Mascots make college athletics fun. Nothing beats watching your favorite team’s mascot lead the troops into the arena to the sounds of the marching band.
The Daily Dose loves college mascots. The best are live animals, and we have featured several of our favorites in each of the past three years. Today we examine the opposite side of that coin and bring you the dozen worst mascots in collegiate sports.
Shame on Syracuse University. For five decades, the school featured The Saltine Warrior, a proud and noble symbol of his Native American people. SU succumbed to political pressure, and in 1995 made Otto the Orange the university’s official mascot.
Kansas’ biggest crop is wheat, and the process of harvesting the grain is called “shocking.” No surprise, then, that Wichita State’s nickname is the Shockers – one of the coolest in college sports. What’s not cool is WuShock, the weird, cartoonish bundle of wheat WSU calls its mascot.
Herbie Husker was introduced as Nebraska’s mascot in 1974. Herbie is bad, but Lil Red is atrocious. Created in 1993 for the volleyball team, the creepy creature now patrols the sidelines at all Nebraska sporting events.
It seems odd that the largest school in Ohio is represented by a small, inedible and semi-toxic nut commonly known as a Buckeye. A giant nut — Brutus Buckeye –made his debut in Columbus in 1965. It was bad then and it’s worse now.
The official nickname of Delta State University is Statesmen. A quarter-century ago, several rebellious students of this small college in the heart of the Mississippi Delta tired of Statemen, and Fighting Okra was born. A staple of southern cuisine, the slimy green malvaceae roams the sidelines accompanied by the self-proclaimed “world’s most annoying pep band.”
There is no better nickname than the Flying Squirrels of Mary Baldwin University. Located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, MBU is a Division III school of 1,300 undergraduates. We doubt any of the students approve of Gladys, a mascot that is way beyond squirrelly.
Nicknamed the Rockets, the University of Toledo puts rocket ships on all of its logos. Why then, did the school introduce Rocky the Rocket as its mascot? It is hard to take a spaceship seriously when he’s wearing a sideways baseball cap.
Western Kentucky University is the home of the Hilltoppers, but the school mascot is Big Red. An anthropomorphic red blob, Big Red is described by the university as “extremely loveable.” We’d say “incredibly stupid” is more accurate. Looks to us like WKU went to the nearest flooring store and purchased whatever was on clearance in order to make that outfit.
Pickles have been part of the University of North Carolina School for the Arts for over four decades. New students are greeted by Peter the Pickle during orientation. Undergrads eat lunch in the Pickle Jar before strolling along Pickle Way in the heart of campus. So why, then, did UNCSA replace their Fighting Pickle mascot in 2016 with Charlie the Cucumber [a pre-pickle]?
In the 1920s, Akron-based B.F. Goodrich Company manufactured rubber boots, called “Zippers.” The University of Akron embraced the name, nicknaming its teams the “Zips.” With such potential, it is quite heartbreaking that the school that gave us John Heisman chose Zippy — a kangaroo — as its mascot in 2002.
In 1922, new Tulsa football coach, Howard Archer, wanted a name befitting his team. Sporting new gold-colored jerseys and roaring through opponents like a tropical storm, Archer dubbed his squad the Golden Hurricane. While the Tulsa nickname is fantastic, the mascot is not. Introduced in 2009, Captain Cane is described as a “muscular figure, bearing a hurricane-summoning sword, energy-sourcing thunder boots, lighting bolt blaster gloves and a wind-flying cape.” Really?
Xavier University has a top-notch mascot in the Musketeer, which makes the school’s decision to introduce the Blue Blob in 1985 all the more inexplicable. Talk about going from the penthouse to the outhouse.
Agree or disagree with our list? Who did we miss? Comment below or @dailydsports