John Paul Jones says “the Jack” is fine by him

As the Hook reported this week, UVA athletics officials have told members of the media to stop referring to the new John Paul Jones Arena as "the Jack" in part because, according to UVA spokeswoman Carol Wood, "There was some concern about whether or not it was respectable enough for the person for whom it was named."

Well now UVA officials can rest easy on that issue because "the Jack" now has the approval of "Jack" himself. In speaking with the Hook this morning, John Paul Jones said of the nickname, "I think it's very accurate because Jack's a nickname for John, right? I'm called Jack by most of my friends. President John F. Kennedy was called Jack, right? So I think it's fine."

Asked about if he shared UVA's concern over whether "the Jack" was "respectable," the 1948 UVA law alum said, "No. It's just an extension of a true actuality because most of my friends call me Jack. So I don't think it's irreverent."

And not only is Jones happy with "the Jack," it would appear that UVA president John Casteen is a fan as well. In a July 11 e-mail inviting the entire University community to the arena's open house, Casteen wrote, "I hope you will be able to stop by for this special insider's view of 'the Jack.'"

For his part, UVA athletic director Craig Littlepage wouldn't comment on "the Jack" this morning, saying only, "I would prefer that it be referred to as the John Paul Jones Arena."


I love this quote from the UVa-flack, which is perhaps the most ridiculous utterance I've read in some time.

"People would like a nickname to evolve organically, which is how nicknames usually happen," says Wood. "Our students haven't been in it yet, so there is concern that we don't jump the gun on naming it before people really have time to experience it."

Rrrrrrrrrrrrright. For who can deny the natural beauty and inherent-rightness that comes from an organically-evolved nickname?

See, I always thought it was named after the other John Paul Jones, who played bass for Led Zellepin. I found that a fitting tribute to name an arena after the band that made "arena rock" famous.

Led Zellepin, Zeppelin, whatever works.

"She's got the Jack!"
"She's got the Jack!"
"She's got the Jack!"
"She's got the Jack!"
"She's got the Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack..."
"She's got the Jack!"

R. I. P. Bon Scott

Hey UVa! Any power structure that can require sports announcers to refer to a sports complex as "The Carl Smith Center, Home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium," which UVa does require and Mac McDonald slavishly followed 10 or more times a game, does not get naming rights. Of course we can't expect announcers working under contract to be ruled by common sense, but newspapers and the rest of us are free to do as we like.

For me it's "the Jack" when we win and "the John" when we lose.

[Not just "The Carl Smith Center, Home of David A. Harrison Field at Scott Stadium" but UVa insists on a III after Harrison. Does the word assholes come to mind?]

No doubt a lot of jack went into the construction of the "Jack" but I like the name "John Paul Jones" arena too, sounds cool.