10 October 2012

The Weirdest College Mascots


College mascots can unify students and intimidate opposing teams but some schools have chosen their obscure or weird mascots as a political statement, an off-hand remark, or as a campus-wide joke. These are the top ten strangest college mascots across America.
10. Washburn Ichabods
If you were a 19th century manufacturer and donated a ton of money to a college start-up in Kansas, you could get your name as a mascot too. Perhaps when the women’s basketball team took on the name Washburn Lady Blues, the campus uttered a sigh of relief.
9. Virginia Tech Hokies
A Hokie is simply a nonsense word gone awry. The word was used in the 19th century, as a synonym for hooray, and put into a fight song. The Hokie Bird, a turkey-like costumed mascot that appears at athletic functions, came from early military cadets gobbling their food.
8. University of North Carolina Tar Heels
In Civil War times, a tar heel was someone who held their battle position so securely, it was as if they had tar on their heels, which may or may not have been covered with shoes. Logically, a ram was chosen to represent this school.
7. The Delta State University Fighting Statesmen and/or Fighting Okra
The original mascot, the Statesman, was named for the Mississippi Speaker of the House. Though dignified, this mascot did not intimidate competitors. Contemporary students chose instead a prickly vegetable that thrives in oppressive heat. To this day, both mascots contribute to campus enthusiasm, but only one of them was featured on Good Eats.
6. Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes
Named as a protest against an overemphasis on sports, the Artichokes were at first meant to be a joke. No word on whether the ‘Chokes will ever fight the Delta State Okras in the Obscure Green Vegetable Bowl.
5. Webster University Gorlocks
This mythical creature, named for Gore and Lockwood Avenue, is illustrated with claws, horns, and the face of a Saint Bernard. It was inexplicably depicted holding a pump sprayer until it was updated in 2006.
4. The Heidelberg Student Princes
Arguably, the Princes are the only American college mascot based on an obscure theatrical reference from the 1920’s, but then again, one of the featured songs in the musical is titled "Drink, Drink, Drink," so maybe the intention was to appeal to 21st century college life.
3. Evergreen State College Geoducks
The crazy college kids in Olympia, Washington campus may have chosen the geoduck, a native mollusk, because it is known as an aphrodisiac and looks like a phallus. They also may have the only fight song to use the word squirt.
2. Saint Louis University Billikens
1920s football coach John R. Bender’s face had a similarity to a pointy-eared, impish charm, a billiken. For years sportswriters called the team Bender’s Billikens. At games, the Billken mascot looks like the Grinch’s paler, more athletic brother.
1. University of California at Santa Cruz Banana Slugs
Chosen originally as a protest against the over-emphasis of sports, the Banana Slugs have ironically progressed to be featured in Reader’s Digest, People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN as the best college mascot. It comes in number one not only because it’s cute and has no known predators, but also because no mascot has ever had such good public relations.
Byline
DJ Sweetin writes for http://www.justcolleges.com/.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

SCC Fighting Artichoke was named as Friendly Artichoke, they recently changed the name.. It was so much cute before!

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