WHAT COULD be more fun than naming a sports mascot? How about rushing through a nonfunctioning turnstile? The Philadelphia Phillies new Triple A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, had a contest to name their mascot, a porcine critter, all gray and fuzzy, with a smile and a cute potbelly. The winning name: PorkChop. Awww. But the name was not so lovable to some Hispanics in the Allentown, Pa., community, who complained that "pork chop" was an ethnic slur once used in the region's steel mills. The next morning the animal was rechristened Ferrous, a play on the Latin word for iron. This, however, only led to further complaints, from fans upset that the team caved in to the forces of political correctness. The IronPigs have played down the controversy. "The name PorkChop was not much better than the other names submitted," spokesman Matt Provence says. "To 'cave,' you need to give up something. We didn't really give up anything."
This is an article from the Dec. 17, 2007 issue