Sunday, March 4, 2012

Faster Than My Bullet: Baseball, the Houston Colt .45s, and Promoting Violence

This is the Houston Astros' 50th Anniversary, and all indications are that they will celebrate by losing two games for each year they've been around. They're also going to wear a bunch of throwback jerseys, including one from the earliest days as the Houston Colt .45s.

But hold up, slow up, stop, control, says the MLB Commissioner's office. Houston can't display the Colt .45s logo- that is, a smoking gun- on their jerseys.

I'm torn on this. Generally speaking, I'm uncomfortable around guns and sensitive to policies that want to add a few more measures of control to them. On the other hand, "Colt .45s" is an awesome, evocative team name, perfect for Texas, and the logo is kind of cool.

In a broader sense, I'm not really sure what Baseball is accomplishing here. Any time Baseball wants to try to help decrease gun violence- or at least, not offer tacit support of gun culture- I'm right behind 'em. And the game certainly has every right to protect and maintain it's brand, and if that includes eschewing the imagery of violent weapons, very well. I certainly wouldn't argue that the New York Glocks or the San Francisco AK-47s would be team names chosen in good taste.

But at the same time, that logo is a stylized drawing of an Old West-style revolver. Isn't that a little antiquated?. In fact, it's probably a little closer to the Braves' tomahawk chop than it is anything that promotes violence in the modern world.

I dunno. On balance, I suppose I don't mind Baseball doing this. I just wonder if they couldn't have chosen their battles better.

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