On Fire

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

So said Sir Isaac Newton, who our better-educated readers may know as the namesake of the three fundamental laws of motions.

Much like Sir Newton, your On Fire correspondent has seen further than others. He (or she) has always wondered why and assumed it was because of hard work and great hair.

But the Wheel‘s own Jenna Kingsley recently made a discovery that tells us why he (or she) sees so far – he (or she) stands on the shoulders of giants.

According to the Section 21 of the Emory Tour Guide Handbook, which Jenna was reading during Editorial Board on Sunday (though she was still paying attention to all the insightful comments your opinionated On Fire correspondent and others were making), “Swoop has been Emory’s official mascot since the 1960s, when it was chosen by the sports editor of The Emory Wheel.”

First of all, is this awesome or what? What an unprecedented display of power from a sports editor of the Wheel. If we needed any final proof that sports is the single greatest section at the Wheel, this is it.

Seriously, what has news ever done for anyone? We hereby challenge you, our loyal readers, to think of any single action that the news team has taken that has had the impact of a single On Fire, let alone the impact of choosing Emory’s mascot.

But after the initial reaction of shock and awe at how awesome it is that a former sports editor chose Emory’s mascot, the second thought that comes to mind is, “Who is this man, this myth, this legend?”

The handbook did not mention this sports editor of yore by name, but your intrepid On Fire correspondent decided to venture into cyberspace in order to learn more about the history of Swoop and the Emory Eagle.

The first thing he (or she) discovered is that Swoop has only been Emory’s mascot since 1986. So surprise, surprise, the tour guide handbook has incorrect information. Someone should let them know.

It will not be us at On Fire, however, because we have much better things to do. Among them are discovering the truth to this mascot story.

The truth is not hard to find. The Emory Athletics website, on a section called “History of the Emory Eagle,” describes how in 1960, a sports editor of the Wheel named David Kross bestowed the name of the Eagles upon the Emory athletic teams.

Your digression-loving On Fire correspondent could launch into a long lecture right now on the exact story of how the Eagles came to represent Emory. But history is stupid, so he (or she) will not. Suffice it to say that Mr. Kross made this decision on Oct. 27, 1960, and we can tell that he was a very wise and gifted man because in his Wheel article announcing his decision, he used SAT words such as ‘henceforth’ and ‘suffice.’

Before this, Emory’s athletic teams had no official name but had been known unofficially at various times as the Hillbillies, Gentlemen and Teasippers.

Who is this man? If you Google ‘David Kross,’ all the results are for the actor best known for his work in “War Horse.” If you misspell his name as ‘David Cross,’ all the results will be for the actor who ‘blue himself’ as Tobias Fünke in “Arrested Development.”

But if you type in ‘David Kross Emory,’ you will hit the mother load. There are 16,200 results, and the first three all refer to his landmark decision on Oct. 27, 1960.

If you switch the search to images, we see a 1960s yearbook picture of a very handsome Emory student (much like your current On Fire correspondent), followed by a picture of Swoop.

So it is apparent that Mr. Kross (who is currently a business consultant in St. Paul, according to our intensive research) has done nothing more impressive in his life than put the Eagles in the Emory Eagles. Which is fair – your On Fire correspondent has done nothing even half as impressive as that, and do not even get us started on the news team.

All of us here at On Fire would like to salute you, David Kross. You had the boldness to unilaterally declare Emory to be the Eagles. You are the giant upon whose shoulders we stand, the reason why On Fire sees further than others.

In related news, your On Fire correspondent is considering exercising his (or her) time honored right to re-name Emory’s athletic teams. Loyal readers, email your ideas to [email protected] and stay tuned.