RIP Cleveland Indians: Brave New Name Will Honor Traffic Pillars on a Crumbling Bridge

The Cleveland Indians announced on Friday that, beginning next season, the team will be called the Cleveland Guardians. Rather than honoring the bravery of Native Americans, the new name will now honor the contributions of a couple of traffic pillars on a crumbling city bridge that spans the infamous Cuyahoga River. I am not making this up.

Yeah, cool history, but it has nothing to do with baseball. And, for what it’s worth, the Hope Memorial Bridge (allegedly named after entertainer Bob Hope) is five miles south of the original Municipal Stadium. So much for historical ties to the team.

In a weird video produced by a bunch of PR hacks and narrated by Tom Hanks, the Indians organization tried to convince fans that the “Indians” part of Cleveland Indians is not important.

The honest-to-goodness truth is that the Indians organization bowed to the pressure of a small minority of woke activists (a 2016 WaPo poll found that 9 in 10 Native Americans weren’t offended by the Redskins’ name) and stuck a thumb in the eyes of loyal Tribe fans, suggesting that anyone who didn’t support changing the name must be a racist.

It was bad enough when they got rid of our beloved Chief Wahoo (the original sign from Cleveland Stadium now sits in a museum with signs lecturing visitors about racism), but now they’ve taken away the last shred of the team’s identity. For years the woke mob insisted that Chief Wahoo had to go because he represented a negative caricature of an Indian. But that wasn’t enough. No amount of appeasing will ever satisfy the White Woke crowd (let’s be honest—these movements are largely driven by guilt-riddled well-to-do white people).

I’ve been a faithful Indians fan since I was old enough to say the word baseball. The radio in our house was tuned to the Indians game anytime the team was playing, and when games were televised, the whole family would park in front of the TV to watch our beloved Tribe. Once or twice a year, we’d pack up our peanuts and head to a nearly empty Cleveland Stadium (the cheap seats) to cheer on the Indians. My dad would buy a program, and I learned to masterfully score a game using the form in the back of the book. We were in attendance during the infamous Ten Cent Beer Night riot—I remember exactly where we were sitting that day and will never forget my dad yanking the binoculars out of my hands when a streaker sprinted across the field, wearing “nuthin’ but a smile.”

Back then—in the ’70s and early ’80s—the team was never in contention for the playoffs. No one expected it to be, yet we loved the team and its players—Rick Manning, Duane Kuiper, Ray Fosse, Graig Nettles, Frank Duffy, “Sudden” Sam McDowell, Oscar Gamble and his glorious ‘fro, Gaylor Perry and his masterful spitter—and faithfully bought their jerseys and coveted their baseball cards and autographs.

None of those sweet memories mattered to the Indians’ front office when they decided to give the team a stupid generic name that, judging by reactions on Twitter, nearly everyone (except the uber-woke mob) hates. They should’ve just gone with a passive-aggressive-sarcastic name like The Cleveland Baseball Team. Or the “ethnically generic” mascot from the fictitious Greendale Community College in “Community.”

Many fans vowed to cancel their season tickets:

This one hurts my heart:

This might explain why they chose Guardians.

My favorite, courtesy of the Daily Wire:

The new logo is an absolute abomination:

It looks like a 12-year-old’s Microsoft Paint project from 1990.

I’ll be honest: The name change depresses me. I’m sad that my grandkids will never know the joy of cheering for the Cleveland Indians—like their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents before them. If they even bother to watch the team, they’ll be cheering for a stupid traffic pillar. I feel the same way I did when Art Modell up and moved the Cleveland Brown to Baltimore in 1995, leaving fans with an empty stadium and the rights to the name. A part of our collective history died that day and the team has never really recovered. “The Move” joined a long and storied line of disappointments for Cleveland fans (there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the topic). But it’s more than just the Indians’ name change. Our history is being erased by a small minority of noisy activists, statue by statue, logo by logo, name by name. They’re using 1984 as an instruction manual to shove our entire history down the Memory Hole. Meanwhile, their fellow travelers are inundating our schools with fake history, heavy on social manipulation and light on education.

I refuse to accept the premise that I’m a racist because I love the Cleveland Indians—the name, the logo, and Chief Wahoo. I will never EVER cheer for the Cleveland Guardians. Instead, I’ll join loyal Tribe fans who will no doubt continue to cheer for the Indians. And we’ll wear our black-market Chief Wahoo gear proudly, celebrating the history of the team and the bravery of our Native American brothers and sisters.

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