• Purdue Northwest Mascot Mania

    The merger between Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central is getting closer. A lot of questions remain, but fortunately, we may soon learn the answer to one of the most pressing: what will be the new name of the new Purdue University Northwest sports teams?

    You can even have a say in the matter. A survey is open until Tuesday evening on which visitors can rate twelve possible name choices.

    My thoughts on a few of the names put forth:

    • Bobcats: There was once an NBA team called the Bobcats. As I recall, they were so bad they changed their name just to be rid of the losing aura. So why would anyone want to change their name to one with such a stigma?
    • Force: Generally, I’m not a fan of singular intangible teams names like the Miami Heat or the Minnesota Wild (or a few other choices on the survey), if only because they make for grammatical nightmares when writing about them. But this one has some potential. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking Star Wars, and if the school embraces that connection, homes games could adopt spacey science fiction promotions and entertainment that could be fun. Maybe they can even set up an official Star Wars Day like many minor league baseball teams.
    • Golden Phoenix: There’s a Chinese Restaurant in Schererville called Golden Phoenix. So, possible sponsorship deal?
    • Steelheads: I understand that this is meant to honor the area’s steelmaking heritage, but considering all the bad news in the local steel industry lately, this one seems a little ill-timed.
    • Duneblazers: Probably the best of the group, although honestly, none of the new names really stand out.

    I know it’s late in the game, but here are a few other name possibilities for Purdue Northwest's consideration:

    • Griffins: The part-eagle, part-lion mythological creature, and one of the possible names kicked around when Purdue Cal considered a new mascot when I was a student. Since Purdue Cal’s mascot is the Peregrine (another majestic bird) and Purdue North Central’s is the Panther (another big cat), Griffins actually makes sense as a something close to a combination of the two that honors both their individual legacies.
    • Fremen: If they want a Dune theme, the best name from Frank Herbert's sci-fi series would be that of the nomadic warriors the Fremen. I can also imagine the new mascot of Stevie the Sandworm entertaining kids in the stands...oh, wait, they mean the Dunes here in Indiana! Never mind!
    • The Purdue Northwest Lower Taxes Lower Gas Prices Fireworks Spectacular: A celebration of everything in the Region that attracts Illinois residents across the state line (obviously they’ll leave out alcohol and tobacco).