|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
USOC CEASE & DESIST LETTER HAVE KNITTERS IN UPROAR
The United States Olympic Committee says “No!” to the Ravelympics. Make that “Nooooo!! No Way! No Freakin’ Way, You Knit-Crazy Geezers!!”
You might have guessed, the knitters didn’t take it too well. Sure they were told to drop the name “Ravelympics” from their knitting event. But it was the way they were told which ruffled a few afghans. Here’s the cease and desist letter: “We believe using the name ‘Ravelympics’ for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tend to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. It is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”
Okay, we can see the Committee’s need to protect its trademark. But they didn’t need to dis the knitting community in the process. The USOC may have forgotten all these knitters come armed with those sharp pointy things plus… there are lots of them, two-million in the on-line Ravelry group alone; enough prickly ones to shut down the USOC’s Facebook site with angry responses.
Thousands of letters flooded USOC’s site, like these:
“Nobody puts knitting in a corner.”
“We will boycott your games, sir. You, sir, who claim to be about amateurism are, in the end, all about money.”
“Do you think we will still be fans? I’m a frayed-knot.”
“I’m joining the boycott. Knit-picking over Ravelympics, which was created to support our athletes? You may as well be needling over hand-knits.”
“I had no idea these knitters presented such a monumental threat to your organization you felt this letter was appropriate. Don’t trip over the yarn.”
“You’re a posse of stuck up bureaucrats. May Zeus shower down on you lightning bolts in the shape of knitting needles.”
“I’m recommending Greece sue the USOC for trademark infringement. Maybe they’ll collect enough to wiggle out of their financial troubles.”
“Right now, I’m knitting handcuffs made of chunky alpaca yarn for YOU.”
You get it? The above is a tiny sampling of the letters received by the USOC from mad knitters. The USOC twice apologized for their original C & D letter by first saying they would welcome any items from the Raveling community. Yeah, that’s smart. First insult them, then ask for free stuff. On-line site “Yarn Harlot” received so many tweets and emails over this issue it was forced to devote three days to the “Olympics slight.” The “Ravelympics” was an event where knitters made Olympic type products and then gave them away or used them to raise money for the Special Olympics. That now sounds unlikely.
In the interest of recapturing this group we think the USOC should allow the “Ravelympics” to go forward under that name. The Olympics should be about peace or as the late Rodney King once said “Can’t we all get a yarn?” Or was it “Can’t we all get a long… cardigan?” Or better yet, as the late gravely-voiced knitting singer Janis “Purl” Joplin once sang “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a purse and these pins?” Or she might sing to the Olympic committee “Try just a little bit harder”… or something like that.
|Silliman On Sports
2405 Wilcox Drive
Norman, OK 73069