself.

What was that about a lack of a backbone?

Jeff Dertinger said...

Give me a break. Enough with the Golden argument already, let it go.
Every day I come to this site, and every day for the past two or three weeks I've had to sift through post after post of you guys incessantly whining about this name change.
At first I was on your side, 100 per cent. Now ... it would be like rooting for Veruka Salt to get Willy Wonka's factory.

The horse is dead. It stinks. And now you guys are starting to stink from poking it all day long.

Duane Rollins said...


I think that was the third post on the topic I've made. There have been about 100 other posts made during that time. You're free to chose what to read. I doubt I will be making another on the subject this week, but I may after homecoming if there is a development in the story.

But, why should people just give up and accept things they disagree with?

Duane Rollins said...

I checked: There has been six posts that have used the "There is nothing Golden about Queen's dammit" label this month. And one was an old post Neate brought back to life, so it's really just been five.

I made the satirical post. I followed up with a a straight piece (pretty much necessary when you do a satirical piece).

Tyler posted a link to an Offsides podcast.

Then I did the last two. The first post was actual reporting--many Queen's alum were unaware of the change prior to he '78 reunion. I was reporting their perspective as it was provided to me.

In fairness, today's post could be viewed as a bit self-indulgent. FWIW, I wanted to touch on the journalism factors at play and I didn't think they fit in the post from Friday. So, I made the separate post.

As stated, I doubt this subject will come up again unless there is a further development.

sager said...


By unofficial count, it's at least six since the first I wrote on Aug. 29, where I said my piece, "the choice here was to keep using Golden."

I felt it best to leave up to people to think for themselves. A gut feeling was that it would be 97% to 99% against "de-emphasizing" the Golden or calling the team "Queen's Football Gaels." That's only because I was taking into account the 1-3% margin of error.

I consulted my WWSBD -- What Would Brunt Do? -- bracelet. Last winter, Stephen Brunt opted to decline his ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame because of fellow voters' snubbing of Mark McGwire.

As he put it in a guest post on this very site, he "(d)idn't write about it because I didn't want to appear to be grandstanding ... -- I talked to McCown about it briefly on the show, but then deep sixed the topic for the same reason. To my mind, this is purely personal, not more grist for the mill."

The Baseball Hall of Fame properly reflecting history as it really happened (and electing McGwire), in overall importance, matters more than Gaels/Golden Gaels.

If Stephen Brunt could decide that his silence would be Golden for something like that, then that was a good enough strategy for Neate Sager. For one thing, it was too close to home for me to really have a clear head about, since I basically wanted to go to Queen's from the time I knew there was a Queen's.

Ultimately, though, what I think doesn't amount to much, compared to the consensus opinion among everyone who cares about Queen's in some, way, shape or form.

Duane, you make a strong point that the media has to hold the line.

Jeff makes a strong point too. Sometimes you have to say, "I think I've made my point." You have -- brilliantly.

Duane Rollins said...

Where can you pick up those WWSBD bracelets?

(and I have yet to meet a dead horse that isn't worth beating.) But, as stated, I'm leaving this one alone (until the athletic department tries to quietly change the decision sometime around Christmas, with a 4:45pm press release on a Friday afternoon just prior to the World Junior camp opening).