One for the Jocks
“Jock-Gate” is causing quite a stir of late in The Aspen Times newsroom. The rumblings began a few weeks ago when both the publisher and editor started raising questions about the Basalt High School logo that accompanies local sports stories. At first glance the Longhorns symbol seems straightforward enough. But look closer – just not too close – and you’ll see where the discrepancies arise.That doesn’t look like livestock, they say. It looks like a jock. A jockstrap. Now, if our publisher – an avid University of Texas fan – is confused by the Basalt logo, maybe it’s time for a change. I couldn’t agree more. The school has unexpectedly stumbled upon quite an opportunity. Call me crazy – or nuts – but I think calling Basalt’s ball teams the Fighting Jockstraps is a stroke of genius. Students, faculty and athletics supporters, it’s time to rally around your new nickname. (I’m sure senior football player Rory Johnson is already on board.)Word of Basalt’s tight-knit teams with uncanny ball-handling skills will spread across the state. It’ll soon be known as a school that churns out strapping young quarterbacks with elastic arms. And those smothering Jockstraps defenses? Well, that’s enough to make any opponent uncomfortable. I’m sure some complaints and maybe a few jokes will be generated by the prospect of such a change. But did that stop the Hollister Hay Balers or the Lincoln Fighting Zebras in California? Or the Brush Beetdiggers and The Cairo (Ga.) High School Syrupmakers? And what about my personal favorite, Illinois’ Teutopolis Wooden Shoes? Is there anything wrong with being different? Is originality and a sense of humor dead? Did Teutopolis give in to the scrutiny and appease the opposition by renaming itself the Tigers, Bears or Longhorns? No. And who’s laughing now? OK it’s still us, but let it sink in for a moment.I don’t know about you, but I’d pay at least $5 for the chance to see the Fightin’ Jockstraps basketball team square off on the hardwood with the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Oysters. That’d be game of the year. I can see the headline now: “Straps’ D smothers Oysters.”Maybe Basalt could set up a preseason intra-state contest between its ‘Straps and the Lawrence (Kan.) Chesty Lions – they’re just proud, not well-endowed, according to the school’s website. Maybe Basalt’s teams could travel to Indiana for what would be a much-anticipated showdown with the Frankfurt Hot Dogs. I don’t even need a punch line for this one.Let’s be serious for a moment, Basalt. Isn’t this name one in which fans and players alike can rally behind? Don’t you want to see your struggling teams pull themselves up by their jockstraps and continue to fight? I would. And have you ever seen a more versatile mascot? Fans could all wave their jocks in the stands – think the Roaring Fork Valley’s version of Pittsburgh’s famed Terrible Towels. Talk about home-field advantage.And following big goals, touchdowns or dramatic victory, one could launch water balloons into the stands. Yeah, maybe I went too far.All I’m asking, Basalt, is that you think about this change. Maybe it’ll catch on, and will be yet another way to distinguish yourselves and your top-flight institution. I’m certain it will help spark school spirit and pride. And you already have the logo.Just one word of advice: Don’t go crazy with new uniforms.Jon Maletz, aka “The Hammer,” is hoping Rory Johnson’s parents don’t e-mail him. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Aspen’s Cassidy Jarrell was bumped up to the U.S. freeski A team for this coming winter season, which remains in limbo as coronavirus cases rise across the country.