Mascot Madness

With the NCAA Final Four upon us, we’ve been treated to a cavalcade of college mascots, some of them silly and some of them superlative.

Some of us get to go to a school with an awesome mascot.  A mascot that evokes the mystery of a super villain or does something awesome like riding a horse while brandishing a weapon.  Sometimes it does both, like the angry church clergyman who burns into Wake Forest stadium riding a custom chopper.

Some of us get a mascot that looks like a rabid gerbil wearing a scarf.  Still others get something that appears to be a love interest for Grimace.  Sometimes your mascot is terrible because it’s just patently offensive.

In 1991, just 2 years before the politically correct revolution, I attended Antelope Valley College and our mascot was a marauding, bloodthirsty Sheik.  I’m not going to lie to you, the marauder was as awesome as he was offensive to the arab student population.  While he no longer menaces the cheerleaders,  the athletic teams are still called “the Marauders”, and today they are represented only by a gleaming scimitar… because blood thirst is evidently acceptable when a racial slur is merely implied.

Whatever the situation occurring at your Alma Mater, the truth is that a great mascot inspires the crowd and unites a community in the same way that sticking with a terrible mascot insults your fan base and makes you the butt of a million jokes.

I’d love to hear a school mascot you hate and why.  It can be silly or serious but I want to know what would you’d change it to and why?

I’ll tell you mine tomorrow.


19 Responses to “Mascot Madness”

  1. Jesse March 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    My least favorite would be the Furman Paladins. Everybody knows that Furman’s mascot should be either Legos or Stryper… If you aren’t familiar with the Furman Paladin here is a picture…

    • Jon March 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      This is so money. A yellow and black pop metal band is way better than a South Carolinian warrior mage.

  2. Jordan March 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    I’m pretty sure the meanest nastiest mascot is

    • Jon March 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      I love that no Irish Protestant group has gotten offended by the Orange.

  3. joy March 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I will always be fond of the Lake Oswego Laker’s boat pilot Joe. Yes, he is a less glamorous version of the Gordon’s Fisherman. But he’s not trolling the fish filled Arctic Ocean, Pilot Joe is steadfastly sailing the questionably green waters of Oswego Lake, somebody’s got too right?

    • Jon March 30, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

      I love the Gordon’s Fisherman reference and enthusiastically recommend Joe over whatever a pacer is.

  4. Brian March 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I was at a Hilltoppers game a couple of years ago and first beheld Grimace’s love interest. That, in my book, is the most bizarre of them all. What is it??!!

    • Jon March 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

      I’m not certain, but his “devil may care” attitude suggests that he’s a French something;)

  5. Apryl March 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    My high school mascot was pretty much unanimously loathed among the student body. We were the Paraclete Spirits. Spirit being a tough concept to translate into a mascot costume, it ended up looking more like a Q-tip or a feminine product.

    • Jon March 31, 2011 at 7:17 am #

      I totally remember seeing him at a game and wondering what that was!

  6. Todd Mitchell March 30, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    I don’t really hate or dislike any team’s mascot, but this blatant and unprovoked attack on my beloved Brutus the Buckeye was pretty funny! Death to the Ohio Bobcat!!

    • Jon March 31, 2011 at 7:19 am #

      Wow, he knew he had no chance if he didn’t sneak attack Brutus!

  7. Hannah March 30, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    Um, the worst would clearly be the Lakeridge Pacers. 1. Because their actual mascot costume is that stupid ‘L’ thing (, and 2. Because no one knows what a Pacer is. Seriously. I went to a football game and asked countless people. I got 3 different options and about 18 different ‘we don’t know, we just hope it helps us win…’
    Like, for reals right now.

    • Jon March 31, 2011 at 7:30 am #

      I’m pretty sure a pacer is a terrible car!

  8. Tim Clark March 31, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Best “unofficial” mascot — the HokieTron:

    Check out wikipedia for background on how this mascot was dreamed up. Cool story.

    When we met with the VT football coaching staff last year and mentioned this guy, they said “oh, that nutball?” Evidently the school isn’t as enamored by the mascot as the fans and students!

    • Jon March 31, 2011 at 7:54 am #

      It’s equally frightening and awesome that fan took matters into his own hands! I bet you guys could create a great Hokie for them.

  9. Laura Combes March 31, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    In H.S. we were the Beacons. It was embarrassing. What can a beacon do? Nothing. So it just stood there while the other team beat us, every time. There were only 7 of us, at most, so we all played everything, which meant we weren’t very good at anything. We were good academically though and I always tried to console myself with that. After I graduated the school changed their mascot to a Lynx. Good move! Something with claws and fangs that I wouldn’t want to meet up with in the woods. Winning stats didn’t improve, but there seemed to be more team spirit.

  10. Jon March 31, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Oh man, a beacon is terrible. I’m much more frightened of a Lynx! Great to hear from you Laura!

  11. Jeff Patterson April 4, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Half of those from Bend will agree that the BEND HIGH LAVA BEARS are evil. ;-)

    Go Mtn. View Cougars!

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