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Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022

Monday Mailbag: Guardians, Big 10, more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag includes questions about the Cleveland Guardians/Indians team name, possible Big Ten expansion and high school soccer ties.

Q: The Guardians? That’s the best name Cleveland could come up with? I’m still a fan and always will be but the new name doesn’t do much for me and from the sound of things, it doesn’t do much for many other fans. Name withheld upon request

A: I had heard Thursday night that it was going to be Guardians and it came as a bit of a surprise to me.

I’m a Cleveland fan as well, yet the name or reference seems a bit obscure. If you’re not a Cleveland fan or from the area, you really wouldn’t know about the four statues that sit on the Hope Memorial Bridge in the city. They’re sometimes known as the Guardians of Traffic, and that’s how the organization picked the new name.

Team owner and Chairman Paul Dolan offered this explanation in a press release:

“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland. Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge.”

“It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”

Some fans wanted to keep the name Indians, others wanted a change. There was no way to please everyone but again, Guardians seems like a bit of an odd choice, especially given the fact that the organization sifted through more than 1,100 other suggestions.

Q: What am I missing here? I thought the name Indians honored Native Americans. Have I been wrong the whole time? Name withheld upon request

A: I think it’s safe to say you’re not alone in your thinking and it’s probably safe to say it depends who you ask.

I know the Indians name has deep roots for Cleveland fans but in the end, it’s just a name. Do I like the name Guardians? Not really, but I’m no less of a fan because of it.

Q: Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. Instead of Kansas to the Big Ten, how about Notre Dame, Pitt and/or West Virginia instead. All of those schools seem to be a better fit than Kansas. Bob C., Lima

A: Kansas would be a great addition to the Big 10 strictly for men’s basketball, but I’m not so sure about the other sports, so I’m sort of with you on that.

As long as Notre Dame gets to keep all of the money the university reaps from television, there’s no way the Irish will join a conference. If Notre Dame joins the Big Ten or any conference, revenue sharing would kick in. Yes, I know they were a member of the ACC for football last season (sort of), but that was a one time, special thing. Don’t hold your breath for Notre Dame.

As far as Pitt and West Virginia, I’ve always thought one or both would be a suitable member, at least from a geographical standpoint. Then again, the powers-that-be don’t exactly use maps to determine these things. They use television ratings and dollars as a guide, hence the addition of Maryland and Rutgers.

It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out, because it’s usually a ripple effect. One someone moves, it almost always triggers other moves and I believe the Big Ten could be directly affected by the latest changes.

Q: Has there been any word on eliminating ties from high school soccer? Name withheld upon request

A: None that I’ve heard but it should be an easy fix, if you want to remove ties from the game. Just use the tournament format or maybe go to one overtime and if the game is still tied, go to penalty kicks.

Sounds simple enough to me. Anyone else care to chime in on this?

C: Thank you for the look back to college football conferences over the last 40 years. I had forgotten about a couple of them and it’s amazing to see how much has changed over the years. Name withheld upon request

A: You’re quite welcome, it was a fun piece to research and write and yes, it was a nice little trip down memory lane.

Indeed, things have changed quite a bit and it looks like the next round of changes will happen soon.

If you have a comment or question for the next Monday Mailbag, please email it to You may choose to have your name included or withheld.

POSTED: 07/26/21 at 3:52 am. FILED UNDER: Sports