Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Fargo Farce

I agree with Mike Jacobs' editorial in Friday's Herald. Like Jacobs, I feel that by choosing "The Force" as the name of their new team, Fargo's hockey boosters are either incredibly stupid or - put quite simply - blatantly ripping off UND's athletic program.

It seems obvious that, while "The Force of the North" has become a new advertising slogan for UND athletics, it is also a very likely substitute nickname should UND decide to retire its beleaguered "Fighting Sioux" nickname. Kudos to UND for working on a backup plan...shame on Fargo's new hockey franchise for attempting to spoil those plans.

Surely UND has copyrighted "The Force of the North?" Doesn't "The Fargo Force" name violate those copyrights? Personally, I like "The Force of the North" as a potential new nickname for UND. UND should ensure that any plans they might have for "The Force of the North" are not spoiled or stolen by Fargo's upstart hockey team.

There goes those notions about Grand Forks always copying Fargo...

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The Force of the North" is probably UND's most graceful and appealing way to retire the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. I certainly hope they have trademark protection for the slogan and that it's not too late for Fargo to drop their new name.

Goon said...

You guys the Force is not going to be UND's new name. It's a marketing campaign. Why whould UND go to the trouble of taking the NCAA to court to beat them if they were going to change the name.

Anonymous said...

because they are not likely to win...therefore, a backup plan is smart. The athletic programs at UND are top notch right now, and, in order to stay that way, they can't afford to take all of the alumni donations into legal fees that will total several million.(I say that as an alumnus who gives to UND) The name may not be all that the NCAA says it is, but it certainly is causing more headaches than anything is worth at this point. Time for the new president to come in and change it to something that will give the athletics programs more opportunity to succeed!

Anonymous said...

I think it makes sense for UND to have a backup plan if they lose their court battle.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing about where they got the idea of the nickname also when I first read about it. I believe UND will change the nickname, but they don't want to do it underneath this forced NCAA mandate. If the NCAA was making all schools go away from these type of nicknames it would be one thing, but the decision making skills involved by the NCAA were haphazard at best.

Goon said...

The next president will have no say on what the name will be, that is decided by the Board of Higher Eduaction.

Anonymous said...

The nickname replacement theory is an entirely different conversation altogether.

It's really sad that Fargo would propose such a thing. Why would they even want to double up on "The Force"? How serious are they about using that name? Is it something that's just been thrown around, or is it actually the name they'll be going by?

Can you imagine the nightmare that would ensue if UND started to refer to themselves as "The Herd"? Yikes.

GrandForksGuy said...

"You guys the Force is not going to be UND's new name. It's a marketing campaign. Why whould UND go to the trouble of taking the NCAA to court to beat them if they were going to change the name."

Goon, it would be unrealistic and really stupid for UND to not have some sort of backup plan in place in the event that, for whatever reason, the current nickname is dropped. I say this as a supporter of the Fighting Sioux nickname. An institution like UND simply must have some sort of replacement nickname that they could fall back on. That doesn't necessarily mean that "The Force of the North" would become the permanent new nickname. At the very least, some sort of interim nickname would have to be used until a permanent one could be chosen...it seems very plausible that "Force of the North" could be that interim nickname.

Even if "Force of the North" is just a marketing slogan and nothing more...it is very inappropriate for Fargo's new USHL team to be blatantly using that name.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea of this. I am often discussing with friends how cool the "Force of the North" is. Nickname discussions aside, it really is COOL. Is there anything UND can do about this? Being that the USHL is a major breeding ground for UND-bound players, I'm surprised this wasn't on their radar at all.

And "The Fargo Force?" Weak. Look, mom, alliteration!

Anonymous said...

Who are the GM and the Sales/Marketing people at the UP Center (where the Fargo USHL team will be playing, as well as the "owners" of the USHL team)? Where did they come from before taking on the jobs in Fargo?

Who do you suppose were a couple of the big contributors in the development of using "Force of the North" at UND?

It came straight from REA.

If this was the winning name in their big contest with the USHL Fargo team, it is a mighty big coincidence.

Goon said...

Grand Forks Guy,
I think some are getting way ahead of themeselves with the name. Like I said earlier, the next president won't decide the Board of Higher Ed will. Any name change if that time comes will be after the board has said to change it and after a much thought out and long discussion among alum and students has taken place.

As far as Fargo, unless UND has a trade mark on it, this nothing more than a classless act by the USHL team. I an not sure what UND can do about it.

Anonymous said...

There was a contest for naming the USHL team. People from all over were invited to submit names. And this was the winning name. Can't copyright words, so unless UND has a trademark, which from the adversiting, it appears there is no TM on it, not much they can do.

Besides, who knows who submitted the winning name ... it could even be some from GF.

Anonymous said...

The University of North Dakota Force? Or Force of the North? One word comes to mind for such a nickname- LAME. Here's a radical idea, should the Fighting Sioux nickname be relagated to the history books. How about choosing a name with historical or cultural significance to the area, instead of some abstract, silly sounding name. My two cents worth? Make a donation to/ pay fees to/ bribe Red River High, and make use of the Roughrider nickname. It not only is a great moniker, it at least has something to do with a historical North Dakota figure. The University of North Dakota Roughriders would be a great team name, and we could keep our current proud colors and ND logo. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Same "anonymous" here as the 8:57 post. One more thought.

With all respects to above anonymous poster who stated-

"I am often discussing with friends how cool the "Force of the North" is. Nickname discussions aside, it really is COOL."

-but do we really want some abstract concept to be the face our university presents to the outside world, because it sounded cool? Call me a fool (you wouldn't be the first!) but I think it makes a lot of sense to pick something that has, as stated, a historical and/or cultural significance to the area. I think that's one of the reasons the Fighting Sioux nickname holds so much value to many people. It reflects a piece of North Dakota history (some would argue in a slanted way, due to the 'fighting' aspect, but that's a whole different ball game I won't get into here!) No matter what position you take on the current moniker, however, it can't be argued that it is somehow rooted in North Dakota culture and history. Any new name, should it be necessary, should try to make use of that connection. In doing so, we can celebrate our area, while at the same time presenting an image of our community, university, and area to the outside world that reflects pride in our past and culture. Not some abstract, market researched term. Just one man's thoughts on the issue.

-Thomas

Anonymous said...

how about the sugar beets - we could all get hopped up on Crystal Sugar and go out and whoop some Gopher behind!!

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

If UND would've just changed their name when they were told to, we wouldn't have this problem...but I agree with the Force not really being a good nickname anyways, it is a little too abstract...and who would the mascot be? Luke Skywalker? We should definitely go with something that's regionally significant.. just not Flickertails please.

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to be the Force of the North and keep the same logo. You wouldn't need to go to any specific tribe for approval, because you wouldn't be taking any specific name. How would the NCAA feel about that? I'm sure they wouldn't look to compromise at all, because they are the NCAA.

nate said...

Should have been the Fargo Threshers...I think that would have been a sweet name

Elucidarian said...

"Time for the new president to come in and change it to something that will give the athletics programs more opportunity to succeed!"

The Board chooses the next President.

It's been mentioned that the Board of Higher Ed will have final say on the name. As Kupchella's experience has shown us, the new President's stance on the issue will be tantamount to cheer leading, one way or the other. The most Chuck was allowed to do was form exploratory committees and engage in "campus climate" surveillance. It was a slap in the face when they revealed his opinion was immaterial.

Anonymous said...

the board of higher ed made it their responsibility with their poorly thought out motion. it should never have been their business. just another example of how ridiculous they are.

as for the farge force, who ever thought it up has the mentality of the board of higer ed.

Anonymous said...

I hope UND doesn't ever adopt Force of the North. It would be like Central when they dropped Redskins and took Maroon and Gray. How can you get behind names like this? Fighting Sioux forever!

Anonymous said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that Fighting Sioux is on the way out. I don't think that UND would or should put its athletic teams and athletic budget in peril by never being able to host a post-season game agian. (IF the lawsuit is lost) I personally like the nickname and logo, but I like the UND athletic teams more. The higher ed board needs to give the decision back to who it should belong to - the university president.

Outsider looking in said...

I agree with those who think "Force of the North" is a terrible nickname. First, it's too damn long. Second, it doesn't really represent anything. Will the logo be F = m x a?

Dakota Lifestyle: Beyond the Weather said...

I've been wondering what was going on with the mascot. I'm glad UND has a backup nickname plan. If the university decides to change it, what's the next step? Who has to vote on it and accept it?

Anonymous said...

I hope it never changes ...But if it does GO FIGHTING CALVARY

C. Y. said...

I think you probably meant "Cavalry" but bringing Jesus into the equation is not a bad thing.

Isn't the University president just a figurehead? All major decisions have to go up to the board anyway. (Except those warm-fuzzy-feel-good decisions like smoking on campus.) Their main job would be keep the alumnus happily writing checks.

Matthew said...

Looks like we need some new blood on the Board of Higher Education in this state, from everything I'm hearing.

Anonymous said...

Did any of you GF people ever think that Fargo people may not even of known that UND used, Force of the North. Last time I checked Fargo didn't have to run everything past Grand Forks. I find it funny that GF people think the world revolves around UND Athletics.

ben said...

give me a break, anon - this is a Hockey team being named in Fargo - 80 miles from one of the most prominent college hockey teams in the country. Coming to Fargo is a semi-pro hockey team that is going to be coached by one of the more prominent former UND coaches in a league headquartered in Grand Forks. To suggest they aren't aware of UND or Grand Forks hockey is rediculous...

Anonymous said...

Aren't there force of the north billboards in Fargo? Could of sworn I saw a few in the past year.

Anonymous said...

What i was trying to say was that maybe they don't care about UND and their sports and that GF people shouldn't feel that anything related to UND, being it their name, colors, style of play, or whatever could be duplicated somewhere else is theirs and that nobody can use it.

Anonymous said...

ok then - go UND Bison! Use your head...ND isn't THAT big.

C. Y. said...

OH NO ! ! ! !

Fargo also stealing name of one of our schools.

http://tinyurl.com/32z7bw

School Board selects top names for school
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Lake Agassiz or Agassiz High School is among the leading candidates for the name of Fargo’s next school among School Board members.


Okay, before everyone pounces, the "Force" is a different deal completely - just had to inject some humor.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if UND trademarked Force of the North, but the GF Herald owns www.theforceofthenorth.com

Anonymous said...

Just a correction - USHL teams are NOT semi-pro... they are Junior A - 16-20 year old kids... hoping to get into college hockey or at minimum extend their careers before college.

Fargo already has one Junior A team in the Fargo-Moorhead Jets.

We don't need another and especially one that will be known as the Fargo FARCE

Anonymous said...

I think with Dean Blais at the helm of this new USHL franchise that they WILL be a "FORCE" to reckon with!!! Appropriate name in my opinion.

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