Category Archives: Mascot posts

Around The Pac-12 – Week 4

This is it, fellas.  The last of the non-conference games basically wrap up this weekend and then things get serious in a hurry!  Let’s soak in these light-hearted times before we can’t anymore.

The conference showed well last week in a tough slate of games.  Cal sucked but, well… Arizona State may have gotten a little bit of help but who doesn’t need a little bit of help sometimes?

This week, things seem to be pretty easy for the Pac-12.  There aren’t many games on the slate (just take a look at my fantasy team) and they all seem winnable.  But, have you really looked deeply into the match ups?  Have you looked past the records and the statistics, at something deeper?  Have you ignored the play on the field and looked at the two fully grown human dressed in a full-body costume on the sideline?  That, my friends, is where the true battle is; the battle of the mascots.

Here’s who would win this week’s match-ups if was strictly a fight between the two mascots. All games are on Saturday and listed as Pacific Time.

Idaho State Bengals at Washington Huskies – 12 P.M.

In high school, I was a part of a pretty good student section who made their presence known in games.  We would travel about 2 hours from Yakima to Ephrata at least once a year.  It’s a boring, ugly drive.  Sometimes the weather would be ugly in winter months (basketball season).  We would always eventually make it to Ephrata, one time with 13 people in my car (sorry mom).  We’d take our space on the visiting side and wait for the game to begin.  We were big fans of arriving early so we would wait a long time and then the girls basketball game would begin.  Needless to say, we waited some more.  But Ephrata always had someone who would dress up in a body-size tiger costume.  He’d enter the gymnasium and our section would rise.  We would chant, “Tony! Tony! Tony!”  The mascot and Ephrata’s fans would look around, confused.  Our chant would continue until the mascot would acknowledge us.  This small interaction would usually make that stupid drive well worth it.

Tony the Tiger, while awesome, has really lessened the intimidation of tigers.  As much as Life of Pi tried to remind us that these animals are fierce and terrifying, Frosted Flakes’ spokesman hasn’t done the tiger a lot of good.  Why all this talk about tigers when the mascot is a bengal?  Because Wikipedia tells us that a Bengal is just a subspecies of a tiger and there is no real difference between the two.  So, could a Bengal kill a Husky?  Without a doubt, no matter what Tony has done to the Tiger name.  The Bengal earns his stripes, destroys the Husky.

Utah State Aggies at USC Trojans – 12:30 P.M.

As we learned in week one, the Aggie nickname is short for Agricultarilists.  If you can’t figure out that an agriculturalist doesn’t stand a chance fighting a Trojan warrior, then I don’t know what to tell you.  Aggies get sidetracked trying to find some nice dirt, stabbed and killed by the Trojans.

Arizona State Sun Devils at Stanford Cardinal – 4 P.M.

Experts say that the Sun Devils face a tough early season schedule.  Those people obviously didn’t see that they are treeplaying the Badgers and a color/tree in back-to-back weeks.  I guess the Devil attacks weak things?  Not that a tree is actually weak.  It’s just that it can not do anything else aside from providing shade and fruit.  A tree is very accommodating to its opposition.  God might appreciate this, the Devil probably could care less.  The Sun Devil burns down a tree and the fire is the color Cardinal.

Oregon State Beavers at San Diego State Aztecs – 3:30 P.M.

The Aztec nickname is a good one in my book.  The Aztecs were an ethnic group in Central Mexico from the 14th to 16th century.  San Diego has a strong Mexican population so you have the regional connection as well as a tough group of people.  Beavers are cool animals.  This match-up involves two mascots that are known for building things.  That is neat.  Unfortunately for our furry friends, the Aztecs could probably kill an animal that isn’t known for its ferocity.  Aztecs defeat the Beavers then reshape their dam to make an impressive piece of architecture. 

Utah Utes at BYU Cougars – 7:15 P.M.

These are two mascots that we’ve run across fairly regularly, so let me get straight to the difficulty that I have with this pick.  The Cougar is admittedly a tough animal.  I sure wouldn’t want to run across one in the wild.  But, it’s not the kind of animal that means certain death in my mind.  It’s much tougher than the Beaver or Wildcat, but not quite as tough as a tiger or as enormous as a bear.  The Utes are clearly tougher than me.  They were more used to being out in the wild and hunting.  I’m really in a pickle!  Frankly, I’m just tired of all the humans winning this week.  Cougars barely edge out the Utes.

New Mexico State Aggies at UCLA Bruins – 7:30 P.M.

Oh, great.  More Aggies.  Do people really think that Agriculturalists are that cool?  I don’t care if your school was named after its agricultural beginnings, New Mexico State.  Bruins maul Aggies any time that the two face off.

Idaho Vandals at Washington State Cougars – 7:30

Man, another tough decision that involves Cougars!  Let’s hope that sentence is only ever used when addressing mascots and not addressing middle-aged women.  The Vandal nickname is regionally relevant because Idaho is so boring that the only thing to do is vandalize stuff.  Burn!  But, wait!  Idaho isn’t named for the traditional vandal.  From the Idaho website:

What is a Vandal?

Don’t use your dictionary to find Idaho’s definition of a Vandal. No, Idaho’s student-athletes go by a name earned nearly a century ago by a basketball team coached by Hec Edmundson, whose teams played defense with such intensity and ferocity that sports writers said they “vandalized” their opponents. The mark made by that 1917 team went far deeper than wins and losses on the court. In 1917, Harry Lloyd “Jazz” McCarty – a writer for the student newspaper, the Argonaut – subtly tagged the team with a new nickname in a pregame write-up: “The opening game with Whitman will mark a new epoch in Idaho basketball history, for the present gang of ‘Vandals’ have the best material that has ever carried the ‘I’ into action.” McCarty’s indirect suggestion stuck. By 1921, McCarty and Edward Maslin Hulme, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, succeeded in their push to have Vandals officially adopted as the nickname for Idaho teams. Adding a special touch were Edmundson’s roots. He was from Moscow and made a name for himself at Idaho as one of the nation’s top distance runners. He eventually left Idaho to coach at the University of Washington where the Huskies still play basketball in the building bearing his name – the Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

So, basically their basketball team was really good at defense 96 years ago and a nickname caught on.  This is kind of cool and a bit strange at the same time.  But, that’s how mascots come to be.  Also from the University of Idaho website:

Other Adaptations:

A member of a Germanic people who lived in the area south of the Baltic Sea between the Vistula and the Oder rivers, overran Gaul, Spain, and northern Africa in the fourth and fifth centuries a.d., and in455 sacked Rome.

So, people question the Idaho nickname and then are told about the first story.  It’s an interesting story and one with some real history about the team.  But, every now and then that person who questions it doesn’t fully buy in so the U of I has to throw up this ridiculous extra bit on their website (this adaptation is listed as the second definition of Vandal in the dictionary).  This has nothing to do with their school and their nickname.  They just wanted another adaptation that wasn’t what you traditionally think about when you hear the word ‘vandal’.  You lost me, Idaho.  You almost had me but then you screwed it up.  Cougars maul whatever definition Idaho comes up with for a Vandal.

Andrew

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Around The Pac-12 – Week 3

Edit: For the second week in a row I posted right after Matthew.  Sorry, Matthew.  Here’s his post which is actually about football and real teams. 

The Pac-12 showed well in their non-conference games last week, winning all of them.  None of the early games set us up for the night-cap of USC-WSU.  It’s been 4 days and I still don’t know what to say about that game.

This week brings a tougher test to Pac-12 teams as the non-conference slate of games is nearing an end.  With that in mind, if you have any ideas on contests you’d like to see the mascots face-off in put them in the comments!  If you don’t, you’ll be stuck with my boring ideas.

For now, you get this week’s match-ups.  No, these aren’t the football teams that I think are going to win.  I pick the mascots that would win in a fight!

UCLA Bruins at Nebraska Corn-Huskers – 9 A.M. Saturday

In the past, I’ve talked about how I like it when mascots fit the region that they are in.  Nebraska definitely did that, but at what point does it become a fault?  At what point does a regional relevant mascot become a dumb mascot?  Nebraska probably passes that line.  Yes, we don’t think about Nebraska having a dumb mascot now because it’s been around for a long time but if Nebraska had just now decided that their mascot would be a Corn-Husker we all would be laughing and making snarky comments on Twitter.  Also, at what point do you become a Corn-Husker?  I’ve husked corn.  Am I a corn husker?  Is there a certain amount of hours you have to put in?  A certain amount of ears of corn? The Bruin is nice because it is actually frightening.  Imagine being out camping.  On one side of the camp ground a bruin walks in, on the other side a guy is husking corn… You’d probably be frightened for the Husker.  While the Husker gets us some delicious corn, he is mauled by a Bruin.

Stanford Cardinal at Army Black Knights – 9 A.M. Saturday

I have a hard time knocking Army.  With that being said, I do think that they missed out on an opportunity here.  Army is one of the few schools that has a mascot as its actual school name.  So, why didn’t they just insert an ‘of’ into their school name?  Even Army of Black Knights sounds pretty awesome.  Heck, let your mascot be your home city, Army.  Army of Westpoint?  Army of America?  Or give yourself a crazy mascot with ‘of’ before it.  ‘Army of Fire-Breathing Dragons’?  See what I mean.  Now, Black Knights is pretty cool.  Black simply refers to their jersey color way back when they got their name.  Stanford, on the other hand, is either a color or a tree.  Hey Stanford, Army used a color and mascot in their name!  Pretty cool, huh?  The tree is in awe of using a color as an adjective and gets chopped down by the knights.

Fresno State Bulldogs at Colorado Buffaloes – 11 A.M. Saturday

Some classy mascots here.  Bulldogs are about the coolest dog around.  Unfortunately, they aren’t the most active here.  Then again, whenever I’ve seen a real life buffalo they have just been standing around.  But, I’ve seen that buffalo in Colorado that storms across the field and I fear for any bulldog (or anything else) that stands in its way.  Bulldog gets trampled by the Buffalo.

Boston College Golden Eagles at USC Trojans – 12 P.M.

Oh boy!  What a match-up!  First, a few questions.  Was the eagle turned into gold?  Is it still able to fly, hunt, and do everything else other eagles do?  Since this is my post, I’m going to say that it is able to function as a normal eagle would.  A trojan, as I’ve covered before, is a little strange as well because they don’t really exist anymore.  Both of these things are pretty awesome though.  Eagles are the most majestic of animals (I’d be willing to listen if you said a lion was more so) and Trojans were pretty solid warriors.  Unfortunately for the human race, Trojans can’t fly and that’s what really sets the eagle apart.  You get some eagles dive bombing you, do you really think you stand a chance even with a sword and metal helmet on?  To a Trojan, an eagle might be even more frightening than a USC quarterback pass right now?  Zing.  Also, haha Lane Kiffin.  Eagles dive bomb the Trojans into obscurity.

Edit: As Matthew has pointed out in the comments below, a Golden Eagle is a real bird (duh) which will make this victory even easier.

Tennessee Volunteers at Oregon Ducks – 12:30 P.M.

So to recap Oregon’s non-conference mascot schedule, they have played some racist confederate Colonels and some supporters of King Charles.  Now, they get to play some people who volunteer.  Well, I guess you should play to your strengths when you’re a duck.  There aren’t many strengths so you schedule some awful mascots.  But wait!  After a little bit of research we find that the volunteer nickname is a regional relevant name that isn’t half as stupid as Corn-Huskers.  Tennessee is known as the Volunteers (and the Volunteer state) because of the state’s many volunteers in the War of 1812.  They played a prominent role in our country winning that war and specifically the Battle for New Orleans.  You can’t pull a fast one on me, Ducks!  As an aside, I have no idea why Tennessee’s mascot that dresses up is a dog.  It’s named Smokey, which is regionally relevant but I don’t see a connection to the Volunteer.

Even taking the standard definition of volunteer could probably beat a duck in a fight.  Even the random dog could probably beat that duck.  Ducks beaten by Tennessee’s three mascots: Generic volunteer, volunteer soldier in War of 1812, and Random Dog.

Washington Huskies at Illinois Illini – 3 P.M. Saturday

Another interesting match-up (good week, although it’s not quite as exciting after this)!  Huskies are one of the best dog breeds there is.  The Illini is believed to be a group of tribes around the Illinois area.  But, after some research, the truth comes out here.  Illini is not the name of these tribes.  Illiniwek is the name of six Native American tribes in the upper Mississippi River valley.  The only thing with the actual name Illini is this school and an Amtrak train.  Clearly, Illinois wanted to be known as the Native American tribes so why didn’t they just go with Illiniwek?  It doesn’t look as good?  It doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely?  If you’re going to honor a tribe by naming your team off of him, you better actually name your team after them.  The Illini aren’t who we thought they were, Huskies win because a random train shows up and can’t fight.

Southern Utah Thunderbirds at Washington State Cougars – 3:30 P.M. Saturday 

Cougars are very tough and an intimidating animal.  Dang, Southern Utah!  That’s an awesome mascot!  The Thunderbirds.  But, does it stand up to the research?  Just because I want to name my next band that, doesn’t mean that your mascot gets a free pass.  Here is your definition: a mythical bird thought by some North American Indians to bring thunder.  Wow!  Of course, the United State Air Force also uses the name Thunderbirds for an air demonstration.  That’s pretty cool too.  I try to be fair to the Cougars in these because I really do think they have a solid mascot that is tough but you just can’t win this one.  You’re going against a bird that brings the thunder!  When someone says, “Bring the thunder!” it is actually because of this bird!  Thunderbirds eek out a close one, a thunderous match-up.

Ohio State Buckeyes at California Golden Bears – 4 P.M.  

Brutus

Brutus

Oh good, a Buckeye.  Are you kidding me?  Ohio State is named the Buckeyes because it’s what their state tree is.  We have a ‘Nebraska’ situation all over again.  Buckeye is relevant to Ohio but it’s also a tree.  Golden Bears are extinct, but at least they used to have the power to kill someone.  Trees have to be affected by something else to have the ability to hurt anyone.  Not to mention you have Brutus… What is Brutus?  Is he supposed to be a standard Ohio citizen?  Hasn’t someone else wondered this before?  The Golden Bears claw at the tree, known as a Buckeye, until it falls down.

Oregon State Beavers at Utah Utes – 7 P.M.

The lone Pac-12 match-up brings us unique mascots but, sadly, a not very close match-up.  Beavers chop down trees but I don’t really think they can chop down people.  Utes are a proud Native American tribe.  Native Americans usually had weapons.  Beavers don’t.  Utes stab Beavers repeatedly to death because they don’t give a dam.  (Sorry)

Texas San-Antonio Roadrunners at Arizona Wildcats  – 7:30 P.M.

You know my disdain for Wildcats.  They are stupid.  Roadrunners aren’t exceptionally tough but they smart and usually out-think their opponent.  They are quick and usually leave behind a trail of dust.  When they are escaping from their opponent, they usually mock said opponent with a noise that sounds like “Beep, beep” almost exactly like a car.  Roadrunners take a break from Wile E. Coyote and defeat the Wildcats.

Wisconsin Badgers at Arizona State Sun-Devils – 7:30 P.M.

badger

devil

You don’t need my help on this one.  Devil wins.

Andrew

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Around The Pac-12 – Week 2

EDIT:  I should have paid better attention but Matthew wrote a post right below this one that you should go read.  It is much more informative than reading about mascots.  Here is the link if you don’t like to scroll.

The first week of Pac-12 play brought a few exciting games, a bad loss, and mostly predictability.  This week, we get our first conference game, a slew of uninteresting non-conference games and hopefully some awesome mascots!  Now, for your second installment of 2013…. Let’s get to the mascot post!

Until we get in to full-on conference play, I will simply just pit each game’s mascot against each other in a fight.  Using a very scientific method, I will determine which one will win and I’d recommend (if you’re the betting type) placing your money on that team.  We all know that the tougher mascot determines the better football team.  I’m sorry if I don’t like your school’s mascot.  I’m not actually.

Sacramento State Hornets vs. Arizona State Sun Devils – Thursday 10 P.M.

So, some people think bees/hornets are fairly evil.  My wife visibly gets flustered and sometimes lets out a scream when a hornet or bee gets near her.  She’s not alone in that.  Now, how do you think she would do if the devil came near her?  Now, this isn’t a contest to see what is the most intimidating thing but intimidation is built on fear.  Do you think the devil would be afraid of a hornet?  Not a chance.  If the hornet is even capable of having fear, it probably wouldn’t enjoy being around the devil.  Hornets are a formidable, annoying thing but they ran into one of the toughest battles out there.  Sun Devils flick the Hornets aside.

Weber State Wildcats vs. Utah Utes – Saturday 11 A.M.

This is one of the first images that shows up when you search "Wildcat" on Google.  This is many peoples mascot... Idiots.

This is one of the first images that shows up when you search “Wildcat” on Google. This is many peoples mascot… Idiots.

YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING!  MORE FREAKING WILDCATS?! Last week brought two teams with this wimpy mascot and so does this week.  A wildcat is slightly more terrifying than a house cat.  It’s not terrifying at all.  Ban the Wildcat!  Ban the Wildcat!  The Utes were a Native American tribe that is well-respected.  The Ute skins the Wildcat alive and then cooks it over a fire while receiving nothing more than a scratch.

Oregon Ducks vs. Virginia Cavaliers – Saturday 12:30 P.M.

What a ridiculous match-up.  Let’s turn to our friend, Dictionary.com to help us sort this out.

cav·a·lier
ˌkavəˈli(ə)r
noun
1.a supporter of King Charles I in the English Civil War.
2.a small spaniel of a breed with a moderately long, noncurly, silky coat.
duck
dək
noun
 1.a waterbird with a broad blunt bill, short legs, webbed feet, and a waddling gait.
2.a pure white thin-shelled bivalve mollusk found off the Atlantic coasts of America.
Umm…  Virginia was named the Cavaliers because there were a lot English people in Virginia in 1888, apparently.  Take a quick look at the second definition of each word.  That doesn’t bring any clarity to this situation.  Do we pick the waterbird or the King Charles supporter?  For years, humans and ducks have lived in harmony aside from some people duck hunting.  I’m giving the slight edge to the Cavaliers because I ate duck on Sunday.  Credit to the Ducks for scheduling a confederate soldier and a British supporter in their first two games though.
Portland State Vikings vs. California Golden Bears – Saturday 2 P.M.
Last year, I got confused and wrongly called Portland State the Pilots.  I would like to take this moment to publicly apologize for that comment.  Now, for this match-up we have something special.  These are two mascots that have gone extinct in the real world.  While this does happen, it’s not a regularity and indeed makes this special.  If these two were alive, this would be quite a match-up.  A Scandinavian Pirate against a bear that is fairly closely related to a grizzly?  I’ll buy a ticket to that any day.  If life has taught me one thing, it’s to not mess with pirates so… The Vikings win a close one while losing an arm or two thanks to the bear.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Oregon State Beavers – 5 P.M.
The Rainbow Warriors make another appearance this week and come against the beavers.  There’s not much commentary to add to this fight.  A beaver might be able to gnaw on someone’s ankles but a rainbow warrior would have a spear.  Beavers are taken down by the Rainbow Warriors because of a spear sticking out of its furry back.
Central Arkansas Bears vs. Colorado Buffaloes – 5 P.M.
Now, this is intriguing!  It’s a tough one to choose and not in the way choosing between a waterbird and a King Charles supporter was.  If a buffalo charged at a bear I am extremely curious as to what would happen.  Would the bear simply step out-of-the-way and make a counter-run at the buffalo?  Would the bear hold his ground and try to take the buffalo horns on?  Would the buffalo send the bear flying back and then proceed to stomp on it?  I feel like I should mention that Central Arkansas is often referred to as the ‘Sugar Bears’.  I don’t know what that means.  If life has taught me one thing, it’s to not mess with a buffalo.  Buffaloes beat the Bears barely (alliteration), mostly because I like it when that buffalo runs out onto the field.
Arizona Wildcats vs. UNLV Rebels – 7:30 P.M.
You already know where I’m going with this.  The only intrigue here is what the rebels are rebelling from.  It is interesting a team from Las Vegas is called the Rebels and I do like it when the mascot name has a connection to the city.  Because of that, I’m a fan of the Rebel mascot, even with it being nondescript.  Wildcats are dumb.  Rebels stomp on the Wildcats until they die.
Washington State Cougars vs. USC Trojans – 7:30 P.M. 
Our first conference game gives us a nice human vs. animal fight.  Cougars are quite frightening even if you have a sword, I’m guessing.  Trojans would be able to stand a few attacks because of that armor they wear.  Speaking of Trojans, it’s cool that they’re called that and play in the Coliseum.  Home field advantage doesn’t often isn’t considered in these fights but since the Cougars will be placed into the Coliseum with the Trojans I’m guessing the humans stand a much better chance than if they were out in the wild.  The home field comes advantage comes into effect for the first time ever in the mascot posts, as the Trojans barely kill the Cougars.
San Jose Spartans vs. Stanford Cardinal – 8 P.M.
Oh, Stanford how I missed you.  Stanford’s mascot has a confusing history but all you need to know is they are named after a color.  Because I refuse to put a color in the mascot battles, I use the tree that they have dressed up as their mascot.  It is easy to make fun of a tree because almost everything can take it down or get on it aside from a Wildcat.  It is awesome to have a tree and a beaver in the same conference.  As far as the Spartans go, I count them in the same light as Trojans.  Mighty warriors and such.  I think Spartans could figure out a way to chop down a tree.
Well, that’s it.
– Andrew

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