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So I was watching the last of this dancing Native American at the University of Illinois. He's their symbol-cum-icon, just like Horned Frog is at TCU and "Mean Green" is at UNT (which has to be weirdest (I won't say dumbest) nickname, I have visions of hundreds of rude boogers making nasty comments about how their opponents are dressed).

As I was watching this last dance, they had the requisite crowd shots. Here's what I don't understand. Some of the crowd were crying as they watched the last dance. I'm sorry but that's completely alien to me. Maybe it's the way I was brought up, but I don't relate to icons that way. I was proud of going to the University of Exeter and Texas Christian University, but I was proud because of the things I achieved, the friends I made, the role I played and the person I became. I don't feel proud of university icons. I wouldn't ever self identify as a "Horned Frog" (unless I make a conscious decision to seem cookie).

I can't feel proud of being a "Horned Frog" for the sake of the name. As far as I'm concerned, I was buying a service from the university, and as a customer I wouldn't identify myself as a "Horned Frog" any more than a "Whataburger" eater or a user of "Charlie Hillard" auto dealerships. All three provide a service, so why become more emotional over the icons of one than the other two?

Maybe I'm just envious, or missing something. Maybe I'm just a weird Englishman who can't make that emotional leap in America (part of me wishes I could, I find it attractive in a strange way) or just someone who isn't able to feel like he belongs to things, but whatever it is, I suspect I'll never get emotional over that sort of thing.



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January 2013