There’s another way to take the debate over the prospective Idaho vehicle license plate bearing the image of the “Maniacs.”
The origin of this is clear enough, and most of the discussion centers around it. Orofino is home to State Hospital North, a psychiatric facility. Decades ago, when the local high school was looking for a distinctive team mascot, they came up with something a little more original than the timber-related name they might have chosen, and went with “Maniacs.” Over time, criticism of the name grew as derogatory of the people at the hospital.
I’m not generally inclined to take too seriously the names of sports teams; the whole idea of most of them is to suggest something unruly or even dangerous. (My college’s teams were the Vandals.) Putting them on state vehicle license plates may be a little different, though; that’s putting on the state imprimatur.
The proposal by Representative Paul Shepherd did include a compromise of sorts: The words “Orofino” and “Maniacs” would not be included, only the image of the mascot – a genuinely unruly, open-mouthed character who looks like he’s coming right at you.
An Orofino city council member was quoted as saying, “In 2016 our mascot, the maniac, continues to be a symbol of unbridled enthusiasm and a symbol of overcoming odds. It’s about a positive image to win and keep fighting.”
I just wonder about what a driver from another state will think upon seeing the maniacal image, unexplained, on the Idaho license plate: “This is Idaho. You’ve been warned.” – rsShare on Facebook