Your RDA of Irony

Phalanx for the Memories

So whom should we root for in the Peloponnesian War?  Glorious Athens or brutal Sparta?  If you think that it is an easy choice, you underestimate the popularity of Neanderthals.

Ask yourself:  how many high school teams are named “the Athenians”?  Feel free to cheat and look at the sports pages.  You can see that the Spartans have won this war, too.   

With the possible exception of the chess club, no team wants to be named the Athenians.  From reading Plato and Herodotus, high school coachs just aren’t comfortable with Athens.  It was a little too “artistic” for the locker room.  Besides, a team wants to be named for a winner, and Sparta is the obvious choice.  The Peloponnesian War would seem like a duel between Truman Capote and Vin Diesel.  You can’t fight stereotypes; but history confronts us with an intriguing contradiction.  The War lasted 27 years.  Either Vin was overrated or Truman knew what he was doing.   

  1. Jason Krawetz says:

    How could you not want your school to be the Spartans, it just has that ring. GBN Athenians? – I think not. Sweet website though.


  2. I wonder who picks the names of high school teams?

    The northern suburbs of Chicago are not Spartan by any definition. Could you imagine if the team names were demographically accurate?

    “Today, New Trier’s Smug Episcopalians will be playing Highland Park’s Jewish Brats.”


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