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Friday, April 10, 2015


   I would like to congratulate Duke for winning the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.  Unfortunately, as I didn't go to Duke (or pay to send a relative there,) I am not part of the .001 percent of Americans who can actually say nice things about their school and mean it.
   And besides - their mascot is pretty creepy.  As a matter of fact, Brutus, the nut-headed mascot of Ohio State (current NCAA football champs,) isn't exactly normal looking either.
   And I won't even show you Scrotie, the mascot of the Rhode Island School of Design.  (That would require a parent advisory.)
   But even those mascots that pass muster with the FCC (who now regulate the internet in case you missed that,) there are quite a few out there that leave me wondering - What were they thinking?
   Even if you get past all the stupid racist stuff like the professional baseball team in Cleveland and the professional football team in Washington DC, there's a lot of weird out there.
   Speaking of racist crap - I have to give a thumbs up to the largely Native-American University of Northern Colorado in Greeley for naming their team, The Fighting Whites.
   Unfortunately, no Caucasian has stepped forward to serve as their mascot.
   But back to mascots.  I enjoy the trend of adopting botanical mascots.  Nothing is more threatening than athletically inclined foliage.
 There's the Wichita State Shockers who played very fine basketball this year when they didn't mistake the ball for a pumpkin.
The Delta State Fighting Okra.  They might not be undefeated, but they are undigested.
The Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes.  It's a good choice.  I've never figured out how to eat these things.
Then there's the Stanford Cardinals who eschew an avian mascot for a tree.  Stanford just doesn't do predictable.
   Animal mascots have always been popular.  What could be strange or creepy about the representation of earth's fauna?
I think I stepped on a classics-reading banana slug just the other day.
They say this mascot looks a lot like a horned frog (lizard.)  It's one of several reasons I don't live in Texas.
   Then there are the human mascots.  What's creepy about a human?
A Demon Deacon...  right in the middle of the bible belt?  Okay, that's creepy.
Why am I worried that if Purdue Pete bends over we're going to see a polystyrene butt crack?
What is it about the Vandy Commodore that makes me want to warn small children away?
On the other hand, Whittier's Johnny Poet is reassuring - in a "the'll never win another game," kind of way.
   Finally, we have the imaginary creatures.
Kansas City art teacher and illustrator Florence Pretz had the Billiken appear to her in a dream back in 1908.  University of Saint Louis has brought the little fella to the tournament several times since, but some dreams don't come true.  They haven't won it all since 1948.

Williams College boasts the Purple Cow.  I don't think they're really trying.
But the champion mascot (in my opinion,) belongs to The New College of Florida (will they still keep that name a hundred years from now?)  They have a mascot of supremely low expectations.
The Empty Set

I have no idea what this vid is supposed to be about - but it fits the theme.