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No apologies

The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux dominated the St. Lawrence University Skating Saints in last night’s politically incorrect Ledyard National Bank tourney championship matchup in Hanover. UND prevailed 4-2, courtesy of Ryan Duncan’s third period five-on-three power play goal and his empty net goal as time expired. Congratulations to the Fighting Sioux for their tournament victories over Dartmouth and SLU.
Duncan copped the tournament’s MVP honors, but if you’ve been following this story, you know to whom those honors rightly belonged. They belonged to Dartmouth’s athletic director, the Outlaw Josie Harper, who apologized last month to Dartmouth’s Native American Council for the pain inflicted by the thoughtless invitation she had extended to the Fighting Sioux to participate in the tournament. No person can have been more responsible than she for UND’s outstanding performance in the tournament. Today she ought to be thinking about apologizing to the Dartmouth men’s hockey team for pumping up the Big Green’s first-round opponent.
Looking back on Friday night’s UND-Dartmouth matchup, reader Richard Thiel writes:

I watched the Sioux victory over the team from Hanover which now bears a team nickname consisting of two adjectives evidently in search of a noun. The Big Green “somethings” were defeated even though the Sioux were without three top players who are currently playing in the World Junior Championship tourney in Sweden. The webcast of the game was shown on CN8 as [was last night's] championship game.
The Golden Gophers athletic director recently stated that the University of Minnesota will not schedule the Fighting Sioux in any sport other than hockey because of the nickname. Wow, that’s really taking a stand since they haven’t played any non-hockey game for over 20 years. A cynic might surmise that the Gophers aren’t willing to forego a lucrative full house for hockey which the Sioux game attracts and thus the Gophers administrators (budget watchers) are only slightly or partially offended by the UND nickname.
The Gopher pinheads may also want to take a harsh look at this “hostile and offensive” symbol or the derivation of Ski-U-Mah prominent in the Minnesota Rouser school song. And I’m sure that next on the Gophers’ p.c. agenda will be consideration of a boycott of high school students from Dakota County [hockey country just south of St. Paul] preventing their enrollment at the holier-than-thou University of Minnesota. There is seemingly no end to the amount of work yet to be done by the p.c. review committees.
Following the Dartmouth-Fighting Sioux controversy has been more than amusing and maddening as participants and comments reached as high as the North Dakota Office of the Governor. I thought you might find my letter to Joe Malchow yesterday to be topical…

Joe has posted Thiel’s letter here at Joe’s Dartblog. Reader Kent Dahlberg also takes a look back at Friday night’s UND-Dartmouth matchup:

I did not attend Friday night’s sold-out hockey game in Dartmouth’s Thompson Ice Arena, but I live a half-mile from it. Our neighborhood streets serve as “overflow parking” during particularly big events held in Thompson. What I can confirm is that in 13 years of living in this neighborhood, Friday night was by far the most parked-in I have ever seen our surrounding streets — with lines of cars stretching almost to our home’s location (something that NEVER happens).
Unless a lot of those cars belonged to protesters incensed that Dartmouth allowed the “Fighting Sioux” to play, Friday’s UND vs. Dartmouth game was a blockbuster success in terms of attendance.
There may be a message in the game’s 4-1 outcome for Dartmouth’s PC-sensitivity mongers. If so, I suspect that message will be lost on them. People whose sense of their own moral superiority is premised on projecting concern for the victim status of others are wont to give that up, least of all to those (like the good-spirited UND folks) whose sense of identity is built of healthier stock than cultivated feelings of inferiority, grievance and being perpetually offended.
Cheers, and a blessed New Year to you all.

We know that the crowd Kent Dahlberg observed was not attributable to protestors. Our last look at Friday night’s game comes via a Valley News sidebar on the protest mounted outside Thompson Arena. The protest, I am tempted to say merely to annoy her, was manned by an army of one — Dartmouth senior lecturer in English Shelby Grantham. The Valley News reports that Professor Grantham stood outside the arena holding a sign advising spectators: “American Indians are people not mascots.” Heavy!
Professor Grantham presents us with a case study. Her faculty profile helps explain why the study of literature at Dartmouth has fallen on hard times. Once upon a time, the English faculty boasted such stellar scholars and teachers as James Cox, Peter Bien, Noel Perrin, Richard Eberhart, Jeffrey Hart, Peter Saccio and Alan Gaylord. In the classroom they conveyed a love of literature with brio and humor. Now comes Professor Grantham, whose approach to teaching is long on politics and short on literature:

I teach writing. It’s the second-best way I know to figure things out–such as what to do about racism, how to make non-violence a national priority, why so few students think they can make a difference, what poetry is good for, when and how to resist injustice, ways to share the planet with other species, and what gender has to do with anything. Seeking words to make such questions ring and their answers sing is what my English 5 sections [the required first-year writing course] are about.

Remember: Professor Grantham in on the English faculty at Dartmouth. She teaches writing. Professor Grantham’s ability to think deeply and make those deep thoughts sing is evident not only in her mind-numbing profile and in the Dartmouth Review’s compilation of her deep thoughts, but also in the sign she thoughtfully exhibited for all to see outside Friday night’s game.

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