College Corner: Homecoming for the Long Beach State ‘Fill in the Blanks’

Oh no, we have to write about the mascot thing again.

We don’t want to. We’re tired of it. Long Beach State is tired of it. The athletic department is tired of it. Their media people are tired of it. Their coaches are SUPER tired of it. And guess what? We really, truly are tired of it, too. We get a lot more enjoyment out of a day spent writing about an athlete with a great story than we do making fun of our alma mater.

But that’s the thing with cleaning your house: if you don’t do it, the house stays dirty no matter how tired you are of having to step over trash on your way to the bathroom.

Over the last few years, the university has phased out “49ers” as a nickname and Prospector Pete as a mascot. Last spring, the students voted to adopt “Sharks” as an informal representative for the school, but the athletic department stated firmly that they wouldn’t be using Sharks as a team nickname. The athletic department also re-affirmed that the school’s baseball team will, thankfully, remain the Dirtbags.

Prior to this year’s basketball season, the athletic department made it official, removing “49ers” as their nickname with the NCAA and adding on “the Beach.” Because that info was included in the run-up coverage to Long Beach State basketball’s season opener at UCLA, the larger college sports media landscape learned of that for the first time.

The usual jokes came out, and the LA Times penned a column mocking the university and Petros and Money spent a few minutes of air time making fun of the redundancy.

Even worse, there was actual confusion about what to call the school among media members. When the women’s basketball team had their season opener on the road against Cal Baptist, the chyron on the broadcast of the game identified the LBSU women as the “Long Beach State Dirtbags.”

The chyron was later switched to read Long Beach State Beach. Proponents of the name switch would prefer people to refer to the teams as either “Long Beach State” or “The Beach,” but of course that’s not how chyrons work. That insufferable redundancy in certain uses has been our objection to this change the entire time, as pleasant as “Go Beach” is as a rallying cry.

Imagine rooting for the University of Southern California Southern or the Huntington Beach Huntington or the Signal Hill Hill.

Anyway. Till next time.

Misty’s A Hall of Famer AGAIN

As always, the bright ray of sunshine around Long Beach State is Misty May-Treanor, who has spent the last several years proudly representing her school and city as one of her sport’s greatest ambassadors. While rehabbing LBCC into a repeat conference champion as its director of volleyball, May-Treanor has also spent the last several years collecting Hall of Fame inductions like they were Olympic gold medals, of which she happens to have three.

May-Treanor has been inducted into every Hall she’s eligible for, including USA Volleyball’s, the Century Club’s, Long Beach State’s, her high school’s, the Beach Volleyball Hall and probably others we’re missing. Last week, she was inducted into the United States Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame, about as big an honor as we can imagine.

Long Beach State Almost Beats UCLA

Mascots aside, let’s talk Long Beach State basketball. The Beach looked good on the road in their opener against UCLA, holding a lead for most of the game before falling in the end as the Bruins stepped it up and won by a surprisingly close score of 69-65.

The most encouraging thing for Long Beach State was its defensive effort, something that had been sorely lacking the last few seasons. With 11 new players this year, that effort will be key; only four schools in the country have more new faces.

The LBSU men and women both have their home openers this Saturday at the Walter Pyramid as the university celebrates Homecoming. Basketball homecoming is one of our favorite traditions at the school, a celebration we didn’t think we’d get to enjoy as students when we enrolled at a school with no football team.

This year, there will be a doubleheader with both teams playing, as the school kicks off its 25th anniversary celebration of the Pyramid. The women will host Westcliff at 1 p.m. while the men face the University of San Diego afterward, probably around 3:30 p.m.

LBCC Football One Win Away

The LBCC football team won again last week, giving head coach Brett Peabody his 50th win with the program. The Vikings will visit College of the Canyons this Saturday and are now one win away from clinching a share of the conference championship, as well as a berth into a bowl game.

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Mike and JJ go together like mac and cheese: they’re best friends, business partners and Long Beach sports experts. They’ve been working together for over a decade covering Long Beach local sports and now run the562.org, a community-funded nonprofit media outlet.
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