CFL Pass

In North Dakota, “Roughriders” advance to final round

Despite a 3-15 record in a CFL season running the gamut from disappointing to bizarre, the Roughriders have advanced to the finals.

In an election.

In North Dakota.

And it’s actually just the name “Roughriders” in the finals. But still – the Roughriders are alive!

In 2014, in response to the threat of NCAA sanctions, University of North Dakota officials decided to do away with the school’s traditional “Fighting Sioux” nickname. While the team has been playing as simply “UND” since ’14, a (very) long process to set a new mascot has seen a list of some 1,172 possibilities whittled down to seven, then five, then three.

In mid-October, a list of five candidates – the Fighting Hawks, Nodaks, North Stars and Sundogs in addition to Roughriders – was given to UND students, boosters and the like to vote upon. With no single choice earning 50% or more of the vote, however, a runoff election was announced for one week later. Despite the uni’s plan to present the top two candidates on the runoff ballot, however, it was determined that, since the difference in number of votes cast – just 116 of 22,000-plus – for the second-favourite Nodaks and third-place Roughriders was so insignificant as to require the three-candidate ballot.

Results of the runoff were announced today and, while “Roughriders” managed to top “Nodaks” by over 400 votes, the “Fighting Hawks” remains the overwhelming favourite to become UND’s new moniker, having grabbed 45.69% in this vote.

The final balloting is currently open and will run through this week.

Naturally, CFLpass urges UND students to consider not only the rich football tradition behind the name “Roughriders” (and, well, “Rough Riders”), but also the badassery of the nearly universally acknowledged baddest-ass President of the United States and the badass dude who headed up the original (American) badasses roughriders, Teddy Roosevelt.

Just imagine the potential mascot

– written by Os Davis