Aug 10, 2011, 6:02 PM EDT
A man named Harold Brooks had a dream. In it, rednecks from around the nation would gather for a week of good, old-fashioned toilet seat horseshoes and mud pit belly flopping. He’d call it the Redneck Olympics, and the nation would rejoice. But if you’re about to get sued by the people who organize the Summer Olympics because of your name, you might be a redneck.
The real Olympics — you know, the one with beach volleyball and trampoline — are threatening to sue the Redneck Olympics for stealing half of their name.
The U.S. Olympic Committee doesn’t want to leave any room for doubt, which is why it is threatening legal action against Redneck Olympics organizer Harold Brooks just days after the conclusion of the inaugural competition in Hebron, Maine. (The Summer Redneck Games have been held annually in East Dublin, Ga., since 1996 and had the foresight to avoid using the word “Olympics” in their name.)
Brooks told the Sun Journal he received a phone call Monday from the USOC’s legal office, telling him he would face a lawsuit if he refused to change the name of his event.
Because Brooks is, well, a redneck, and not a lawyer, this was his initial response to the USOC:
“I’m not basing it on your Olympics, I’m basing it on the Olympics in Greece.”
Unfortunately for Brooks, the USOC has a history of protecting its exclusive rights to the name “Olympics” within U.S. borders. The USOC granted the Special Olympics special permission to use the word in its title in 1971, but has forced other sporting events and groups to drop the term from their names
Brooks is standing by his guns, however. Are those guns in working condition, and not rusted relics from the War of 1812? That’s unclear.
Brooks sounds willing to stick his neck out for his games.
“I’m going to refuse to not use that word,” he said.
I’d hate to see the sheriff supervising the confiscation of pigs and a riding mower. That would be sad.
Redneck Olympics” May Lose Half Its Name [Wall Street Journal]
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