AGGRESSION HERE: (Photo right) The Ithaca Tompkins County Aggression football team hold a chicken BBQ fundraiser in August. At least one local parent thinks their name is too violent and bad for The Children.
TINY TOWN, USA – There is something wrong with the Ithaca Tompkins County Semi-Pro Football team, says a Tiny Town parent. It's not the green uniforms, or the fact that they haven't secured a home field as of earlier this month.
It's their name.
"They call themselves the ITC Aggression," says Jules Piffleton, adjunct instructor of human development and a member of Tiny Town's Alternatives to Violence Mens Circle and anger management counselor. "Aggression refers to behavior between members of the same species that is intended to cause pain or harm. We think that inappropriate even in a sport like football."
The ITC Aggression is the first semi-pro football team to assemble here in more than a decade. They are affiliated with the North American Football League (NAFL) an 11-year old organization based in Eden Prairie, MN.
According to the Aggression's promotional materials, obtained at a BBQ chicken fundraiser on Bill Lower's lot at the corners of W. Clinton and Meadow Streets earlier this month, the group of 30-plus players and coaches are: "A first year team trying to get on our feet and make positive things happen for many people on our roster ... Our goal is to help individuals reach their potential on the playing field and to serve as a positive role model for the community."
Sounds like good, clean fun even if the injury rate is 100 percent.
But Mr. Piffleton, a father of two, is more concerned with how the name with effect "the children." From wars to Wall Street to online poker and the really rad computer sport Grand Theft Auto, Piffleton says the children are being saturated with violence.
"There is enough hostility and aggression in the world and the children pick up on it," he says. "Do we really need it in the name of a team that represents Ithaca?"
Mr. Piffleton and his group have come up with more than a dozen alternative names for the team: The ITC Greens (no need to change color of uniform); The ITC Conifers (again, no need to change colors); The ITC Pajamas; The ITC People; The ITC Assertion; The ITC Makepeace; The ITC Golden Retrievers; The ITC Cats; The ITC Planets; The ITC Sprinkles; The ITC Sciences; The ITC Bugs ... and some others.
The editors here disagree with Mr. Piffleton's concerns about the team's potential impact on The Children. It is in fact a perfect descriptor for the actions, intentions and behavior of any self-respecting football team.
Our concern is more practical. While "aggression" is a noun that lacks "particularity" as one TTT reader put it. In addition, it is singular and does not convert to pluralization. Moreover, what kind of mascot will they have? A big green ... what? Surely if it is a big green Aggression it will frighten The Children.
Furthermore they have chosen the color green, which is synonymous with eco-peaceniks, prairie fairies and political groups associated with Marxists. While the New York Jets are green, too, as well the Philly Eagles, they are plural and particular things. It puts undo pressure on a player to say "I play for the Aggression." It leads to questions not related to the sport.
Despite these quibbles, we applaud the ITC Aggression for breaking new ground in sports logisms. Kudos to the chef as well. The BBQ chicken dinner was excellent and the cole slaw unusually good for such a venue.
–– C. Penbroke Handy