Prairie Hawks out, Spirit alive in UND nickname race

The University of North Dakota Snow Leopards.


Your …. UND … Prairie Hawks.


Oh, hey. I’m just testing out new nicknames for the University of North Dakota to replace the nickname that must not be mentioned.

Snow Leopards, Prairie Hawks, Wooly Mammoths, Green Pride, didn’t make the latest cut, the Grand Forks Herald reports today.

Here are the finalists and our rating.

Blaze – No. Please no. Too many headline puns. “Gophers douse Blaze.”
Cavalry – “Gophers ambush Cavalry.” No.
Explorers – “Explorers seem lost in loss to Gophers”
Fighting Green – “Fighting Green is people!” We like this.
Fighting Hawks – More puns.
Force – The committee got rid of other nicknames relating to the aerospace community. You can’t fool us, Force fans.
Green Hawks – There’s no such thing as a Green hawk.
Nodaks – The UND Nodaks. Hey, Vancouver has its Canucks.
North Dakota – To the person who suggested this: Who hurt you?
North Stars – Seriously, now you’re stealing Minnesota history? Get your own, Nodaks.
Pride – Show me the team colors, then we’ll talk.
Roughriders – There’s not even a hill in North Dakota.
Spirit – You can’t see it, you just know it’s there. This should be a challenge to coming up with a mascot. Maybe they don’t physically have one but insist it’s there anyway.
Sundogs – The thing that happens with the sun on cold winter days? Why don’t we just call them the UND Temperature Inversions?
Thunder Hawks – That almost sounds like a reference to the nickname UND got rid of. We’ll give it the inside track.

Let’s hope we can immediately eliminate all singular nicknames so that we don’t have the noun/verb problem we have with the Minnesota Wild.

UND professor and committee member John Bridewell spearheaded the conversation about eliminating many of the names associated with the aerospace industry and UND’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

“We have an outstanding medical school, but I don’t see doctors on the list,” he said. “We’re looking for a long-term endeavor here.”

All of those nicknames were subsequently eliminated, along with anything to do with “Bombers,” because it had a similar connotation.

“Flickertails,” the nickname the school used prior to adopting the Fighting Sioux name in the 1930s, was eliminated after UND student and committee member Landon Bahl said he had been told by many people they hated that idea.

Some names that were similar were considered in bulk by the committee. “Force,” was moved forward for consideration while “Arctic Force,” Force of the North” and “North Force” were eliminated.