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Mitch's Sports: Only About Seven Decades Late, But Cleveland Finally Drops Chief Wahoo Logo

Vermont high school division one football teams have never merged programs, but in an effort to confront dwindling participation in the sport, Burlington and South Burlington high schools are throwing a bit of a Hail Mary with a plan to combine their programs.

The Burlington Free Press reports the proposal will get a vote before the Vermont Principal Association Activities Standards Committee this Friday. If it passes, the two schools will end a long standing rivalry and begin thinking about how to make a co-op program for the Seahorses and Wolves work starting in the fall.  

The numbers have indeed been falling, with South Burlington carried 44 players, this past season, compared to 71 just two years ago, and Burlington had over 40 two years ago, down to 36 this past season, including 16 seniors not returning.

In the NBA, a good-old fashioned blockbuster trade went down yesterday, with the L.A. Clippers trading all-star forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for three players--Tobias Harris, former Boston Celtic Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, plus a first and a second-round draft pick.

Griffin is a 7-year veteran who's spent his entire career with the Clippers since being selected as a first round draft pick, but he's suffered multiple injuries over the course of his career. When healthy, though, he's one of the best power forwards in the game, and this year has been averaging 22 points and 8 rebounds a game. He instantly makes the Pistons a more formidable team and they really need him, losers now of 8 in a row and just outside the playoff bubble in the eastern conference. Griffin's first game for Detroit will garner even more attention than it normally would, with no less than LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers getting a taste of the new-look Griffin-led Pistons in Detroit tonight.     

The Boston Celtics, meanwhile, have come down to earth after cutting a swath through nearly everyone in the first few months of the season. The Celtics still lead the eastern conference, but they're a very "meh" 5 and 5 over their last ten games and have just a one and a half game lead over the Toronto Raptors for first place, so last night's win over the Denver Nuggets was much welcomed, even if the winning margin was just a single point.

That came courtesy of a three-pointer by Jaylen Brown with just 34 seconds left in regulation, good for 111-110 win over the Nuggets in Denver. The Celts also have Kyrie Irving  to thank, their best player scoring 10 of his 27 points on the night in the fourth quarter. Denver still had a chance to win the game after Brown's go-ahead shot, but the Nuggets raced up court rather than call a time out for a set play, and a tip-in attempt off a missed 3-pointer couldn't beat the buzzer.

Finally, there's still a curious lack of big moves made in baseball's off season, which is proving to be more lukewarm toaster than hot stove to this point, other than what the Yankees and Brewers have done.

But there was positive news out of Cleveland yesterday, not relating to acquisition of a player, but the decision to part ways with a mascot. The Indians organization has decided to discontinue using the Chief Wahoo logo on the team's uniforms and hats, starting in 2019. The grinning cartoon image of a native American with oversized teeth and nose, and a single feather rising from a headband is, and has been for some time, how I do I say this? Racist? Yep, that's pretty much the word that comes to mind. One could argue that the very name of the team, Indians, is also offensive, and while it's not as obviously disparaging as the Wahoo logo, I would never argue with any original American who says otherwise. Now if only the NFL could do something about the name of that football team that plays in Washington D.C.


A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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