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A look at high school football throughout the state

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What's in a name? Bob Barton explains it.

Bob Barton's annual football column calls for nickname reform.

By Bob Barton, Special to the Register
Twitter: @nhrsports

What does high school football in Connecticut need?

Better attendance? Sure.

Corporate sponsors, especially if playoff finals are to stay at Rentschler Field? You bet.

A “mercy rule” that won’t require coaches to shave points in lopsided games? Absolutely. (Shortening the third and fourth quarters would be a start.).

But there’s another need, long overdue for a solution, that ought to be addressed: Nickname reform.

Why? Too many Indians, for one thing. Also too many Panthers, too many Eagles, too many Red Raiders. And that’s just for starters.

Think of it: The Central Connecticut Conference, with 32 members, has four teams that call themselves Indians: Manchester, Farmington, Newington and Northwest Catholic. The Naugatuck Valley League, with 14 members, has two sets of Red Raiders (Torrington and Derby), two sets of Wildcats (Seymour and Wilby), two sets of Eagles (Kennedy and Wolcott) and another team of Indians (Watertown).

It’s tough on sports writers. When Guilford plays North Haven, the headline can’t read “Indians win,” because the Indians also lost. Nobody seems to have thought of that when they both joined the Southern Connecticut Conference.

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