Farmington, UT — Farmington High School is set to open next year in, you guessed it, Farmington, Utah, and while the school is not yet fully operational, they’ve already got a mascot picked out. It’s the mighty phoenix; The mythological bird that consumes itself in fire and then rises anew from the ashes. The mascot was chosen overwhelmingly by the student body, so who could possibly object? Local man Kyle Fraughton, that’s who.
Fraughton launched a petition on Change.org to switch the mascot to something else. Why? Because the plural of phoenix is phoenices, which is just a little too close to penises for Mr. Fraughton’s comfort. From the petition:
After first hearing about the mascot of Phoenix, I was practicing some cheers for the upcoming school year with a couple of my neighbors just for fun. We cheered, “Go Phoenixes!” However, it didn’t sound right to us, so we looked online to makes sure that we were saying the pluralized word of Phoenix correctly. We quickly discovered that although Phoenixes is an acceptable way to say it, another pluralization is Phoenices. So we changed our cheer to, “Go Phoenices!” Which is when the concern began to set in.
We were horrified to hear that the phonetics of the word Phoenices are far too close to the word penises. I don’t mean to be crass, but don’t want there to be confusion around the point I am trying to make.
Fraughton expounded on that idea in the Salt Lake Tribune, saying, “I have no interest in my daughter or my son playing sports and getting referred to as something like a penis.” I’ve got bad news. High school kids aren’t gonna call your kids “something like a penis.” They’re just gonna call them penises.
The school has made it clear the word phoenix will never be pluralized. “We are one,” Principle Richard Swanson said. “We are The Phoenix.” But Fraughton’s fears have not been assuaged.
“There are many people who find this type of thing funny, and all it will take is one person to figure it out before it goes viral,” Fraughton writes in his petition. “However, the reality is that this has already started to happen in our own community as word has gotten out about this oversight. We are already being referred to as the Phoenices.”
The petition garnered over 2,800 signatures thus far, but the school district has no plans on changing the name. For one thing, they actually did a bit of research on this and contacted other schools that use a phoenix for their mascot. Each of those schools use the singular version as well and haven’t had to deal with Fraughton’s worst case scenario, which I imagine is a stadium full of children screaming “PENISES” and throwing dildos at his children.
Plus, if they changed it they’d probably have to go with the runner up in the student vote: the Farmers. You don’t want to be the Farmington Farmers. That’s just sad.