With pigskin season in full swing, costumed college kids are busy sprinting up and down sidelines, performing push-ups for the crowd, and occasionally tussling with the opponent’s mascot (we hear opening week featured a dust-up between a banana slug and an owl). And while our collegiate rooting interests generally lie with the underdog, we have been known to favor the institution that presents a mascot most in line with our own sensibilities. Accordingly, our subjective favorites are listed below.
RALPHIE THE BUFFALO
The rare live mascot, Ralphie charges across the field in Boulder with all the fervor of a fullback with zero concern for his brain cells. That there is an appointed buffalo chip collector who follows him around the stadium certainly adds to the aura. Ralphie, welcome to Prime Time.
Although not an official school mascot, this living, breathing red chili pepper nonetheless stalks the sidelines of the University of Lafayette, where he instills fear in the hearts of the competition—particularly those with sensitive digestive tracts.
WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEER
The buckskin costume. The period-correct muzzle-loading rifle. The unblinking, stoic gaze into the peaks and valleys of the American frontier. All proof that the West Virginia Mountaineer scores big with his sheer commitment to the role.
Purdue Pete (he of the Purdue Boilermakers) carries a sledgehammer with a rounded, not hexagonal, face, with an angled flange on the back, exactly like the tool a boilermaker would use to pound out steel in a foundry. This kind of attention to detail when it comes to his accessories earns Pete a robust score.
OTTO THE ORANGE
Oranges help ward off scurvy, provide the basis for top-notch cleaning solutions, and their skins are great surfaces for aspiring tattoo artists not quite ready to commit to human flesh. Plus: Otto, the mascot of the Syracuse Orange, wears a tiny hat, which is always nice.
THE NAVY GOAT
First off: a goat will eat anything, just like us. But iron stomach aside, any symbol representing the bravest among us will always garner our respect. Throw up a salute for Bill.
THE ARMY MULES
The only squad we know of that has a literal team of mascots, the Army Mules are ready to haul away munitions, gear, and the other team’s (ahem, Navy) crushed spirit.
The University of Texas Longhorns have produced fifteen “Bevos” (a live longhorn steer) to date, with Bevo III being known for breaking loose and running wild across the campus for a full two days. This is exactly the kind of lively spirit we like to see in a mascot.
Western Kentucky’s Big Red is large, blobby, red, and, well—I guess we’re not entirely sure what this fellow is supposed to be. An homage to Grimace? A reference to the school’s respected biology department? All confusion aside, we still can’t help but like the cut of this guy’s felt jib.
We love fried chicken, and Ole Miss’s Colonel Reb boasts an uncanny similarity to Colonel Sanders. In fact, we could use a bucket of extra crispy right about now.
Source link: https://dukecannon.com/blogs/journal/duke-cannons-favorite-college-mascots by Zeb Pirkey at dukecannon.com