“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” — Benjamin, in THE GRADUATE
Sometimes news stories cross our desk that are not Missouri stories that set us off in merry searches just for the fun of it. This morning we came across a story that Canyons High School in Utah has decided not to name the sports teams at a new district high school Cougars “because of the negative connotation of the word in popular culture.” That’s how the AP phrased it. Instead the school will be called “Chargers.”
Mrs. Robinson was a cougar — a woman “in her prime” as a pro-cougar website likes to put it (well, I did say I was off on a merry search) who likes to go trolling for younger men. That’s the “popular culture” connotation that makes the folks at Canyon’s High School so nervous — in a state where the Brigham Young University Cougars are nationally prominent.
Here in Missouri where we are starting to see real life cougars, as in the cats, more often (we don’t know about the Mrs. Robinson cougars but we suppose there are some. We didn’t go far enough into the cougar website to find out who they are in Jefferson City), we have several sports teams named for the cat. We’re sure that’s what they’re named for. The cat. A quick trip to “The Google,” as a friend of mine likes to call it, turned up these for starters:
There’s the Affton Cougars, the Carver Middle School Cougars in Springfield, the Carnahan High School Cougars in St. Louis, the Kingston Junior High School Cougars, the Kingston Junior High Cougars, the Crest Ridge High School Cougars in Centerview, the Lutheran High School Cougars in St. Charles County, the Hickman Mills Cougars, the Missouri City Middle School Cougars and the College Heights Christian School Cougars.
And, oh yes — this one is just too good: Climax Springs Cougars.
Mrs R: Benjamin, I am not trying to seduce you.
Benjamin: I know that, but please, Mrs. Robinson, this is difficult.
Mrs R: Would you like me to seduce you?
Mrs R: Is that what you’re trying to tell me?
Benjamin: I’m going home now.
It could have been worse for the people in Utah, we suppose. Somebody might have suggested the team be called The Trojans.