Monday, October 12, 2009

Bleeding Tricolour: The "Queen's" are not amused

It's really stunning a daily newspaper would stoop to mocking another university's name in print, especially when the joke is based on a spelling error and evokes an ugly epithet. Take it away, Waterloo Region Record:
"The Gaels are Canadian university football’s version of royalty, though they sure don’t play like Queen’s.

"After ascending the regular-season throne in 2008, the he-man Queen’s University Gaels are still heads of state." (Emphasis mine)
The mature response would be to laugh at someone's idea of humour, fluttering and falling incomplete like one of one of Derek Anderson's passes in the Browns-Bills game on Sunday. It was a bit of groaner. That might be all.

Another way, though, is making fun of a university's name in print is beyond the pale, in poor taste. That kind of humour went out in Grade 10. It comes back to tone and how what's fair is fair. Also, what do you think of when someone says, "a bunch of queens," Not so long ago, "queens" was a derogatory term used to imply someone was gay, a sissy, not a person in full. For instance, back in 1990 when the Wayne Gretzky-era Los Angeles Kings were an extended losing skid, a newspaper columnist there started calling them "Queens." It presumed something effete or feminine deserves ridicule, that "he-man" is superior. It is 2009, long past time to pander to such a mentality.

It's one thing for Guelph to sell "Wuck Festern" t-shirts, for Laurier to wear the "We've Got Big Hawks" t-shirts or Ottawa fans to sport T-shirt reading "Hung Like A..." with the school's horse-silhouette logo. That is fine, between fans, but professional media people are supposed to be refined. Granted, this is coming from someone who once wrote a playful post likening each CIS football team to a Simpsons character, but that was done out of love for Canadian Interuniversity Sport and the people who contribute to its culture.

It was not done to single out and skewer a university and its 150,000 living alumni, especially when that writer isn't doing it with all 22 schools with OUA teams, or teams in other leagues.

The article complimented No. 4 Queen's, although Laval, MontrĂ©al, Saskatchewan, Calgary, Western and Saint Mary's have equal or greater claim on the throne — but that is neither here nor there, as you can see. Perhaps it did not set well since coming from that oracle, it could be a kiss of death. The same paper stated in August, "It says here the football team to beat this year in the 10-team Ontario University Athletic Conference is the Laurier Golden Hawks" and suggested the Ottawa Gee-Gees were pushing their luck by going with a "first-year starting quarterback." You know how that worked out — said first-year starting quarterback Brad Sinopoli has passed and rushed for 900 yards just in the last two games in wins over — wait for it — Guelph and Laurier.

Granted, Sinopoli also plays for a team east of the Golden Horseshoe, so he had it coming, just like that bunch of "Queen's" located in Kingston. Any way you overanalyze it, not cool.

Queen’s Gaels are Ontario football kings (Waterloo Region Record)

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