Mudcats No More: Spoon River College Ditches Mascot After Minor League Team Threatens to Sue
Well, okay, it would make sense if you ignore the fact that a mudcat is, technically, a bottom-feeder. But it sounds scrappy. And sort of cool.
So cool, in fact, that news of the Spoon River Mudcats traveled as far as Zebulon, North Carolina, home of the Carolina Mudcats, the Cincinnati Reds' AA affiliate. Apparently the nickname Mudcats can only be used once in all of sports, professional or collegiate. Or so the Carolina Mudcats claim.
"It's not like we're trying to be the Grinch who stole Christmas, it's just that we think right is right, and that's our mark," Steve Bryant, owner of the Carolina Mudcats, told The Chronicle of Higher Education. "We feel like a mark is a valuable asset, and if it's diluted across the country then it's not as valuable."
Or maybe Carolina was just upset that Spoon River's interpretation of the mudcat mascot was cuter than its own Muddy the Mudcat. In any case, they threatened to sue.
Although Spoon River had registered its logo and the motto "Spoon River Mudcats, Ruler of the River" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2007 and thought it might have a shot at winning in court, the school eventually folded before the wrath of Minor League Baseball and the prospect of exhorbitant legal fees.
"As soon as we decided not to pursue a legal challenge, we stopped using the logo or the mascot or Mudcat name," said Gary Schindler, Spoon River's dean of student services.
|Do you think old Muddy's reading The Spoon River Anthology?|
(By the way, a quick Internet search uncovered other Muddy the Mudcats in Dunnville, Ontario, and Chillicothe, Missouri. Uh, Carolina? Are you going to get on those, too, or do you only pick on community colleges?)