Submitted By: Dale Edwards - University of Florida
Mascot names for teams are always interesting. Colleges usually have names as fierce sounding as Gators and some have culturally distinct names like Seminoles. Many of them have a lot to do with the history and culture the college is located in. But some mascot names are either downright hilarious or puzzling. Here we bring you the best of both worlds:
Playing The Field
In order to score, you first gotta know the facts. So, here, we bring you the low-down on the birth of mascots. What does a cocky high school Eagle mascot have in common with an evil witch who casts spells in her free time? For starters, they have huge ego problems and probably not too many friends, but they also both share a commonality beyond any social scene: their heritage. The origin of the word “mascot” is French and derives from the word, mascoto, which means “piece of witchcraft, charm, amulet.” So, quite literally, mascots can be seen as mystical creatures that wield their magical powers over the crowds.
Top 10 Most Ridiculous Mascots:
1. Mississippi State: Belle. What kind of school has a girl as their supposedly intimidating sports mascot? Don’t faint from the heat, Belles!
2. University of South Carolina: Cocky the Gamecock. Often living up to the name, this “cocky” team often cock-a-doodle-doos out of a win.
3. Wake Forrest University: Demon Deacon. I guess a church can be scary to some but come on.
4. Dartmouth: Keggy the Keg. That’s what we’re talkin’ about! As long as their players don’t resemble their cylinder-shaped mascot, they might just have a chance.
5. UC Santa Cruz: Slugs. While this little fella’ might be kinda cute, do you really want to admit to America that you’re the slowest creatures alive?
6. U-Penn: Quakers. Heck, their scary preaching could make anyone shake in their boots.
7. Rhode Island School of Design: Scrotie the Gonad (no joke). Okay, so they don’t have any sports, but just imagine if they did… “Go Nads!” Ha!
8. Kentucky State: Thoroughbreds. Really? From the looks of the teeth ‘round Kentucky, we beg to differ.
9. Ohio State: Buckeyes. What the fuck is a Buckeye?
10. Wichita State University: WuShock (shock of wheat). Be afraid, be very afraid. The wheat stalk is coming to get you! You might overdose on carbs!
Stetson is a small college in DeLand, Florida, and I am sure that the school mascot’s name makes their opponents shudder in fear. Yep, they are called the Mad Hatters. How did they come up with that one? If Stetson had a football team, would the players run out of the locker room, beating their chests, trash-talking weird, unanswerable questions? Mad Hatters may be more fitting in the drama department rather than for the 250-pound linebackers, but that’s just my opinion. When Stetson was first founded, one can imagine its charter committee’s brainstorming session: “How about Bears? No? Do Panthers scare you? No? Hey, I know, Mad Hatters! Yeah, that’s a great name! Mad Hatters!”
Well, that’s not as bad as the University of California in Irvine who apparently wanted a name that no other school had. The board must’ve figured that an animal that looks like an uncircumcised you know what was original enough, hence the Anteaters. I guess that name won by a nose…ok, bad joke.
Now, moving down the line of wacky mascot names, I bring you the whole color factor. Colors figure prominently in college mascots, which is kind of weird, considering that sports are for typically for guys, and no normal guy knows (or gives a crap) about the difference between mauve, brick red, wine and burgundy. But, nevertheless, a lot of teams opt for colors over names, and judging from the ones mentioned above, I can see why.
For example, sometimes a color is added to an already decent mascot. Rutgers was not happy with just plain old Knights, so they had to be Scarlet.
Alabama’s Crimson Tide projects an image of a red tsunami crashing down on its opponents in cleat marks and pounding them all to the ground. Interesting, considering that state has a relatively short coastline. Hmmm, maybe it was going for the image of a menstrual period. Nah, that’s just gross!
As for the Syracuse University Orange, I cannot figure out if its mascot is the color or the fruit. If it is the fruit, keep in mind that oranges aren’t normally grown in New York. If it’s about the color, then WTF? Choose a manly color, like black or blue or bluish-black or something.
But that’s not even the worst of it. Whenever I read about the Marshall Thundering Herd, my first thought is always, “A herd of what?” It’s not good to have a mascot name that is too open-ended.
So, the moral of the story? College students and alumni, alike, take pride in their magical mascots, whether they are macho and masculine or more like a Barney knockoff. Seriously, who cares if you’re called the Cerulean Anemone’s if you have a sea of screaming fans and an awesome football team?
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