Each Friday night in the fall, local student athletes face off on the football field. But for a moment, let’s forget all that. Let’s take a different look at the battle — who would win in a fight, a knight or an Indian warrior? The Times spoke with experts to determine the answer. And each Friday this season, we’ll pit two different mascots against each other.
The Johnson Knights and Lumpkin County Indians will meet on the football field tonight in Oakwood, with more than pride on the line.
The Knights are seeking their first win of the season in the Region 8-AAA crossover game, while the Indians are trying to get back on track after sustaining their first loss of the year last week.
Who prevails depends largely on blocking and tackling, turnovers and touchdowns. But those factors are put aside in our mascot matchup series. Instead, we take a look solely at the mascot battle — a hypothetical showdown of armor-plated knights and brave Indian warriors.
Winter Elliot, associate professor of English at Brenau University, said the battle between knights and Indians promises to be a bloody one.
Though the knights are known for chivalry, their caring is extended only to teammates, she said.
“While equally concerned about teamwork, the Native Americans will show no mercy to their foes,” she said.
One key to this matchup, said Ben Wynne, associate professor of history at Gainesville State College, is the battlefield. With a level field, Knights would take the advantage because of heavy armor and advanced weaponry.
“In the woods, Native Americans would fight in more guerrilla warfare,” he said.
Native Americans typically used bows and arrows, clubs and tomahawks, and they prized courage in their warriors. They placed a high value on “counting coup,” an act of bravery that involved touching the enemy with bare hands and escaping unharmed, Elliot said. Their plays were courageous, but also risky.
Knights, as members of a military order, pay close attention to their leader’s signals. Coupled with their speed, it made them adept at offense, Elliot said. Knights weren’t known for being too strong at hand-to-hand-combat, preferring to rely on weapons such as spears and swords.
Wynne said though the armor is restrictive, it would be helpful for hand-to-hand blows with their Native American opponents. It would also deflect some arrows.
With both mascots skilled in offense, each side would sustain heavy losses. Whoever wins, it will have been a hard-fought victory.