"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Gold killed...the power of today's communications

Seven days ago Marquette thrust a new nickname on to its sports teams - now it is dead. Seven days. A mere 168 hours. Welcome to the power of the "new media". It took Pajama Warriors (bloggers) a day to kill the CBS story on the National Guard and George Bush. It took MU's alumni, fans, students to overturn what just a few days ago was "It's GOLD! PERIOD!" statement from the Board of Trustees.

The age of emails, bloggers, talk radio, instant polls is here and here to stay. Is it not ironic that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial applauded the decision of GOLD...they are old media. The heat to change GOLD, however, came from new media and new communications mediums. Without it, this never would have happened. Instantly thousands of alumni were able to communicate and provide feedback directly to the decision makers.

Power to the fans.


The artistic talents of Will Kelly



Anonymous said...

The power of communications worked once. Maybe it's time to exercise it again and contact the one group of people preventing Marquette from going back to Warriors- the Great Lakes Intertribal Council. Support for the Warrior name from that organization would send a strong message. Their support would tell not only the Marquette community, but the population at large, that the GLITC believe the vast majority of people in this country (not to mention the MU community specifically) are not mindless, racist idiots, incapable of disassociating a team name with negative stereotypes.

The current objections of one or more representatives from the GLITC on this issue may end up casting undue resentment on the entire organizaton, their members and their business interests.

If the Potawatomis stepped up and came out in support of the return to the Warrior name, how could that impact their operations in the Menomonee Valley? Would the Marquette community embrace them and go out of their way to patronize their business? Would alumni planning return trips to the area look to book rooms at a Potawatomi hotel located close to the campus?

The Ho-Chunk Nation is currently in a very perilous situation financially. Coming out in support of the return to Warriors would be a positive PR move on their part and might help ward off public criticism if they do end up having to file for bankruptcy.

What about the Oneida, the other member of Wisconsin's "Big 3" tribes? Would they join the Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk in this gesture of goodwill towards Marquette and their supporters or do they risk alienating potential customers by remaining silent on the issue or coming out against it?

As long as even one representative from one tribe voices an objection, MU would have difficulty going back to Warriors. Should one voice carry that much weight? While other tribes may not object, their silence on the issue only serves to amplify those that do object. With the support of even one or two of these tribes, Marquette would surely be able to feel comfortable and confident in returning to the Warrior name. If the smaller tribes in the GLITC still object, their true motivation and feelings about the Marquette community will be clear at that point.

Just as access to the MU Board of Trustess is just an e-mail away, so is access to the the GLITC. Tell them what their support of the Warrior name would mean to you-


Anonymous said...

One would think by giving the "undue resentment" sentence it's own paragraph early in the comment that a reader would understand this person is clearing not advocating backlash towards tribal interests because of the Warrior issue. Then again, we're dealing with an issue where people on both sides seem to want to voice their own opinion, but have no interest in giving any serious consideration to alternatives to their position, even if a mutually beneficial alternative could be made available.

A partnership between the GLITC and Marquette regarding the appropriate use of the Warrior name could have a far-reaching impact on the entire nation. It may not lead to the Washington Redskins changing their name, but it could create a blueprint for other institutions and tribes to follow when attempting to reach a compromise that allows a school to maintain it's traditional identity without trampling on anyone's dignity.

The fact of the matter is, gaming compacts are being contested and millions of dollars in payments to the state are being withheld. The Potawatomis and Menominees are busy slinging commissioned reports at each other, while Illinois kicks around the idea of dropping another casino just south of the border, which could send both of those operations into a tailspin. Add in the possibility that one of the biggest tribes in the state may file for bankruptcy and the financial viability of every other tribe is now brought into question.

Whether they intended to or not, MU and their board of trustees passed the buck to the GLITC when they cited their objections as a primary (but not the only) factor for not returning to the Warriors. Will some of the Warrior faithful interpret this as a reason to avoid patronizing GLITC businesses? Probably. Would the actions of those individuals have any significant economic impact? Probably not.

Given the current climate, can anyone really claim that supporting the appropriate use of Warrior for MU would be a bad PR move for the GLITC?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Reading those two previous comments raises a lot of questions for me. Who are those people and what connection do they have to the university? Are they just one person? Why are they anonymous? (Why am I?) :)

Why did they post those comments here? Are comments posted here just visible enough, but not too visible?

Should I add another conspiracy theory to the mix? Was the announcement of the 28 million dollar donation really timed to ward off criticism that donations would go down if the name didn't go back to Warriors? Was the announcement timed because it had to be, because the donor didn't care what the new nickname was going to be, but did want the board to publically promise the Warrior name was not going to be an option? Is that why Fr. Wild and the board members who had previously supported returning to the Warrior were now in agreement that it was not a viable option?