Naming Smokies mascot, a worthwhile enterprise

It may seem trivial, but naming the new Smokie mascot is an important task.

There is something up that all Home of Champions residents should become involved with.

It may seem trivial, but naming the new Smoke Eater mascot is an important task for the community.

Just the right moniker can make the mascot a positive contributor to community cohesion, and we honestly need that to improve here.

If you spend much time with area residents, and I do, sports and non-sports types alike, you will know that it does not take much to set people grumbling. Many felt that honouring the ‘61 Smoke Eaters and their nationally significant signature achievement was overdone, and grumbled about it. Many feel that some ethnic groups are promoted over others, and grumble about it. I feel like not having the 44 Smokie juniors on the monument downtown, and having some of the names that are on it, is a travesty, and I grumble about it.

Many (okay, almost everybody) think that the downtown will not thrive unless parking improves, a lot, and grumble. Once this is submitted to the Times I need to get a few things done downtown, but there is a labour event there and if I am not much earlier than usual I will, because of issues with walking long distances on concrete, simply be unable to do those things.

Not to overly push the, “politically correct,” narrative, but this is an issue that needs that kind of care. The name should reflect Trail, its history and the pride of its citizens, but cannot be overtly ethnic or have negative connotations – at least as much as that is possible.

So, everybody, go to the Facebook page, or the Smoke Eaters’ web page, and contribute a suggestion or two. Because of the heritage and future of the team, the mascot will have a strong profile as an area representative. The new owners are cool, energetic and civil, but not yet as experienced with the should-be-minor issues around the area, and need assistance, guidance even, from people with true community pride.

So far, the worst suggestion is akin to the, “Boaty McBoatface,” of recent lore. Among the best is, “Smokie Joe.” Go come up with your own – it isn’t as easy as all that given our diverse population and complex history. Then support, based on the values of clear association and community pride, a name you can be proud to live with for a very long time.

Given my understanding of the community, and my greatest source of pride in it, I would love something that expresses a sentiment like, “Voluntary Joe (or Jane),” although I know that is a bit of a garbled mouthful. Attaching the name to the single greatest reason this is a strong community – and the Smoke Eaters are a longstanding, distinguished part of our lore and future – should be a labour of love.

Perhaps our creative community, of which we are also understandably proud, can weigh in. Believe it or not, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to positively impact perceptions of this area, for residents and outsiders alike.

It is not a trivial enterprise. Get on it, with serious intent.