FIELDER’S CHOICES: Pondering nicknames before making picks

A high school in California retired its controversial “Arab” mascot last week.

For some reason, people were offended by a cartoonish costume of a man in a head scarf with a hooked nose and thick facial hair. Then again, it could have been the bellydancing genie who joined him at halftime. I’m not really certain.

The whole incident got me thinking about how lucky we are that Nevada’s high schools don’t have any offensive mascots, unless, of course, you have an issue with Braves (Owyhee) and Indians (Elko).

Or Muckers.

None of those names bother me, but I’ve always wondered why so many mascots in the Clark County School District begin with the same letter as the school’s name.

Rancho Rams. Valley Vikings. Western Warriors.

It’s like every school built around here before 1990 was named by comic book writer Stan Lee. (Yes, I’m aware that mentioning the alliteration in his characters’ names — Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Fin Fang Foom, and so on — is nerdy and blatantly ripped off from Raj Koothrappali on “The Big Bang Theory.” It doesn’t make the whole thing any less true, OK?!)

Clark Chargers. Chaparral Cowboys. Bonanza Bengals. The list goes on.

I’ll excuse Las Vegas (Wildcats) and Basic (Wolves) since those schools opened in the 1930s and 40s, respectively. But what the heck happened at Eldorado (Sundevils)? Did they hold a naming contest in the early 70s and forget to tell Sunrise Manor’s residents the rule about alliteration?

If anyone knows the history behind this bizarre naming phenomenon, send me a note on Twitter @FielderNVP.

On a different topic, my first set of picks were a resounding dud, which means I have some catching up to do on this week’s slate. As always, I’ll post more games on Nevadapreps.com.

— Green Valley at Palo Verde — The Gators picked up a nice road win last week against Charter Oak (Calif.), which sounds more like a rehab facility but is traditionally one of the strongest programs in that part of Southern California.

Lost in Palo Verde’s dismal offensive output against Centennial is the fact its defense was pretty darn stout, allowing only 185 yards. The Panthers will need a similar effort if they hope to avenge last season’s one-point loss to Green Valley. … Green Valley by 10.

— Arbor View at Silverado — If history is any indication, this game could be done by 8:15 p.m. as both programs are allergic to passing. That’s fine with me since my English teacher is giving us a quiz on Monday and I need to study.

I almost feel bad for the Skyhawks, who were the best 3-7 team in the state last year and face five ranked opponents this season. The Aggies won’t have any sympathy, though. … Arbor View by 11.

— Bingham (Utah) at Bishop Gorman — Gaels coach Tony Sanchez said his team was watching film of Bingham last week on the bus ride to Southern California. Maybe that’s why Gorman stunk in the first half before pulling away from Servite (Calif). Just a theory.

Most fans want to know whether senior Danny Hong or sophomore Tate Martell will start at quarterback for Gorman. I want to see whether the Gaels can hold up in the trenches against the physical Miners, who have won 16 straight and are ranked No. 18 by USA Today. … Gorman by 14.

— Rancho at Las Vegas — This is the 58th version of the “Bone Game,” and the Wildcats are heavy favorites to win their 18th straight in the state’s oldest rivalry. Really, the only suspense is when the running clock will start. … Running clock by 10:00 remaining in the third quarter.

Last week: 4-4, 4-4 (with points)

Season: 4-4, 4-4 (with points)

Contact Fielder at Fielder@nevadapreps. com. Follow @FielderNVP on Twitter.

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