There has been an avalanche of very emotional letters over the last few months regarding the proposed mascot change at Napa High School.
There is one group that has not, to the best of my knowledge, weighed in, and which, I believe, may have some insight to offer. That group is made up of Stanford University graduates prior to 1973, and students from Sonoma State University who graduated before 2003.
In 1972, Stanford University changed their mascot from the “Indians” to ”Cardinal” (the color, not the bird or the prelate). Sonoma State abandoned the “Cossacks” in 2002 and, in a nod to Jack London, became the “Seawolves.”
What I am wondering is whether those graduates feel as if some intangible thing had been taken from them. Did their memories of their college years lose any luster? Are they less enthusiastic alumni now than they might have been?
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I am looking forward to some responses from those of you who did undergo a mascot change, and your reflection on how, or if, it affected them.
By the way, driving by the district headquarters the other day, I noticed “Napa Union High School” etched along the roofline. If the mascot were to be changed, wouldn’t “Napa Union” be a good replacement? It a touches on the school’s and the community's history, and has a kind of a “European Football Club” sound to it.