Wait! Before You Choose, Paw Paw, What About These Nicknames?
A published report says the Paw Paw Board of Education is getting closer to choosing a new nickname for the high school's athletic teams. After a long and bitter fight, the decision has been made to replace "Redskins" as the school's nickname and mascot.
A student task force, along with input from community, alumni and employees came up a list of ten semi-finalists, which then was whittled down to three in an online vote. Those three are Lions, Wolves, and Phoenix. What's interesting is although one of the original criteria for a new name was to have something unique, two of the three finalists are the same or similar to the NFL team in Detroit and the college in Ann Arbor. A final decision is expected by July, so artwork and branding can be designed ahead of the next school year.
But, with all due respect, before anything is set in stone, maybe some more options could be considered.
One obvious candidate should be the Paw Paw, the city's banana-like namesake fruit. The Paw Paw Paw Paws would be unique and attention-getting, though maybe we skip that one as that would hard to fit across a jersey, and it's maybe a tad too close, stylistically, to the Philadelphia Phillies. In that case, here's another take on the paw paw fruit. The paw paw is also known as the Custard Apple. Imagine the public address announcer welcoming to the field, the Paw Paw Custard Apples. It wouldn't be much of a logo, but what a conversation starter when talking about the name.
Here's another logical choice. The most famous athlete to come out of Paw Paw is "Ol' Paw Paw", Charlie Maxwell. The Maxwell was also one of the first automobiles. The Paw Paw Maxwells. What a cool logo that would be.
Having lived in Illinois, an apple-related nickname isn't so strange. In southern Illinois, in the heart of apple growing country, there's the town of Cobden, where the nickname is the Appleknockers. (Farmhand used long sticks to knock apples off the tree in the picking process)
Don't like apples? Near Danville, is Hoopeston, where the nickname is Cornjerkers. Again, agriculture related can't or shouldn't offend anyone. And who doesn't like a cute bunny. The Fisher, Illinois Bunnies' nickname comes from the good luck charm, the rabbit's foot. But that could offend animal rights people.
A warning, don't get too creative. Over a hundred years ago, in Yuma, Arizona, a group of students had to use a former prison to hold classes, thus the team became the Yuma Criminals.
A co-worker suggested the City of Poca in Virginia's school nickname is the Dots, which, wouldn't transfer to here, but does make the case for Custard Apples even stronger.
So, please, before a final decison is made and a lot of money is spent on logos and art work, you know in your hearts it should be Custard Apples.