Maybe that’s how Denis Savard should have said it, but I guess it’s what he said that is important.
“Commit to the Indian” was the quote that got everybody worked up this week, and obviously some fans have really taken to the idea.
Still, some people have been anything but excited by Savard’s frank comments and desire for team unity, and the shirt above is no longer purchasable. (Probably copyright reasons, but still…)
Of course to some this comes down to a race issue, but I really feel like those that make it such are missing the point of what Savard said. He is the coach of a struggling team that has loads of young talent. As witness to a similar problem at times in Buffalo, you cannot help but sympathize with his call for commitment.
Take out the “Indian” and replace it with “crest” or “team” and you have the rallying call of the season. Play for the logo on the front, not the name on the back. It’s what every coach and fan wants to see out of their players, a dedication to a team effort without regard for personal results.
There are still many issues with race in this country, especially with sports teams. The Washington Redskins name itself is a slur to many, and Cleveland Indians fans wear red face to playoff games. Still, the Blackhawk is arguably one of the most noble of these logos, and far from the caricature Chief Wahoo has been for decades.
While what Savard said was most likely in poor taste, I really do feel you have to admire his gumption in calling the team out. The worst thing Lindy Ruff has done to his team was say there are a lot of “selfish” or “stupid” plays being made by young players. Instead, Savard called his entire team out and demanded through the media and fans that the crest they play under be put first and foremost.
I only wish we had a logo that could be used so effectively. (Somehow “Commit to the Swoopy Buffalo Thingy” just doesn’t flow…)
(Full disclosure: My girlfriend is a registered Native American and I wouldn’t post about this without her blessing because she would
scalp kill me.)