So when listening to the hype leading up to this week’s Red River Rivalry, I couldn’t help but think that it used to be called something else. There’s whispers of it on the web now, but I could swear that it used to be called the Red River Shootout. Is that right? Pictures and images tell us of this but more and more it’s a rivalry and not a shootout. Did they change it? Why? Well we know why, and it kinda sucks.
It was the Red River Shootout. It had to be. It sounds cooler. Somewhere, somebody decided since a gun was mentioned that kids would kill each other or something silly like that. So instead of maybe education the kids about the dangers of guns, somebody decided to name it a Rivalry and ignore the weapon connotation. Not the best way to tackle a problem in my book. I mean, how often do you hear someone say that the reason they shot someone was because of the title of a football series? Probably the only ones who wanted to use that as an excuse for their actions.
It’s a football game. People still call it the Red River Shootout. Why do they change the name of a tradition for political correctness? It seems weak to me. And the tradition is the real loser here. Yes, the hype will still be big. But it won’t shine as much as it used too. The rivalry, and the tradition of rivalries, mean you stand up and fight and at the end of the day go home and either celebrate or wait until next year. Not to hide away and cower to the name on the other team’s helmet.
But it doesn’t stop there. Remember the Border War? Yes, that’s right, Kansas and Missouri’s Rivalry was called the Border War. Now it’s the Border Showdown. People still call it the Border War around Kansas City. That’s the name. That’s what it stands for. It’s a war out on the field. Not a showdown. Cue up ELO and flash Dancing with the Stars on the screen if you want that. Try to remember it’s a violent sport out there.
But what the Red River Shootout and the Border War doesn’t promote is violence. It’s a sport. People play then come back to fight another day. Most of them do it because it’s fun. Not because they are pushing an agenda or trying to make nice with everyone on the planet. So let hist a memorial to the true names of the rivalries. We’ll talk later on in the year about the Border War. Good luck today for Texas and Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout.