Mute the Malicious Mantra
'Sioux Suck' chant is tasteless and dated
Published: Monday, October 21, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 14:10
The yellow-clad crowd’s roar grows to a swell of sound as the Bison offense pushes across the first-down marker. An ocean of right arms extend to the heavens, pointer fingers fully pointed, shoulders and wrists rotating arms and hands in a counter-clockwise motion. Dan Michael bellows the chorus of a successful Saturday afternoon:
“That’s another Bison…”
“Firrrsssttt down! Oooohh move those chains!” replies the crowd. Immediately after, however, an echo of sorts blows through the student section, as a selection of them yell:
“Sioux suck shit!”
Let it be known that my name is Benjamin Norman and not Benedict Arnold. I am not a sympathizer for those six toed sloths from up north; my heart (and life earnings) belong/s to NDSU.
I realize detractors will write this off as a foolish opinion by some little, incompetent freshman who has a different pronunciation for Askanase Hall every time he says it, but if you yearn for my credibility, let us put it on the table: I have perspired liters of sweat out on the fields (for marching band, obviously—the term “athletic journalist” is an oxymoron) for NDSU.
Oreo pudding and cheesecake and caramel fro-yo from the dining centers have solely contributed to my 15-pound weight gain (and that is only with a five-day meal plan—I would be sitting at the freshman fifty if I had seven-day access.)
If I had the option, I would dye my blood color to green and yellow so I could bleed my school’s colors (and thoroughly freak out the folks at United Blood.) Lastly, I am generously gifting the University somewhere around $15,000 dollars a year (not for my education), but because I love the Bison. But I don’t love the chant.
I understand tradition, and I am not calling for a full eradication of all the slightly offensive cheers and chants proclaimed at the Fargodome. I myself sing along to “Go Back to the Woods” and “On the Plains.” A little ribbing here and there is good for a rivalry, especially a rivalry that is as dead as NDSU/UND. But we need to remain classy; and frankly, this blatant cussing is trashy. Ron Burgundy would be disappointed, Fargo.
Mr. Burgundy and I undoubtedly recognize the lure of “Sioux suck shit”—rarely does a chant so eloquently blend alliteration and folklore so effectively in three syllables, but the chant must be silenced.
Why? Well for starters, the UND mascot ceases to exist. Much like Jimmy Hoffa, the Sioux nickname has vanished into merely a memory; its name lost to the great beyond. Yes, you can still find black-market Sioux apparel, but you can also find kidneys on that same market. And black market kidneys are not morally acceptable (at least down here in Fargo).
Do not turn to alternatives to fill this chant’s place, either, Bison fans; they are never as good. “Sioux suck poo,” for example, might have a softened approach to the situation (and a catchy rhyme,) but then a dirtied mind might open a whole other can of worms and childhoods could theoretically be ruined. Finding a sequel will unquestionably lead to disappointment, just ask Hollywood.
“Well what are we to do?!” cry the silenced. I can think of two options: The first is to say nothing. This is a difficult proposition, I realize, so the second option might be your route: Join the band in being loud and proactive.
The Gold Star Marching Band has come to the collective conclusion that we do not want to portray our college as a bunch of imps with sailor mouths that are heard by TV stations and innocent children. So, as thought up by our Jesus-haired maestro Dr. Sigurd Johnson, the band shall shout “Go Big Green!” after the normal cadence.
There you have it—slight alliteration, three syllables and most importantly, something you would be comfortable to shout at your deaf grandmother.
Now I realize that we are all rebellious college students, and we enjoy our freedom of speech. But as young adults, we need to take responsibility for our words. The next time you are inclined to yell “Sioux suck shit,” imagine yelling it with a Native American within earshot. If that does not bother you (perhaps you should see a doctor and find out what happened to your soul), proceed to imagine your own future child nearby. If you feel uncomfortable now, congratulations: you have standards.
This opinion will not silence all the perpetrators, for most of them are probably are illiterate, but if we can pack Frisco with fans, corral College GameDay to North Dakota and survive last week’s monsoons, we can shut our mouths.
Benjamin Norman is a freshman studying journalism. Follow him on the Twitter @benjammminmn, if you are into that stuff.