Editorializing: The "Queen's" are not amused — and CIS diehards and comedians should be miffed, too

It's really stunning a daily newspaper would stoop to mocking another university's name in print, especially when the joke is based on a spelling error and evokes an ugly epithet. Take it away, Waterloo Region Record:
"The Gaels are Canadian university football’s version of royalty, though they sure don’t play like Queen’s.

"After ascending the regular-season throne in 2008, the he-man Queen’s University Gaels are still heads of state." (Emphasis mine)
The mature response would be to laugh at someone's idea of humour, fluttering and falling incomplete like one of one of Derek Anderson's passes in the Browns-Bills game on Sunday. It was a bit of groaner. That might be all.

Another way, though, is making fun of a university's name in print is beyond the pale, in poor taste. That kind of humour went out in Grade 10. It comes back to tone and how what's fair is fair. Also, what do you think of when someone says, "a bunch of queens," Not so long ago, "queens" was a derogatory term used to imply someone was gay, a sissy, not a person in full. For instance, back in 1990 when the Wayne Gretzky-era Los Angeles Kings were an extended losing skid, a newspaper columnist there started calling them "Queens." It presumed something effete or feminine deserves ridicule, that "he-man" is superior. It is 2009, long past time to pander to such a mentality.

It's one thing for Guelph to sell "Wuck Festern" t-shirts, for Laurier to wear the "We've Got Big Hawks" t-shirts or Ottawa fans to sport T-shirt reading "Hung Like A..." with the school's horse-silhouette logo. That is fine, between fans, but professional media people are supposed to be refined. Granted, this is coming from someone who once wrote a playful post likening each CIS football team to a Simpsons character, but that was done out of love for Canadian Interuniversity Sport and the people who contribute to its culture.

It was not done to single out and skewer a university and its 150,000 living alumni, especially when that writer isn't doing it with all 22 schools with OUA teams, or teams in other leagues.

The article complimented No. 4 Queen's, although Laval, Montréal, Saskatchewan, Calgary, Western and Saint Mary's have equal or greater claim on the throne — but that is neither here nor there, as you can see. Perhaps it did not set well since coming from that oracle, it could be a kiss of death. The same paper stated in August, "It says here the football team to beat this year in the 10-team Ontario University Athletic Conference is the Laurier Golden Hawks" and suggested the Ottawa Gee-Gees were pushing their luck by going with a "first-year starting quarterback." You know how that worked out — said first-year starting quarterback Brad Sinopoli has passed and rushed for 900 yards just in the last two games in wins over — wait for it — Guelph and Laurier.

Granted, Sinopoli also goes to school east of the Golden Horseshoe, so by The Record's rationale he had it coming, just like that bunch of "Queen's" located in Kingston. Any way you overanalyze it, not cool.

Queen’s Gaels are Ontario football kings (Waterloo Region Record)
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  1. It should be pointed out that commenter is based in Kitchener.

  2. Overreaction Sager.

    By the way, CIS women's basketball is terrible - borderline unwatchable.

  3. Who said anything about women's basketball? That is another discussion.

    This is about brutal writing and showing a lack of class. I've learned from such mistakes.

  4. I'll allow it might be an overreaction, but there's nothing wrong with pointing it out when someone slags a school and the OUA/CIS product.

  5. It doesn't matter where I'm based. My reaction to your overreaction would be the same if the Windsor Star published said lead.

  6. It borders on derogatory and offensive but it is clearly pitiful and lazy writing.

  7. J.R.,

    I apologize and take back what I said about who lives where. "Overreaction" sometimes also means there was nothing wrong with saying something but maybe it went too far to make a small point.

    The point all along is as people with a passion for OUA and CIS athletics, there's a right to demand better out of people paid to write about the league.

    Agree to disagree, but what the writer said was really low-brow, and it has no place in that paper in that form. It offends everyone involved.

    Like David Letterman said, we don't have to go the Hague to defend our jokes ... but there's a right to call someone on it when they say something which is either painfully unfunny or panders to ignorance.

    Bottom line, every homophobe who reads the Record's sports section probably loved that line.

    Considering this is a paper which I always found to be very forward in sports coverage (for a while it had 2 women in the sports. dept, which is 2 more than a lot of dailies outside the metropolitan cities), I expected better.

  8. Not sure where the Wuck Festern saying started but sure present last year in T shirts being sold as the two 4-0 first place teams faced off at where else?- Richardson Stadium at Queen's.

    Regrettably my Western Mustangs imploded and Queen's ended up with game. Surprising number of Homecoming partying students not at the game which at 1 pm had a very quiet Aberdeen St.

    I do BTW like Christine Rivet's columns in the Recordoverall and don't think her comments were made to have purposeful gender slags.

  9. Wuck Festern has probably been around a while. Tampa Bay Rays baseball blogs market "Yuck the Fankees" and "Buck Foston" T-shirts, so transposing the first letters is hardly original.

    On the second point, one raises points about a writer if you have respect for her/him. That is the case here — fully completely.

  10. I expected better [from The Record]

    Well, there's your problem.

  11. To anon 10:10 or Mr. Non sequitur...
    So you don't like CIS women's b-ball, say it's unwatchable, eh?
    Well, as a dedicated follower of the WNBA, you know real women's basketball when you see it, right Bud?

  12. I'm gonna have to go with the others here and say its a bit of an overreaction. Relax Sager, its just a bit of playful writing I thought it was a decent pun. While I recognize and share with you a passion for your respective home team as well as the OUA and CIS I'd have to say you're chasing something that might not be there. I'm sure the writer did not intend to offend anyone.

    However the fact that it did bug atleast one person (such as yourself) does point to the fact that maybe some things are better left unwritten

  13. That's fair. To each her/his own, but personally it was low-hanging fruit on the joke tree.

  14. I fully agree with all your points Neate; it goes to show how TMZ has become mainstream journalism, which is pretty sad, and the measuring stick for budding writers that think humour and the shock factor must be accomplished in every article. The writing style you pointed out makes satirical offerings such as The Onion look reputable; after all, it's on the internet so it has to be true. Those clowns at the Waterloo Region Record probably think the tv series "Survivor" is real.

  15. Well, it turns out that 'my' sense of humour kills in places other than the Forest City, eh. Although, I still think my little bit on the Score's Western-Queens promo was a higher brow achievement. However, each to their own opinions.

    Go Stangs Go