Parents of children attending Farmington High School in Utah have petitioned to change the name of the school’s mascot. The Phoenixes have had their name a short period since it was only given to them on November 1st but parents soon began to have trouble with the chant. At first they started chanting ‘The Phoenixes’ at a local game but decided it didn’t sound ‘right’. A quick Google revealed that phoenices is technically the correct way to pluralise phoenix so they started chanting that instead.
But it sounded like something else.
Yeah it sounds like ‘penises’ (go on, try it out a couple of times).
"We were horrified to hear that the phonetics of the word Phoenices are far too close to the word penises. I don't mean to be crass, but don’t want there to be confusion around the point I am trying to make," writes Fraughton on his change.org petition.
Bizarrely, when Fraughton first raised these issues with other the school itself his concerns were dismissed. But he won’t let that stop him.
"I’m confident that the district does not want to bear the responsibility of our children being bullied as a result of our school mascot," he says on his blog. Adding that every game will be overwhelmed by a never ending stream of vulgar profanity from opposing teams.
The school’s official response?
They’ve asked other schools with a phoenix as a mascot and they all just use the word ‘phoenix’ as plural. No it’s not technically correct but no one cares and it doesn’t really matter anyway.
This response, by the way, you might recognise as the response of a sane human being. Still there’s something particularly hilarious about the idea of a Utah farmer getting worked up over a mascot whose name rhymes with ‘penises’ because he’s afraid the other teams will make fun of them. Kind of undermines the tough-guy image of the football team straight away if you’re afraid they can’t handle a little teasing.