USC’s mascot, Traveler, has come under scrutiny for having ties to Robert E. Lee. Is it time to change its name? I have some suggestions.
Disclaimer: Anything written here or by me in the future should not be taken seriously. It is all satire. USC football needed more lighthearted and humorous coverage of their team so I decided to take it upon myself (despite no one asking).
What do Milkshake Duck and USC’s mascot Traveler have in common? Turns out, a lot.
For those unaware, Know Your Meme defines Milkshake Duck
Wikipedia describes Milkshake Duck as something that “describes phenomena that are initially perceived as positive, only to soon after be revealed as deeply flawed.”
*5 seconds later*
In a recent Los Angeles Times article, the USC Black Student Assembly pointed out that Traveler has ties to confederate general Robert E. Lee, whose horse was named Traveller.
From the article
"“She (Pat Saukko DeBernardi, Richard Saukko’s widow) noted that the name of Lee’s well-known horse included an extra “l” and, besides, Traveler was already named when her late husband purchased him for $5,000 in 1958, half the asking price. The horse was a fixture in movies like “Snowfire” and “The Ballad of a Gunfighter.”"
But the connection to Robert E. Lee’s horse is there, as evidenced in Richard Saukko’s obituary:
"“Saukko’s first horse was half Arabian, half Tennessee walker and was named Traveler I, after the horse of Civil War general Robert E. Lee”"
That didn’t happen.
Even a matter as small as changing the name of an animal has created a lot of anger and outrage. In an interview with Pardon My Take, Brent Musberger said he wouldn’t cast his Heisman vote for Sam Darnold if they changed the name of the horse. It didn’t seem like he was kidding.
Traveler* *Not Affiliated With Robert E. Lee – If USC just lets people know that the horse has no affiliation off the bat, they can prevent any future outrage. Get in front of the story, so to speak.
The Horse Formerly Known As Traveler – If this name doesn’t stick, you can pull another page out of Prince’s playbook and change the name to a symbol.
*Horse Emoji* – Speaking of symbols, what better way to embrace the 21st century than to change the name of your mascot to an emoji. Now the mascot just needs its own Snapchat filter.
Snowflake – A compromise between both sides. One side gets the name changed, and the other gets to change it to a term that is intended on insulting people who show empathy and concern for individuals other than themselves. Win, win.
Cincinnati – The name of Ulysses S. Grant’s horse. As we are having all these discussions about confederate monuments, why don’t we start putting up more stuff honoring the Union? There’s so much talk about Robert E. Lee in the past month, I completely forgot about the people who actually won the Civil War.
Big Sebastian – An homage to the miniature horse that had a several episode stint on “Parks and Recreation”. The horses look nothing alike, and the show about a small town in Indiana has no affiliation to USC in any way; but, at least, it wouldn’t have connections to a confederate general, so a bit of an improvement there.
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