Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Houston 1836 Name Deemed "Offensive"

Houston has a Major League Soccer franchise. The team used an internet poll to select the new name, and fans selected 1836, which was the year in which the city of Houston was founded. In European soccer leagues, incorporating years into team names is quite common, so this name seemed to have appeal due to it's distinctiveness and similarity to big time soccer in Europe.

Unfortunately, some Mexicans (apparently these folks wouldn't want to be considered Mexican Americans) don't seem to like the name. They're offended because 1836 was also the year that the battle of the Alamo was fought. It was the year that Sam Houston's troops defeated Santa Anna (just outside Houston), and the year Texas declared their independence from Mexico.

Fast forward 170 years (yes, 170 years), and some Mexicans seem to still be bitter. Some say the name signals a "lack of respect". Others say they won't go to games if the team is named 1836. In a recent Times interview, Tacho Mindiola, director of the Center for Mexican-American Studies at the University of Houston stated "It's unfortunate because sport is an integrating mechanism in society, and unintentionally or not this is a blunder. Do they think we're going to wear a T-shirt with the year 1836 on it?"

Yes Tacho, I do. It suspect sane Mexicans aren't carrying a 170 year old grudge. If he has such a disdain for the United States of America and our history, then he certainly has other options regarding his place of residence. How anybody could reach the conclusion that it's insensitive or inappropriate to recognize US victories in the USA is beyond me.

Am I some insensitive racist? Well consider the city of Philadelphia for a second. Their basketball team name is the 76'ers, after our declaration of independence from England in 1776. Do you see any Brits crying over that name? Do we have to listen to Americans of British descent cry about our July 4th celebrations? Of course not, because they're not hyper-sensitive morons accustomed to racial coddling.

Unfortunately, the word today is that the Houston franchise will change the name. Once again, Americans adapt to please a few outspoken immigrants. Something is backwards in all this.

No comments: