Washington, take note: Mascot choices abound
Indian Country Today
A mascot? The symbolizing of a team. An object meant to bring good luck.
That is the subject of curiosity as many are wondering what Washington’s NFL team will be after the franchise announced Monday it will retire its racist name and logo.
Some front-runners for the new mascot could be the Redtails, Redwolves or Redhawks, sources say.
There’s hope out there for those who may be worried about having to get used to a new logo and name. Here’s a list of teams that show it’s possible to embrace even the quirkiest of mascots:
“Artie the Artichoke,” Scottsdale Community College
A few years after Scottsdale Community College was opened in 1970, its mascot officially became the “fighting artichokes.” The choice was made after the student body voted on the mascot. The students, at the time, had three choices: the artichokes, the Rutabaga (basically a turnip) or the Scoundrels. We know who won.
“Sammy the Banana Slug,” UC Santa Cruz
“Sammy the Banana Slug” is the official mascot of the University of California Santa Cruz. It is named after a bright-yellow and slimy, shell-less mollusk that is found in Redwood forests. He can be seen at campus sporting events and university functions.
Billiken, Saint Louis University
The question on everyone’s mind: What is a billiken? It is a mythical creature that brings “good luck,” according to Saint Louis University, which adopted its mascot more than 100 years ago. There is even a statue of the mascot outside its basketball arena. And fans rub his belly for good fortune.
“Peter the Pickle,” University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Pickles have been the mascot of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for more than 40 years. The mascot greets new students at orientation events and makes cameos in school plays. There’s even an online quiz to find your “perfect pickle persona.”
“Speedy the Geoduck,” Evergreen State College mascot
A geoduck is the world’s largest burrowing clam, found in the Puget Sound … and they live a long time. The oldest geoduck, pronounced like “gooey-duck,” ever found was 168 years old. It has been the mascot of The Evergreen State College since 1971.
“Gritty,” Philadelphia Flyers
“Gritty” was voted the favorite mascot of National Hockey League fans in 2019 after first being revealed by the team in 2018. The large, orange creature is the official mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team. He has quite a presence in the arena and on Twitter, where he has more than 307,000 followers.
Ichabod, Washburn University
Washburn University’s mascot is named after an early benefactor of the school named Ichabod Washburn. The school began calling itself the “Ichabods” in the late 1800s. Now, students can try out to be part of the “mascot program,” which allows them to make appearances at events and even be paid.
“Ferrous the IronPig,” Lehigh Valley
“Ferrous the IronPig” is the mascot of Lehigh Valley, a professional minor league baseball team in Pennsylvania. There are multiple mascots to represent the organization including “FeFe” and other “Pork Racers.”
“Crusty the Pie,” Wigan Athletic
“Crusty the Pie” is the mascot of a professional soccer team in England. The mascot was founded in 2019 after two children, ages 8 and 9, won a competition to design a new mascot for the team. “We designed Crusty like this because everyone in Wigan loves pies!” the children said.
Pit Spitters, Traverse City
“Monty” is the mascot of the Traverse City Pit Spitters, a minor league baseball team in Michigan.
RubberDucks, Akron baseball
“Webster” is a rubber duck and the mascot of the Akron Baseball team, a minor league baseball organization in Ohio. The mascot was created in 2014. Since then, “Webster” has welcomed a few other mascot friends who accompany him at games, including “Orbit,” a space cat, “Homer” an inflatable pigeon and “Rubberta,” a female rubber duck.
“The Purple Cow,” Williams College
Purple cows became the mascot of Williams College in 1907 when the student body voted it as the mascot of the Massachusetts school’s sports teams. The purple cow has become popular since, making Williams the only Division III school to have a mascot appear on ESPN’s College GameDay.
“WuShock,” Wichita State
“WuShock,” the mascot of Wichita State University, is a “big, bad” bundle of wheat. It has been the mascot since 1948. Schools legends say the name because many players earned money harvesting or “shocking” wheat in surrounding fields.
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