by Max Brantley
A couple of potential sore points here. One, ASU's athletic teams are now the Red Wolves. Indians (the name that applied when D Mac was growing up in Jonesboro) were packed away as politically incorrect by NCAA edict several years ago. Plenty of unreconstructed A-Staters no doubt were happy to hear McDaniel invoke the outdated mascot.
But Hogs? Even if McDaniel is an alumnus of UAF ....
The Hogs, otherwise known as the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, have long disdained meeting ASU on the athletic fields and the Red Wolf, nee Indian, nation is slaphappy these days with former Hog coach Gus Malzahn at the helm of the ASU football team.
Sample comment from ASU athletics message board:
He's a UAF grad so I guess that was the reason for the "go hogs"....still inexcusable. But what was the "go Indians"? Was he trying to be cute or does he not even know what ASU's mascot is?
Everyone, please tell this nut how you feel. Someone this dumb would hurt the state and ASU even more. Can you imagine Beebe saying "go indians" in Fayetteville? Gress it was a stupid attempt at humor but it was as hell isn't funny. Would suggest he run for dog catcher but I wouldn't trust him with my dog.
McDaniel had a defender:
He said "Go Indians" while explaining he grew up going to ASU games. No need for the "Go Hogs" comment, but no need to get your panties in a wad about "Go Indians". That isn't a shot at ASU. Not sure sending e-mails to him about it will do anything other than make ASU fans look stupid, just like sending e-mails to the Gazette does. Razorback fans and propaganda spreaders will only laugh at Red Wolves supporters when they do so. It's time for our fans to take a step back and get away from the computer and realize the only way we will increase our respect and state coverage is by winning and supporting our program. No need obsessing over the lack of coverage our university receives. Trust me, I get pissed when the Gazette puts us on pg.12 and have witnessed their shenanigans for the past ten years or so. But ultimately, we have only had one winning season in the middle of a lot of losing ones. Things will begin to change once we keep winning. Simple as that.
Lots more, including tangents into the 2014 race for governor. And more here.
UPDATE: Aaron Sadler of McDaniel's office provides the context (tell it to those howling Wolves, I say):
Those that attended the commencement ceremonies heard an address that celebrated Arkansas State University as a fundamental and important institution in Dustin McDaniel's life and in the lives of all Arkansans.
Very early in his address, the Attorney General acknowledged the fact that he attended the University of Arkansas and said "Go Hogs." He then said, " I was an Indians fan long before I knew the Razorbacks existed." He then went on to speak about his lifelong support for ASU and its athletic teams, saying, "we cheered for the Indians all our lives and now we howl for the Red Wolves."
He emphasized the position of ASU as the key economic engine for Northeast Arkansas and the role that today's graduates have in guiding our State's future. He ended his remarks with a tribute to all ASU graduates, telling them he believes them to be "America's next Greatest Generation."