Several years ago, the University of North Dakota was compelled by NCAA sanctions to drop its longtime nickname, the Fighting Sioux, over claims it was offensive to American Indians. Since then, the school has been searching for a new nickname.
So throughout the month of April, the school solicited suggestions for possible nicknames. Now, the school has released not only a PDF of all the proposed nicknames under consideration, but also an even longer list of all the nicknames not under consideration– and the rationales provided for them.
Here are the suggested nicknames we believe are the most, ahem, inspired:
1. The UNDertakers
One of many, many pun names inspired by the school’s UND abbreviation. Other suggestions that made the “under consideration” list include the UNDeniables and the UNDaunted. Those that went into the scrap heap include the UNDies and the UNDefrost.
This name targets the neighboring Minnesota Golden Gophers, as Carl Spackler of Caddyshack fame is the “the most lethal gopher hunter in history.” This actually made it onto the “under consideration” list.
3. Bush Did 9/11
This suggestion was put forward by two people, who both realized that opponents would tremble in their boots at the prospect of facing the fearsome North Dakota Bush Did 9/11s.
4. The Fighting Sue
As one of the many, many submitters points out, this is actually the perfect nickname for North Dakota to adopt going forward. “‘The Fighting Sue’ would be 100 percent recognizable to fans, non-offensive to all indigenous people, 100 percent unique to UND and even gender neutral.” Can’t argue with that logic. It’s not clear why administrators rejected it out of hand.
This nickname, which is still being considered, would honor North Dakota’s “official American folk dance.” It would also inspire terror from any rivals forced to square dance in middle school P.E.
This German name for “air force” wouldn’t just reflect the German heritage shared by over 40 percent of North Dakotans, but would also honor the memory of Ralph Engelstad, one of the college’s most generous patrons and a notorious Nazi fetishist who hosted lavish parties on Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
7. Mintberry Crunch
“Salutes original official school colors of green and pink. Unique. Powerful, yet fresh. Unique.” Alas, consigned to the reject pile.
8. Washington Redskins
Hey, at least it’s less controversial than “Fighting Sioux,” apparently, but still too offensive for the official consideration list.
9. Spectacular Spuds
This reference to the Red River’s potato farmers is still in play, and would pair well with the state’s already-existing Potato Bowl.
10. Abdominal Snowmen
Despite a gruesome misspelling that suggests a yeti getting indigestion after eating too many burritos on Cinco de Mayo, this nickname remains on the “under consideration” list.
11. 7th Cavalry
Unbelievably enough, this entry actually hasn’t been rejected, even though it represents the unit that carried out the Wounded Knee Massacre and was annihilated at Little Bighorn. It made it to the list of nicknames under consideration.
12. The Xpress
This nickname, which is still under consideration, would reference the important role railroads played in the settlement of North Dakota. It would also reinforce the belief that North Dakota hasn’t escaped the early 2000s and its embarrassing fad of intentionally misspelling team names.
13. The Inquisition
Admittedly, a name nobody would expect, including UND administrators, who are still considering it.
By adopting this nickname, fans would still be able to use their old game cheers. “SUE! SUE! SUE!”
15. Tom Hanks
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