I like knowing things.
So when I heard someone on Twitter remark that the Baylor "Sailor Bear" logo and the "Wolverbear" Michigan logo that's been popping up (more?) recently, it got into my head and, in lieu of being able to focus on anything worthwhile I had to go waste some time sorting it out.
Apparently I'm not the first.
It's been referenced recently on this very forum. So, in case you are also interested here's some mascot history that will surely be useful to you in the future.
Not too long after Moe's birthed the collegiate sportwear industry over on North University, it seems it was already a big business nationwide. At this same time spare tires went from decoratively placed on the rear of your car to buried in the trunk. This killed some prime car logo real estate as well as the demand for such printed material. So, an enterprising car tire cover printing executive (because that's a thing that existed) shifted gears and got his chief doodler, Arthur Evans, to pump out college mascot designs that could be slapped on all manner of sellable goods. Any and every college that did or did not want a cartoon animal on the merchandise got one. I get the impression that official licensing was not yet a thing and that it was not always the universities themselves commissioning the mascots, so much as local businesses in a college town making their nut.
[An equally interesting essay might focus on how Universities started owning/controlling their names and image]
So now we have a situation where not only do Baylor and Michigan share a strikingly similar image that represents two different animals, but doppelgängers abound all over college sports apparel. Our wolverbear isn't the only repeatedly-used cartoon mammal
Three schools in the SEC alone use the same Tiger logo by different names.
To alumni of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, he’s known as “Tommy Tiger.” Auburn University’s legions of football fanatics refer to him as “Aubie.”The nation’s 33rd president and Show Me State native provided the moniker for “Truman the Tiger” at the University of Missouri. But to devotees of Louisiana State University, he’ll always be “Sailor Mike.”
The common thread? The sure way to locate an Arthur Davis original?
Why? Who knows?
Just wanted to share.
We've all seen the ESPN commercials featuring college mascots. ESPN Race for the Heisman (Sponsored by Nissan), etc.
However, just a moment ago, while perusing EDSBS, I came across an ad that led me to these videos. (Playlist Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpaQ0B_u17E&index=2&list=PLbsTzthpl0yk74L9-mTS2JzUlv0Z2UNri)
These were the first time I can remember ever seeing a college mascot in a commercial that wasn't at least ostensibly advertising the broadcast network in question. This is just an outright advertisement for Reeces' Puffs cereal.
We all know that companies would love to get college athletes in their ads if they could. Companies would've been champing at the bit to get Denard and his smile to eat their cereal on TV and flash that winning smile. Both because of their name factor and school allegiance. Regardless of your feelings on that, they currently can't, because then the NCAA, who has no problems benefiting from sponsorship, would stop them from playing any further.
I'm just wondering what your take on this is. Is it acceptable for schools to use what is ostemsibly the "12th Man/6th Man" in ads, and profit from that where the athletes are not permitted to do so? Without exception, University Mascots are "played" by students at University events, sometimes a student athlete in their own right (often a gymnast). Who currently plays Goldy? Would the NCAA have a problem if that studen were on scholarship and was inside the Goldy costume for this commercial? He wouldn't be using his own likeness - but at the same time, the school and company are profiting off of the character he represents. Is this any different than Michigan just happening to sell thousands of "16" jersies?
Moreover, is this why Dave Brandon was pushing for a Mascot? Another potential revenue stream for the university?
But it's nothing new, and it could be way, way, WAY worse.
Although, actually, in a way, I like this little guy. I think it's because it's embarassing to the Buckeyes and also because in the modern day, somebody would see this and scream RACIST! (Seriously... it's like the head of a Black character from a 1930's cartoon).
Someone said they wanted to make a gif out of the video clip of the Young UM Fan harassing Goldy Gopher. Here's my video clip of Young UM Fan and Goldy.
There is another stupid mascot article over at the Detroit News, calling for Michigan to relent and add a Mascot. (Link: http://detnews.com/article/20110803/OPINION03/108030411/1131/sports0201/What%E2%80%99s-the-fuss-Michigan?-Just-get-a-mascot-already) I hope Dave Brandon doesn't cave to this idiocy, and that Michigan gets back to its regular winning ways. I wish there was some way for the alumni base to make clear their feelings on this.
Since there was the other thread about the mascots fighting and someone starts to speculate about the results. I figured that I would I would try to do it justice.
The setting: An abandoned warehouse somewhere in Detroit. The inside has been renovated so that it has a fighting pit and stands around the outside. The noise of the crowd is loud as wagers are made back and forth and a cloud of smoke lingers in the air (This is an illegal fight ring...think they care about the smoking ban?). People from all over the world have packed this warehouse/stadium to witness fights of a most bizarre nature.
A hush falls over the crowd as the announcer begins to speak. "For our next series of fights, we have arranged for the various mascots of the Big 10 or 12 or whatever the hell they call themselves these days to fight it out. This will crown the Big10 Mascot Champion." The crowed erupts into a cheer and the announcer makes a hand motion for them to settle down.
"Through a series of rankings that is no less arbitrary than the BCS, we have decided that the wolverine should be the champion. We have selected the order of the fights to be random...and our first challenger is...."
"...the Spartan. The Spartan is an ancient warrior from Greece. Their feats are legendary and have been immortalized in a few movies. Currently, the Spartan stands as the mascot for Michigan State." A few cheers come out from the crowd but those are soon drowned out by the boos from the rest of the corwd. The announcer makes the husing motion again and the crowd quiets.
"And in this corner, we introduce an animal that really needs no introduction. It is one of the most feared animals in the wild and has been known to chase bears off from kills. They have taken down moose from a dead stop. They have scaled mountains that have made mountain goats nervous. In general a bad ass...". The crowd erupts in cheers.
"...Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you...the WOLVERINE!!!!". The crowd goes wild and the wolverine enters the fighting pit, his paws outstretched in the air. He does a couple fist pumps and then makes a feint towards the Spartan and the Spartan backs down. The wolverine goes to his corner.
"Ladies and Gentlemen...Let the fight begin....."
The Spartan advances out of his corner and throws his spear towards the wolverine. The wolverine deftly moves out of the way of the spear and the crowd goes wild. Money exchanges hands quickly as the bets start to fly. The wolverine goes over to the spear and grabs it in his mouth and bites it in half. The Spartan goes wide eyed as he realizes his best weapon is now sawdust.
The wolverine lunges towards the Spartan and the Spartan raises his shield up and pushes the wolverine back harmlessly. The wolverine looks at the Spartan, this is not going to be an easy fight and he scurries back to his feet for another lunge. By this time, the Spartan has grabbed his sword and tries to parry the wolverine. The wolverine grabs the sword in his mouth and bites that in half too.
The Spartan realizing he is out of options reaches for a dagger but the wolverine grabs on to his wrist and starts to gnaw at the skin and bone. The Spartan howls out in pain and drops the dagger. The wolverine then lashes out with his paws.....the Spartan reels back. The wolverine goes for his finishing lunge, but the Spartan manages to block with his shield. The wolverine stumbles back and then regains his footing.
This time, the wolverine leaps over the shield and grabs the Spartan by the neck. A few shakes of the head and the Spartan is finished. The wolverine emerges victorious....