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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

Here's another one for the stereotypes.

I am wondering if the "BURIAL GROUNDS" is the name of the Liberal, Kansas High School football field? Note another reference to it mid way down the story.

Liberal, Kansas Middle and High Schools are both r-word mascot schools.

-Matthew Richter


Hays' win over Liberal makes WAC wilder

By Jim Misunas

LIBERAL -- On a few rare occasions, it's the Liberal Redskins who get buried at the Burial Grounds.

Friday night was one of those occasions. The Class 5A, No. 2 Redskins couldn't take advantage of second-half mistakes by Hays High as the fifth-ranked Indians stunned a homecoming crowd with a 20-13 victory.

The win snapped an 11-year losing streak to the Redskins for Hays (3-0), whose bus broke down while traveling to the game, whose start was delayed by 30 minutes.

"I got chills as soon as the game ended. It was amazing," said Hays quarterback Marcus Watts, who made key plays all game long. "We've dreamed about winning here for so long, and tonight we did it. This is a great senior class we have and everyone's going to feel good about this one."

Hays led 13-7 early and seemed to take firm command of the game when Watts scored on a 12-yard run with 6 minutes, 6 seconds to play in the third quarter to increase that lead to 20-7. The Indians had all of the momentum -- if only for a brief moment.

Liberal (2-1) struck back with a 70-yard touchdown run by Chris McCann just 30 seconds later to close within 20-13. The extra point was blocked.

From there, it appeared as Hays wanted to give the game away with a costly interception and fumble deep in its own end. The Redskins couldn't capitalize either time.

Liberal tight end Phillip Wedel fumbled the ball away at the Hays 1, and the Indians got the ball back on a touchback. Another time, the Redskins had to punt.

So, when Liberal faced a fourth-and-7 from the Hays 18 with 8 minutes to go, Redskins coach Gary Cornelsen decided to go for it. Matt Baker could have waltzed in for the touchdown had it not been for Watts, who managed to race over in time, then make the shoestring tackle to force a turnover on downs.

"In the second half -- and in the whole game -- I felt we were just as good, if not better than Hays tonight," Cornelsen said. "We were just snake-bitten. We just had so many chances to win the game and didn't do it. We gave them the game."

Hays got some luck on the ensuing drive. After a three-and-out, Liberal blocked Watts' punt in what looked like a tide-turning play.

Instead, Watts scooped up the ball, ran around the left corner and flew head over heels above two Liberal defenders to make the first down with a 6-yard gain.

Randall Cunningham would have been proud.

"I thought maybe I could juke the guy, then decided not to," Watts said. "I felt I had to go for it, and I was lucky to make it there. We wanted it."

Liberal did have two more drives to try to tie the game. One ended in a punt, while the other ended at the Hays 14 as time expired. The Redskins had gotten the ball back with only 16.3 seconds to go at the Hays 49 and benefited from a 35-yard reception by Baker to set up a dramatic finish.

Liberal quarterback John Combs was long on the first pass after the Redskins ran down the field and spiked the ball. He fumbled when trying to pump-fake on the last play. He recovered the ball, but time had run out.

Watts collapsed in the end zone face down. He got up, threw his helmet high into the sky and rushed to the middle of the field to celebrate with his teammates, including Jace Stewart, who finished with five receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown -- he had all the Hays receiving yards.

"We wanted respect from this game, and we got it," Watts said. "This was something we needed to win. To win at the Burial Grounds, this is sweet."

Copyright 2001 The Hutchinson News

Rob's comment
Indians vs. Redskins...it's not often two sports teams have offensive names. The word "redskins" is especially offensive to most Native people, but it and other teams names and mascots are old stereotypes. They're not eligible for the contest.

No, the "winning" stereotype here is naming the football site the Burial Grounds. "It's the Liberal Redskins who get buried at the Burial Grounds"...charming thought. Since most Indians are more liberal than average, since conservatives have associated Indians and liberals with "socialists" and other evildoers, the phrase has several layers of meaning. "Let's put those damn Indians = liberals = evildoers in the ground where they belong!"

A reader responds (1/31/05)
Someone named Travis, apparently located at Kansas State University, took exception to my comments about the "Burial Grounds." His comments and my replies:

>> The Burial Grounds was a nickname given to it by the students because of our dominance of teams throughout the 90s. <<

Do you have any documentation for that? Unless you were there when the first person used the term, you can't be sure what he or she was thinking.

>> It is called the Burial Grounds cause as the saying goes, "No team comes out of the Burial Grounds alive" <<

Yes, but even if the origin story is correct, the phrase has more than one meaning. Calling a team the Redskins is insensitive enough, but nicknaming the field the Burial Grounds is doubly insensitive. I can see how people might think so, anyway.

>> The name has just stuck with announcers/writers, etc, but "Redskin Field" is still the name painted on the pressbox. <<

An informal name is still a name. The name is accepted enough that a newspaper uses it in its reports.

Even without the notion of burying Indians or their enemies—which implies Indians were immersed in warfare—one could argue the name is wrongheaded. Is the school's goal really to kill and bury its enemies, even metaphorically? How does that square with the ideals of sportsmanship, not to mention education?


Related links
Red·skin n.  Dated, offensive, taboo
Team names and mascots

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