As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Marquette Area Public Schools dropped the old “Redmen” nickname, and the board’s looking for suggestions on a new one.
If you wanna offer your choice, you can go to this website. The deadline is Friday, and you can join thousands of people who’ve made a suggestion so far.
I’ll tell you mine in a bit. But if you’d like to make one, let me fill you in on some dos and don’ts. Remember, they’re looking for names that reflect Marquette and ones that don’t exclude or marginalize any groups of people.
You do want to suggest a nickname that make you think of Marquette, which means one that might involve the Lake, the parks, the hills, the arts, or perhaps the most famous structure in the city, with a name like The Ore Docks, The Ore Ducks, The Dockers, The Freighters, The Sailors, or– if you were alive before the turn of the 21st century– the Trestles.
You probably don’t want to give a suggestion that’s on the snarky side, despite the fact that that’s what you do on the Internet. Even though they technically do reflect Marquette these days, I’m pretty sure the school board won’t approve nicknames like The Roundabouts, The Air BnBs, The Condos, The Brew Pubs, The Prisoners, The Dispensaries, or The Internet Trolls.
It’s a hard choice. Not only does the nickname have to be uniquely Marquette, but it should also be one that unites a community that’s developed firm lines on both sides of the issue. That’s why I’d like to suggest a nickname that hearkens back to an incident that brought everyone in the city together 155 years ago.
My suggestion? The Marquette Fire.
After the city burned in 1868, the community came together to lift Marquette from the ashes and rebuild it into the city we know and love.
It would be nice if a new nickname could bring everyone together like that. I don’t know if it can, but it would be a great first step.
So, if you have a nickname suggestion, like the Marquette Fire, let the board know by Friday.
But just remember–I’m pretty sure someone will have already suggested The Marquette Roundabouts.
I’m Jim Koski, and that’s another slice of “Life in the 906.”