Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about football and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the football urban legends featured so far.
FOOTBALL URBAN LEGEND: Stanford University’s students voted for the school’s mascot (and team names) be “Robber Barons.”
In 1891, Stanford played California in the very first “Big Game.” Stanford won, and in the headlines about the victory, it read “Cardinal Triumphs O’er Blue and Gold.” Therefore, Stanford chose Cardinal (the school color) as its name.
Over time, though, a new name developed – the Stanford Indians. In 1930, this name was made official and an official mascot was not far behind.
Eventually, Native American students began to protest the usage of the nickname and mascot. At first, they specifically protested the live performances at Stanford games by Timm Williams, who went by the name Prince Lightfoot and the protesters felt that his act mostly consisted of mocking traditional Native American religious practices.
A couple of years later, in 1972, the students once again sought relief from Stanford – this time to get rid of the name and the mascot all together. The President of the University agreed, and in 1972, the Indian mascot was banned completely, and has been banned ever since.
This, though, left Stanford without a mascot. And that’s where things got goofy…
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