Good news for Georgia Gwinnett College: Gwinnettians have already embraced the soon-to-be four-year institution, as evidenced by their enthusiastic response to my recent call for mascot ideas. Clearly, such trivial details as professors, courses and students can wait. What the college needs right now is an icon.
As I mentioned in last week's column, I've received a number of excellent suggestions. In fact, I was impressed by the time and energy readers put into their e-mails - even the Arkansas fans who, incensed at my original proposal to call our teams The Razorbacks, spent all their time and energy coining vile phrases to describe me and my family.
Many suggestions involved traditional animal nicknames, such as Lions, Tigers and Bears. Quite a few were bird names: Brown Thrashers, Ospreys, Crows, Vultures. (I suspect the last one might have been a commentary on the new college's relationship to its predecessors, Georgia Perimeter College-Lawrenceville and UGA-Gwinnett.)
Other ideas were markedly more Gwinnett-centric: The Jams (a tribute to our highway status quo); The Buttons (in honor of Declaration of Independence signer Button Gwinnett); and The Mallers (a play on "Maulers" and an allusion both to our plethora of shopping malls and to those who frequent them).
My favorite responses, however, were those that came with a little something extra - not just a mascot name, but an entire pep-club package.
For example, the Joneses of Suwanee recommended that we call our teams The Kudzu. School colors would be green-on-green (of course), the stadium could be nicknamed "The Jungle" and the fight song would be "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses.
Tina of Duluth submitted the name Dozers "because if there are trees on campus when it opens, they won't be there for long." She even wrote the opening lines of the school cheer: "Push 'em down, pave 'em over, build something else!"
And Julie suggests that GGC christen its teams The Suburbanites. The stadium, she says, could be called The Cliffs at Chattahoochee Bluff. Cheerleaders would wear skimpy Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts, fans would recline in Barcaloungers and the traditional halftime show would be replaced by a quick mall run.
Good ideas, all. But in closing, allow me a final suggestion of my own, one that I hope will not inspire hatred among a bunch of people who think the movie "Next of Kin" is a documentary.
Let's call the new college's teams The Gwinnett Success. Besides being one of those ultra-chic singular nicknames, like the Miami Heat, it's a mascot for which we have a ready-made slogan: "Success Lives Here." Besides, I can't think of anything that more accurately reflects this county's values or that will better position our teams for greatness. After all, you know what they say: Nothing succeeds like Success.
E-mail Rob Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.