OT: 10 Worst Mascots EVER

Submitted by DoctorDave on October 12th, 2009 at 11:28 AM

The mascot is the abiding symbol of college sports, a source of pride around which an entire school is united. A person or animal (or…something) with characteristics that embody the spirit of the university is chosen. Pictures are drawn. Merchandise is made. Colors are selected. Costumers are created. Sometimes even a real, live version of the mascot is put on parade before the sporting event commences.

There are institutions which obviously put a lot of thought and consideration into the selection of their mascot and chose something to represent the history and culture of the region which the university serves: The Oklahoma Sooners, the North Carolina Tar Heels, or the Purdue Boilermakers. Others chose something unique or interesting to represent their school and the spirit they wished to exemplify:

  • Solid, standard-issue animal mascots like Bulldogs, Wildcats, Rams, Bears, Tigers, Panthers, Cougars, Falcons, or Eagles.
  • Quasi-ferocious humans, which include Trojans, Spartans, Crusaders, Red Raiders, Vikings, Knights, Pioneers or Pirates.
  • Mystical or mythical creatures are featured prominently on the mascot roster: Blue Demons, Sun Devils, Dragons, Titans, or the Phoenix.
  • So do violent forces of nature like Hurricanes, Cyclones, or Tornadoes.
  • Some mascots are obviously the first animal that wandered past the naming committee: a Mule, a Buffalo, a Longhorn, a Blue-Tick Hound, a “Fighting” Squirrel.
  • Then there are those schools that apparently care most about truckloads of merchandise sales to juveniles and go with sexual innuendo (e.g. Beavers, Cocks, or Horned Frogs).

But then there are those mascots that are either so random, so ugly, so cheap, or so retarded (and I’m not employing that term as a colloquialism either!) that they strain credulity and defy description. And so, without further ado, I present for your consideration the 10 worst mascots in existence today:

10. The Oregon Ducks. Is this a university or a Disney film? It’s better than the Ibis, which isn’t a duck but is played by a duck at the University of Miami, who are actually the ‘Canes. (I guess that means the Ducks are number 11; oh well, bonus!)

9. The Nebraska Cornshucker. Is it just me or is ‘Lil Red reminiscent of a time when inflatable children were forced to shuck corn for 85 hours a day? Or is this the bastard half-brother of Big Boy?

8. The Wichita State WuShock. This mascot is (I kid you not) a stalk of wilted celery on steroids.

7. The Maryland Terrapins. Fear the Turtle? I don’t think so.

6. The Stanford Cardinal, which is a bird, represented by a big tree, but is actually a color (a deep, crimson red). Yes, their mascot is a color.

5. As is the Syracuse Orange. Or maybe it’s a fruit. Either way it doesn’t inspire fear or terror (although it may prevent scurvy).

4. The Alabama Crimson Tide. This confounds understanding. I understand that it’s hard to find a ferocious representation of a Tide, but you could have served your school better if you didn’t just go with the first animal that came to mind when the mascot committee assembled in TUSK-aloosa.

Regrettably, the Big Ten has more than its fair share of contestants for the Ghastly Mascot award. Indeed, the Top 3 are from our own conference:

3. The Nittany Lion. Ok, +1 because the name is great. But -1000 because the mascot is actually a naked weasel with a bad scarf.

2. The Golden Gopher. Maybe this is personal, but every time I contemplate the thought of a loss to the Golden Gopher, I curl up into the fetal position with the distressing awareness that maybe we are Bill Murray in Caddyshack.

Grand Champion Worst Mascot Every Conceived in the Mind of Mortal Men:

1. The Buckeye. What school would ever think that using a turd ball for a mascot, complete with the piece of corn lodged in the center, was a mighty swell idea? Yep…Skid Marks R Us, Buckeye Central, Ohio.

The end.



October 12th, 2009 at 11:42 AM ^

It's funny I actually think these are some of the best. I just don't like the stock bulldog, wildcats, tiger. I think it is so much better when it means something about the surrounding area. Maybe you are talking about the actual guy roaming the sidelines and not the names.

My all time favorite is UC Santa Cruz, Sammy the Slug.


Flying Dutchman

October 12th, 2009 at 12:20 PM ^

I think the standard-issue animals should have to go back to the drawing board and come up with something more creative.

Most of these top 10 I like for their originality. Crimson Tide is sweet. Wu-Shock is a stretch though - is that new?

I have a Native-American brother-in-law that takes no issue with indian names, and I think they are great: Chippewas, Hurons, Illini, Seminoles, etc. Can't those be viewed as tributes? The only one this bro-in-law takes issue with is Redskins, which he describes as being like the ol' n-bomb.

Orangemen, actually, comes from the same place as the Knickerbockers and the Yankees - the Dutch. So, I like that one. The Flying Dutchmen of Division III Hope College is one of the most underrated nicknames around.

Bando Calrissian

October 12th, 2009 at 12:48 PM ^

There is nothing wrong with Otto the Orangeman. One of the goofiest/coolest mascots in sports. There's something oddly awesome about a gigantic foam orange with arms and legs and a stupid little hat bopping around the sidelines of the Carrier Dome.


October 12th, 2009 at 12:55 PM ^

My high school mascot was a rock.

I'm not kidding here. It's an rock. One time my junior year, we had some person dressed up as a cardboard rock.

I don't think I can emphasize to you the ridiculousness of having a rock as your mascot.

ND Sux

October 12th, 2009 at 2:58 PM ^

Great post Engin77...had me LOL!!!

Gotta share a mascot story here. I was married to a sparty grad a few years back until I wised up and booted her to the curb. We went to Madison for the MSU game, I'd say it was about 1999 or so. The MSU cheerleaders are in the end zone area, and by about the 3rd quarter, the Badger mascot is IN THE FACE of the MSU cheerleaders. Think what you want about male cheerleaders, but those guys aren't wimps, they're usually built. One of the MSU cheer dude gets pissed and shoves the badger to back him off. Then the badger shoves back...MSU cheer guy draws his arm back and DECKS him. I mean this guy dropped like yesterday's shorts...BAM (fist) BAM (ground). MSU lost by about 3 TD's and one cheerleader ejected, but FUNNY AS HELL to watch.

Oh, and the most irritating thing at Camp Randall - EVERY time Ron Dayne ran the ball, the announcer says "RON Daaaaaayne", and the crowd responded "RON Daaaaaayne!" I wanted to barf.


October 12th, 2009 at 3:29 PM ^

The Oregon Duck and Washington St Cougar threw down at Autzen a couple of years ago, youtube

With regard to the original topic; one wonders if, given the recent meaning that "cougar" has assumed, Wash St and BYU are considering a mascot switch?


October 12th, 2009 at 1:58 PM ^

Was an Eskimo! Only, they spell it Eskymo! What are they going to do...nose kiss you to death!

I was watching the game with friends on Saturday night. We were talking about this exact topic... My buddy said that the PSU mascot looks like a dude in pajamas with a tail. So true. That mascot is Pathetic.


October 12th, 2009 at 2:42 PM ^

My high school's nickname/mascot was The Bears. That is, unless you were on the swimming team, which I was. Then, and only then, you were a Turtle.

Because nothing says "speed" like a Turtle. We even had a mural in the pool of a proud-looking, strutting turtle with the words "Turtle Country" inscribed below.

THAT sure made our opponents tremble.

(I swear I am not making this up.)


October 12th, 2009 at 2:49 PM ^

I for one enjoy the "classic" feeling of a school named after a color. It has certainly worked for European nations and their soccer teams. And there's no need for a call of an "Orange out" when your team is named the 'Orange' is there?


October 12th, 2009 at 6:03 PM ^

9. The Nebraska Cornshucker.

I'm positive that it's not cornshucker and that it is actually Cornhusker. Whether there is or is not an actual difference between shucking and husking I don't know, but I do know, from being a Michigander now living in Omaha, Nebraska, and also that their nick name is the Huskers, that Cornshucker is incorrect. In fact, simply being a college football fan I though most people would have known that, considering NE is one of the more storied programs in CFB history; but then again NE hasn't been too great (much to my delight, hehe) since the 90's so I guess it's understandable if you're younger.