The first question that occurs to us is, “What took them so long?”
A coalition of CNY anti-violence groups is speaking out today against the decision of a Rochester businessman to name his minor league basketball team-in-the-making the Syracuse Bullies.
Not “Bully!” as Teddy Roosevelt might have used it- an expression of approval and enthusiasm. But “bully” in the schoolyard and social pressure sense- one who uses aggressive behavior to make others do what he or she wants, or just to harass others out of sheer meanness.
That’s not what the basketball team is intended to be about, but the anti-violence people say it simply sets a bad tone, piling one more encouragement for anti-social behavior on top of all the others today’s kids can be subjected to.
Okay, they’re having their say, and we’ll see whether the Bullies owner gives ground, or defends his original choice. A change would mean a new logo and a new Web site- the existing one is full of “coming soon” blanks, but is wall-to-wall with the fierce-looking cartoon bull and copy about what a “bully” enterprise this team is going to be. You can already order yourself some logo merchandise, if you like.
A popular team would sell a lot of caps, shirts, and mini-basketballs. Is that what the Bullies (or whatever their eventual name is) will turn out to be? Tryouts for players and dancer-cheerleaders were held last month, and the turnout was good.
The prospects include some who are struggling back from personal problems. The Post Standard tells us one young man hoping to make the team is Dayshawn Wright, a Fowler High School grad who quit the SU Orange in mid-season three years ago, declined an offer to play for the ABA in Buffalo, and most recently was released by a minor league team in Minot, North Dakota. Now, he wants to be a Bully.
For the sake of CNY, let’s hope he and the new team can find success on the Oncenter court- after the clock runs out on this name game.