Sorry, Washington State, BYU, Houston, College of Charleston and Chicago State: Your mascot might be offensive to middle-aged women.
That was one of the alleged reasons a Utah school board overrode a student vote to name a new high school's athletic teams the Cougars. Instead, Corner Canyon High School in Draper will root for the Chargers.
As an Oakland Raiders fan, this stabs my heart, but I digress.
In case you haven't seen the show Cougar Town or watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta/Orange County/New Jersey/Beverly Hills/D.C./New York City, here's the Merriam-Webster definition of a cougar (seriously): "a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man."
Here's the other, more well-known definition of a cougar: "a large powerful tawny-brown cat formerly widespread in the Americas but now reduced in number or extinct in many areas."
Something tells me those picking the mascot at WSU and BYU back in the day were considering the latter definition.
What's more offensive to me than the nickname — granted, I'm not a middle-aged woman — is that a school board puts power in the students' hands and then takes it away. The students' justification for choosing the mascot aside (and I'm guessing some intentions were less than pure), what kind of lesson are you teaching these kids about democracy?
At any rate, I'm glad WSU has decided to stick with Cougars. And thank goodness the Canyons School Board isn't the Pac-12, or else it would have a field day with some of the nicknames in that conference. (Hi, USC!)
For the Canyons School District memo on the decision, go here.