Not to disappoint or anything but this week’s offering is not a holiday or Christmas wish, greeting, parable or poem.

It is likely you are reading this after all of the merriment is over anyway and are up to here (indicates mid-forehead) with good cheer and ready for the next big thing, which is 2021 and the promise of light at the end of the long dark tunnel we’ve traveled for the past four years.

But let’s not dwell on politics. There are more important things coming our way very soon and we need to be ready.

Top on the list is what the 120-year-old Cleveland professional baseball team – known as the Cleveland Indians – will rename itself now that the gods of political correctness have spoken and declared the name must go.

I looked up the word “Indian” in the online thesaurus connected with this writing program and here’s a funny thing. There was none. I tried it with a capital “I” and still no alternate meanings were offered.

Apparently, the thought police had already been there and erased “Indian” from having any meaning. It is shocking and a little chilling that this heretofore common word should disappear from our language and a public search engine.

“Sticks and stones will break our bones but names will never hurt us” are no longer words to live by.

So, what shall we name our baseball team? Sports teams are supposed to have formidable names, scary animal names. But all the good animals are taken. Lions, Tigers, Bears, Jaguars.

“The Cleveland Yetis” would be good but it’s a mythical creature. The mascot would be cool, though. The hyenas and bovines are still up for grabs. Crocodiles are pretty ruthless, but a Florida team should have that name.

I don’t think Cleveland has any indigenous beasts except the Zebra mussel and domestic animals. The Browns have cornered the market on dogs and let’s face it, tabby cats frighten no one. The Cleveland Tabbies?

Personally, I like “The Tribe” as a team name. It would not be too far afield from the nickname routinely used. And thesaurus recognizes it. Here are its second meanings: a people, community, society, population, family.

The old Indians organizations needs to be bold and go for “The Tribe.” Is there anything scarier than a family? Families and strong and emotionally tied together. That’s powerful, right?

But there are also families like “the Mafia.” Who would argue balls and strikes with Sammy “the bull” Gravano? Then there was Charles Manson’s family which was a cult. The Cleveland Cult? Neither suggest an acceptable brand, logo or mascot.

Sometimes it is not fear of another team’s scariness that wins games. Sometimes you can be a winner by being annoying, by hanging around doing the distracting little things that can cause the opponent to lose concentration. How about the Cleveland Pests?

I take you back to Oct. 5, 2007 and game two of the wild card play-off series between the Indians and those damned New York Yankees.

The tribe was losing in the eighth inning when Yankee reliever Joba Chamberlain came into the game to protect a 1-0 lead. With him came an army of Canadian Soldiers – bugs also known as midges. They live for just one day and their mission is to annoy. And so they did.

They plagued, pestered and literally bugged Joba Chamberlain into losing the game 2-1 in extra innings. They had little effect on the Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona.

That is why the Indians organization must rename themselves the Cleveland Midges. It is not a fearsome image, a logo will be tough and a bug as a mascot will take some explaining.

But this is Cleveland with a rich history of hard to explain events – burning rivers and too many sports defeats grabbed from the jaws of victory. We’ve been explaining ourselves for years.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

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