Laughing Matters, Opinion

Subject: Guide to #ChangeTheName

Re: Next steps regarding the name / Étapes à venir dans le dossier relatif au nom

Dear McGill,

I hope this email finds you well, and thanks for the snow day!

I got your email, but it left me a little confused. It’s about time you noticed that no one likes the men’s varsity team name! But, what is taking you so long to finalize your decision?

Don’t worry too much about appeasing the donors regarding the name change —I know some people who opted out of their SSMU Library Fund fees that might be able to lend you a couple of bucks. Don’t be embarrassed, McGill. It is not like we haven’t come to expect this kind of thing from you. Here are some guidelines for how you can ensure that the name change plays out in everyone’s best interest:

Feelings matter

Now, this one might seem a little rudimentary, but you haven’t quite mastered it yet. When choosing the new name, do your best not to oppress marginalized people. Otherwise, students will rightfully fight back voraciously by putting up even more stickers in bathroom stalls expressing their discontent. Try something inclusive and compassionate, like the ‘Lovebirds’ or the ‘Warm-hearted Winners.’

Choose an animal that exhibits McGill pride

Martlets are cool birds and everything, but blobfish don’t get enough attention. With a name like the ‘Blob Men,’ competitors will definitely know we mean business. Ever heard of someone fighting a blobfish? That’s because no one would dare to.

Don’t threaten fragile masculinity

Martlets are female birds! You can’t expect the men’s varsity teams to adopt the name of an animal that is inherently feminine. The men’s teams need an animal that will show their competitors how strong they are! Names like ‘Hippopota-men,’ ‘Sala-men-ders,’ or even ‘Burly Boys’ will remind our athletes that they are super strong and manly.

No longer than two syllables and one vowel

Don’t forget to consider the most important actors in this equation: Fans (and their wallets). After a couple of beers at Molson Stadium, drunk spectators won’t be able to pronounce, let alone cheer, for a team with a complicated name. A new name will be hard enough to remember as it is. Don’t ruin the men’s varsity teams’ reputation with a convoluted name; choose something simple like the ‘Birds’ or the ‘Men.’

It’s not too late to undo the damage of the men’s varsity team name. Good luck with the brainstorming; I can’t wait to see what you come up with! If you have any questions or need more advice, feel free to ask literally anyone born after 1997.


Makena Anderson

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