Mandatory Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports

The Utes Name and Drum and Feather Mascot Have Had Their Time…

Editors Note: I’m working with the nice fellas at Taxi Squad Podcast to discuss all sides of the Utah Logo/Mascot issue.  To read their position, please go here.

Now I know this won’t be popular and heaven knows I’m in a tiny minority on this one, but it is time for the University of Utah to simply move on from this one.  Now before you call me several names and ban my blog forever at least listen, I think that I make a pretty compelling argument.  So take a moment, read my reasons and then call me names and ban my blog.

1.  I’m tired of dealing with the Ute tribe.  It starts with this article by the Salt Lake Tribune claiming that essentially the University hasn’t given them enough money for the use of their sacred symbols.  Either allowing us to put your sacred symbols on panties is right or wrong and no amount of money should change that.  If you know the story about how Swoop came to be, it wasn’t the PC Police, it was the tribe making noise about how much money and how many scholarships they should get.  Then president Arthur Smith took a hard stance about this and thus began the preparations for a logo change.  I’m tired of being held up by the tribe for a mascot and a logo.

2.  The Ute name and Logo don’t have nearly the tradition we act as if they do.  Until the early 1970′s the name of Utes and Redskins were both used to describe our athletic teams.  In fact one of the things that makes me proud of this University is they were one of the first entities in the nation to realize how wrong the name Redskin is.  Frankly they should had done away with any Native-American imagery.  In fact the name of my blog is a bit of a joke about that.  Do any of you know we used to have a little Indian boy mascot named Hoyo?  Utah has no uniform continuity, no single logo we’ve used, so to fight for one of them now seems silly.

3.  Our fans hands are tied creatively.  We have a nickname that we can’t do anything to dress like in the stands.  Well I mean we can and some do, but they look like ignorant racists.

4.  But I think the biggest reason for me is that these mascots come from a time when we didn’t respect the Native-Americans.  Essentially using the Ute name or Indian or anything related came from a place as thinking of them as no better than the animals other schools use for mascots.  And that is a simply reality I can never get past.  I am glad our University has done so much to rid itself of offensive imagery, at the end of the day it still feels wrong.  And like using the Confederate Flag at Ole Miss, it’s a chapter I’d like to see the school turn the page on.

5.  (Note: This is an edition to the original article, but may be the best reason of all)  As long as we have a tribal council that votes on whether we can use the Ute name and what imagery we can use.  And this permission can be revoked at any time.  Any new use of the logo can be objected to, as can old uses.  You can’t run a multi-million dollar business when you don’t control your own branding.  No company in America would put up with this and it’s time we move along as well.

And if there is one thing that you people can spare me, it’s that you want the Ute Mascot because you have so much honor and reverence for this awesome culture.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but you come off sounding like a jackass and most people think you’re lying, which you probably are.

So there you go.  Now you can call me names and quit my blog forever.


Tags: Drum And Feather Football Logo Mascot Pac 12 Utah Utes

  • RaiderUte

    My fear with all of this is that the way the U of U can’t handle basic concepts of promotions and marketing that we’re going to end up with some kind of big, huge yawn (which the Redhawks or Red-tailed Hawks would be) or something that is uber cheesy like the Moose. This is one thing the Athletic Department absolutely, positively cannot screw up and I fear they just might.

    • Hoyos_Revenge

      And you’ve hit a great big nail on the head my friend. This is important to consider as well.

  • UTE1988U

    I see your points. But i think it’d be a huge blow to the U of U if we had to change our logo and name. It’d cost the school millions of dollars and wouldnt sit well with fans. obviously. The drum and feather is just a logo, who does it belong to ? is it patented ??
    No. The Ute tribe cant legally do anything. So they can keep whining. Also the name Ute. Its also a state nickname. Its also a small town in southern Utah.
    Simply put. It would complete bullshit to abonden our name because of some people of about 2,000 are wanting some benefits. Either meet their damn demands, or just screw them and move foward.
    Keeping the Drum and Feather & Ute name. Of course.

    • Hoyos_Revenge

      The last thing on earth we want to do is get into a pissing match with the tribe. It just looks very very bad and the PR hit would cost us more than just changing the logo. IMO at least. It’s why I favor moving on but thanks for reading.

  • UofUman

    You make some valid points, I’ll give you that. The Trib story is just one whiny person, no one actually representing the tribe and bitching so I kind of discount it.

    But I am beginning to see the problem with this stuff going on and on and on…. I love the D & F and being a Ute but you are right when you say no one would stay in a position where their brand is being threatened every year.

    Good piece, you’ve made me begin to question my position on this issue.