Are some HS Team names inappropriate for FRC teams?

This is a poll question that is a follow up to the discussion in this thread: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=131460

A large percentage of athletic/sports teams are named and logo’d using a symbol that represents a fierce animal/competitor capable of vanquishing its opponent-- Lions, Tigers, Bears, Warriors, etc. Given FIRST’s principles of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition, is the use of such names and logos showing a fierce animal or similar instance contrary to FIRSTs mission?

“GP” means different things to different people.

Different grandmas have different opinions.

What does it mean to you ? Looking for some discussion here.

I think that the name does not reflect the team so it should not matter all that much. I think that the behavior of the team matters more and if they are overly aggressive, then it would not be very gracious at all. i know that gracious professionalism is something we should all follow it closely but this is also a competition and fierce names just sort of come with the sport.

How you embody gracious professionalism as a person, and your attitudes towards your worthy opponents, matters a whole lot more than a name or logo.

But to me, professionalism means that striving to be anything other than your best is unacceptable. Names that reinforce this idea are just fine.

Some (very, very few) high school mascots or nicknames are inappropriate for high schools. Those ones should be avoided. (Redskins, for instance). Otherwise, what’s the problem?

You can practice GP and still have an animal mascot. You absolutely can be GP and embrace competition and victory. You can even still have GP and “vanquish” (in the sense of “defeat thoroughly”) your opponents.

Most FRC teams with this type of name are simply following suit with their school. I find that using the school’s established mascot or a variation on it is a great way to get the rest of the school to treat the robotics team like any other team at the school, and not “those nerds that are always in the shop”. I consider my team’s decision to use a different name (before I was on it) from the school mascot as a mistake.

Regarding the names themselves, there shouldn’t be a problem with a team calling themselves the Bears or the Velociraptors or the Raiders or anything they chose that isn’t intentionally offensive to any group. I’m not going to judge a team based on their name, I’m going to judge them on their actions. I don’t care if they’re called the Fluffy Bunny Friends or the Velociraptor Bears. Also, I don’t think this has anything to do with Gracious Professionalism, which is about doing your best work while being respectful to others, as I understand it.

EDIT: I read the thread you linked at the beginning, and this issue didn’t come up.

The poll choices are somewhat misleading. Lions and Tigers are do not have an inherent meaning to “conquer an opponent.”

They have characteristics that a high school would like to have in their athletics and spirit - to be fierce, and have pride in the school, but nothing that says they have to “conquer their opponents.”

There is nothing wrong with wanting to win the competition. It is NOT somehow ungracious or professional to do your best on the field in order to win.

GP has to do with helping teams do their best on the field. It does not mean that any team should somehow NOT want to win. It also does not mean that a team would somehow sacrifice their own alliance to help another alliance win.

Gracious Professionalism is primarily about what happens OFF the field. On rare occasions it spills over to the field.

If we didn’t want winners we wouldn’t keep score and give trophies for winning.

I guess I don’t understand how any school name (like lions or conquerors or whatever) would have any connotation that would not be GP…

I do think that some school names MIGHT be politically incorrect (as mentioned above “Redskins” is a good example")

Unless your school mascot is something like:

“The selfish whiners who never help anyone and are only here to see themselves do well without regard to other teams…” hmmm not sure what this mascot would look like but I could make a guess…

I think most mascots/names that are in good taste would be fine and fun.

My high school mascot was a Caveman…

I guess if there were still any of them around it might be politically incorrect in these days… (remember the ads a few years back?)

We never thought about clubbing other teams we played against into submission…

I don’t know what part of being GP says we can’t play hard and play to win and have that mentality reflect in a logo or mascot.

Quick little edit:
If you are on my team and you are reading this just cause you play hard doesn’t mean you can’t shake your opponents hand afterwords keep it on the field or it will be addressed

I really don’t believe that most mascot names are in any way inherently ungracious. Our team encompasses three high schools, so we consciously chose to avoid the color scheme and mascot names of any of them. Which was probably necessary, but definitely has also inhibited development of school spirit somewhat. We have been around long enough now that students not on the team generally recognize our black and yellow shirts, but I still get questions about why don’t wear green (Three high schools, three different shades of green) or call ourselves the Shamrocks or Rocks (the other two high schools we represent are the Irish and the Celtics). If we were a single high school team I would have pushed for a Rocks-related name as a way to build team spirit within the broader school community.

GP doesn’t exclude competition. GP is all about healthy competition. So unless lions, tigers, and bears like to kick their opponents when they’re down, it’s probably fine.

There will always be a losers in competitions and in the real world, and that is a valuable lesson to learn. Striving to “beat opponents” is, I think, a very valid motivator in FIRST.
The way I see it we should aim to vanquish and destroy our opponents, but first ensure that those opponents are performing at their best.

There are plenty of FRC teams who have the concept of dominating in their names (“Cockadoodle Dominators,” one of my favorite teams from our regionals, comes to mind.)

Just remember that the way your team acts has a far greater influence on your perception in the FIRST community than any label you place on yourself.

whistles innocently

In 2013 we struggled with the idea of changing our team name to something a bit more tame, but we decided to stick with and not enforce the idea of our team name. We don’t know exactly where the name came from because no one, even our alumni can remember how we got it.

So I think that what truly matters is how your team presents itself. However if you have a name like “my robot is better than yours” you might wanna consider changing that.

As they say, a rose by any other name smells as sweet. If a team chooses to utilize their school’s name/mascot to maintain a close identity with them, it doesn’t reflect on their attitude our actions.

The “C” in FRC is “competition”. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win.

I’m sorry but saying teams shouldn’t have a “fierce animal/competitor capable of vanquishing its opponent” is utterly ridiculous. Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition are about working together not some crazy PC idea.

I don’t think even PC people (like me) give a rip if schools have tigers as mascots.