Friday, April 11, 2014

On the Spring Game and Who is Listening

The response from fans, students, alumni, and former athletes about the current logo situation has been huge.  To put it mildly. The blacklash against their force-fed design is in every nook and cranny of the Nole-ified interweb.  However, nobody was going to stop Athletics from rolling out their redesign by the Spring Game. They made it pretty clear they were going to marry this thing because, let's face it, they already paid for the wedding.  Their plan is clearly to wait this out, hoping we will eventually feel that this machine is too big to stop. I got mad and made my own alternative logo redesign (thank you for your responses, by the way), but it didn't feel like enough. What else could I do and what could I tell others who asked to help? 

The real question became how to express my distaste for the new logo at this weekend's Spring Game without looking like a total jerk.  It would feel weird to boo my University, but the alternative didn't sound much better: silently seething, gritting my teeth and thinking "if you could read my mind you would know I am, like, so mad at you right now."  I felt like I'd just end up walking around confused, smiling with my eyes and grimacing with my mouth, wondering what to do with my arms.

Then, through a conversation with someone about my last blog post, I learned some of the story behind this redesign. Let's just say it's kind of the worst, and it made me realize that I have to react in a public way.

Let's revisit that pesky Athletics statement from last Thursday:
"It is very important for you to know that the refinement we are making to our Seminole Head logo has been under development  for almost two years and that the Seminole Tribe of Florida along with groups representing our student-athletes, coaches, Boosters and university administration were consulted during the process."
Someone with EXTREMELY close ties to the Seminole Tribe of Florida spoke of the situation to me where the words "approval" and "consulted" as used by the University are not exactly...exact.  In fact, Athletics is the only one of the groups listed who has given an official response that I know of.  With that much ambiguity as to what these other groups, like the Seminole Tribe, actually feel about the logo change, there is a real possibility that representatives are waiting for a reaction-- a sustained reaction-- from alumni and fans.

FSU Athletics' definition of "subtle": now with burning
Our Athletic Department has shown us that they don't much care about the public's reaction or our tradition.  For God's sake, they burned our logo in their Ignition Tradition trailer.  But there are still players with a vested interest in this University who are listening.  It is very possible that representatives of the Tribe will be in attendance at the Spring game evaluating fan response.  They could want to know what we think. The Seminole Tribe could want to know what we think.  So, let them know (respectfully, of course). E-mails are a great start, but I now make sure I send them to places other than the official Athletics dump-box.  And at this game, an en masse reaction on social media, an impromptu protest...anything...just might get some important folks to take this back to the table.  Some folks might say this is cutting off our nose to spite our face, but have you seen that face?  Noseless might be an improvement.

A great place to start would be the Rally to save the Chief going on at 1pm Saturday at the Unconquered statue. [EDIT 9:56 AM: I've been told there is also a protest of Ignition Tradition tonight at 6:30pm in Kleman Plaza, downtown Tallahassee] Snap a picture of your gameday gear and tweet to #KeepThisChief or #FSULogoRebellionSign the growing petition at which, as of right now, has nearly 15,000 signatures. Listen to Macklemore or Twisted Sister or even Miley Cyrus on repeat if that's what gets you going. 

Important people are listening to our outcry. Very. Important. People.  So at the Spring Game on Saturday, express your discontent in whatever way you want: visually, vocally, interpretive dance...whatever. But DO IT BIG. Because our voices and our actions are being heard.

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