There’s plenty to be up in arms about these days. Plenty of causes to take up. Plenty of injustices to fight and wrongs to right.

And while my recently turned 38-year-old mind and body lack the capacity to pour my time and energy into the truly important ones — like the impending death of Twitter and the difficulty of getting Taylor Swift concert tickets through Ticketmaster — I do have one torch that I’ve decided to carry through the darkness, one boulder I’ve decided to push up a hill.

That, my friends, is my quest to see that Bear Lake High School cast off its Lakers mascot and instead warmly embrace the magnificent moniker of the Lake Bears.

Not too much brings me joy in life, save for my two dogs and watching pro wrasslin’, but seeing the Bear Lake Lakers become the Bear Lake Lake Bears would certainly fill me with glee, delight, elation, jubilance and any other word for happiness that came up when I googled “joy synonym.”

This all began a couple of months ago while the Record-Eagle’s venerable senior sports reporter James Cook and I were recording an episode of our highly regarded and widely renowned podcast, the Get Around. We were discussing what the fictional mascots would be for the fictional high schools named after us.

A ridiculous topic, no doubt, but one that made us realize there aren’t many unique mascots in northern Michigan. I mean, there are even two Lakers within 40 miles of each other.

Although the Glen Lake Lake Glens would be hilarious and I can already picture the mascot being a Midwest dad named Glen rocking khaki shorts, a striped polo shirt and Crocs with socks, I felt that name change was far less realistic than the Bear Lake Lake Bears.

You see, I come from the Land of Lincoln — a state that featured high school mascots the likes of the Cobden Appleknockers, the Hoopeston Cornjerkers, the New Berlin Pretzels and the Fisher Bunnies. So I’m used to a little variety in my Baskin-Robbins-esque 31 flavors of mascots, and having two Comets (Leland and McBain Northern Michigan Christian), two Ramblers (Boyne City and McBain), the Sabres (Traverse City Christian) and the Sabers (Manistee Catholic Central) along with your garden variety Trojans, Bulldogs, Wildcats, et cetera just wasn’t cutting it for yours truly.

We would be misguided if we didn’t take a cue from our very own Traverse City Pit Spitters, who are even sometimes the Up North Cork Dorks. Fun with names is just as important as fun with shapes and fun with colors. You don’t always need a blue square. Sometimes you need a neon green and hot pink polka-dotted dodecahedron.

Now, please don’t take my polite and somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion as any sort of knock against or insult to the Laker legacy at Bear Lake. I’m sure it has a storied and important origin that I’m clearly overlooking, but change — while scary — can be a good thing.

That’s why I am not just stopping at the Lake Bears. And by “I,” I mean “we.”

In the past several weeks on the Get Around, I’ve lassoed James and our relatively new sports reporter, Jordan Puente, into my mission and asked them to seek out one of their own.

Mr. Cook’s is the most likely candidate to go from dream to realization as Manistee, which recently shed its Chippewas mascot, is on the prowl for a new nickname. I think we can all agree that it would be a grave error for them not to choose Manatees as their new sobriquet.

Am I right or am I right? Right?

The Manistee Manatees just sounds perfect. Rolls off the tongue and rhymes, which is always pleasing to the ear.

And think of the merchandise possibilities.

Do you know how quickly I’d buy a Manistee Manatees t-shirt or a Bear Lake Lake Bears hat? Very quickly.

You know what? While we’re at it, let’s bring back the Thunder Squirrels, the old Traverse City club lacrosse team mascot. Because I’ll buy a Thunder Squirrels hoodie tomorrow if it’s available.

As jokingly serious as I am about this, I do think a little bit of fun wouldn’t hurt during these trying times in which we find ourselves.

And, if you want to see the Manistee Manatees become a reality, the Manistee Area Public Schools board of education is taking suggestions. Just go to www. to fight for that adorable aquatic mammal.

Until then, go Lake Bears!

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