Boys Rewarded Money for Helping to Remove Crosses from School Football Uniforms

Making as little sense to many as removing the "G" from the Green Bay Packers' helmets, a Wisconsin co-op football team composed of the private Catholic Messmer High School and the public Shorewood High School was forced to remove its new team logo last fall. The logo affixed to the team's helmets (right) mixed the images of both schools -- the Shorewood greyhound and Messmer's bishop's hat with a cross.

As a sophomore student, Sam Pagenkopf designed the new logo, which was approved along with about 20 other logo proofs by both schools' administrations. More than a decade after the Messmer/Shorewood high school football team formed in 2000, a graphic arts class project formed to create a shared logo for the team.

And the reason for scrapping the student's logo that was already affixed to the helmets?

It "offended" a mother and her two boys who attend Shorewood.

The result?

A $1,000 reward given to both Mayan and Balen Essak (top left) for their role in getting rid of the cross -- and a generic logo replacement having nothing to do with either school, simply reading "2012 PLAYOFFFS" (bottom left).

Ecstatic over the off-the-field victory, the Freedom From Religion Foundation applauded the eradication of the cross from the logo, claiming that its placement on the uniforms constituted the team's endorsement of a religion and thus violated the so-called "separation of church and state."

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Michael F. Haverluck
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