A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 25, 2004
Redmen, Red Storm (St. John’s teams)
St. John's teams wore red. Many teams were known for the color of their uniforms: Harvard Crimson, Syracuse Orangemen, Columbia Blue and White, NYU Violets. In the 1920s, the St. John's teams were being referred to as the "Redmen."

"Redmen" became associated with "Indians." In the politically correct 1990s, the nickname was changed to "Red Storm."

17 February 1930, New York Times, pg. 13:
St. John's (Brooklyn)
at C. U. Tonight in
Week's Feature.
(...)
Catholic and St. John's will meet on the Brookland (sic) floor, starting at 8:30 o'clock, following a preliminary in which the high-powered C. U. Freshmen will appear. Catholic will be out to snap its long-losing streak, but if the Redmen from the North live up to advance notices the scoreboard will show the Cardinals' thirteenth straight loss at the finish.

10 February 1932, New York Times, pg. 28:
ST. JOHN'S QUINTET
WINS IN OVERTIME
(...)
After three minutes of play the Red Men rallied and took the lead on baskets by Johnny Poliskin and George Slott.

13 February 1994, New York Times, pg. A1:
Color Them Red
(...)
The Redmen will soon be no more. In a move toward "political correctness," the university in Jamaica is changing the name of its sports teams.
(...)
So this will probably be the last season for the Redmen of St. John's. "Even though the Redmen didn't come from any Indian connotation," Mr. (St. John's University president of the student government Kevin - ed.) Bienemann said. "It started back in the 1920's, when the football team came out in red uniforms. Someone said, 'Look at the red men.' It stuck."

The new name will come from a name search committee headed by Lou Carnesseca, the former basketball coach. Students haven't been shy about offering their choices. "We polled the students once," Mr. Bienermann said. "And we're going to poll them again. There was a big write-in for the Red Devils."

That's not all that's red, Mr. (Sports department's Frank -ed.) Racantello said. "We've got a list," he said. "We've got Red Storm, Red Flames, Red Rockets, Red Lasers, Red Dragons, Red Comets, Red Wave and Red Devils." The only thing missing is Red Sails in the Sunset.

9 June 1994, New York Times, pg. B18:
Call St. John's
The Red Storm

After completing its worst basketball season in 31 years, St. John's has changed its nickname. Red-faced after a disappointing 12-17 campaign, the Redmen will now be known as the Red Storm.


Posted by Barry Popik
Education/Schools • (0) Comments • Thursday, November 25, 2004 • Permalink