Best and worst games of the 2010 bowl season

College football fans have unleashed a lot of unnecessary ire at the bowl system, but I’d like to ask them why? It’s the BCS you should be pouring all your Haterade on. Good old-fashioned bowl games have been wrongly co-opted into the argument against the BCS, a corporate America-driven abortion that sticks a coat-hanger into the fertile vagina of college football, and pulls out a bloody mess of dollars and made-for-TV failures where a beautiful baby playoff system should have been.

So I’ll go ahead and say it. I still love bowl games. I mean, I LOVE bowl games. If the Orange Bowl were a woman, I would juice her lovely mandarin like a Vitamin C crack addict. If the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl (yes, that is a real bowl) were a woman, I would still put a bag over my head and caress her homely, meaty thighs until her flatulent parts started whistling.

Why not? At every point of the D-I spectrum, bowls give passionate fan bases a last shot to watch the kids they only get to keep for four years play one last game that in theory should be highly competitive against a new, fun opponent that isn’t likely to be on the schedule again any time soon. Sure, there aren’t a lot of people who have a stomach for vintage match ups like North Texas-Toledo, but it’s not hurting you that the game is being played. (Well, there’s a slight chance humanity wasting time on something so meaningless in lieu of solving world hunger might anger God and incite the Apocalypse, but that withstanding…)

I, personally, love ’em all. Love the terrible ones almost as much as the great ones, just for the humor the existence of names like the (Uh oh, gotta get) MAACO Bowl and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl bring to the universe. Seriously, San Diego, don’t you have to be, like, bigger than Darryl’s Corner Pawn Shop to win naming rights for a bowl game?

In the old pre-career days, I would watch every bowl game – every one, start to finish. Nowadays, I’ll watch anything on New Year’s Day, weekends and after work. They’re just good, even when they’re bad, because if you love college football, you’ll do anything to cling on to the dying season before the dark times set in again until August.

As for 2010, there are some doozies and some dandies, but my picks for best and worst bowl game of the season were pretty easy to make.

Worst bowl game of 2010: Little Caesar’s Bowl (Toledo vs. Florida International, Dec. 26, 8:30 p.m. ET)

Looking for a quick and easy way to destroy any leftover Christmas spirit? Just turn this game on the day after. The mere prospect of this game might destroy enough Christmas cheer that Santa’s reindeer are no longer able to fly. And as if the poor people of Detroit didn’t have enough misery and hopelessness to face every day, the college football world has decided to throw this gem at them. As Moe so eloquently put it in The Simpsons a few weeks ago: “Take it easy on Detroit. Them people is livin’ in Mad Max times.” The anger this game will cause in Detroit will be single-handedly responsible for cementing the city’s place as the murder capital of America. The abandoned houses will burn bright in the Motor City this night.

And who let Florida International off ESPN’s Bottom 10 list? How bad was college football this year that the team that spent the last decade as one-half of the flashing FIU-FAU icon eternally entrenched on the Bottom 10 qualified for a bowl?

Best bowl game of 2o1o: Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 1 Auburn, Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m.)

Is it a cop-out to pick the national title game as the best bowl game of the year? Hell no – Any game that features a plodding Ohio St. team against an SEC champion has zero chance of being entertaining, much less competitive – and that happened two years in a row after the ’06 and ’07 seasons.

But this game is going to be special. I mean, like, Texas-USC after the 2005 season special. The casts are even eerily similar to that all-time classic with Cam Newton in the Vince Young role of unstoppable one-man wrecking ball and Oregon in the USC role of flawless offensive system with weapons all over the field. Like that game, don’t expect much defense and expect the game-winning score to come in the last minute. The only thing I’m not sure: Will the team with the Heisman runner up beat the team with the Heisman winner again or should we expect the magician at quarterback to will his team to victory again?

I don’t know, but I do know two things: The Ducks’ uniforms will be hideous (although, not as bad as usual, despite the tennis ball-colored socks) and Cam Newton’s Dad will be on a cell phone given to him by Deion Sanders every second of the game pimping his son to every half-bit Jerry Maguires and used car TV ad producer in the nation.


The best rivalry in college football

Auburn-Alabama: Hate, rednecks, barbecue, $200,000 RVs, hottie southern girls. Now that's LND's kind of party.

College football presents the greatest experience in the world of sport. We know this, without debate, because it’s the only game where 60,000 strangers will join you in a giant parking lot for eight hours to get wasted and throw bags of corn at a piece of wood with a hole in it; where you can ogle 19-year-old undergrad females in various levels of skanky regional gameday garb from the sun dress to the tiny team T; and where you live for the most inane and half-retarded traditions mankind could possibly come up with — be that throwing toilet paper at a giant tree after a win down on The Plains, singing to the world your team plays “where all is bright and gay” while holding the two nearest fans, even if they’re dudes, in The Hook, or just shouting out some overly intricate cheer that was composed back in 1897 and doesn’t even use words that are relevant to the modern English language. (Seriously: Solarex, Solari?)

It’s also the greatest experience in the world of sport because of the rivalries. Rivalries are made from hate, and no sport – save MAYBE English Premier League soccer – can compete with the hate derived in a good college football rivalry. Sure, Raiders-Chiefs might be a decent NFL rivalry, Yankees-Red Sox is a heated MLB rivalry, but when it comes down to it the professional players just don’t really care. If they did, Johnny Damon and Wadey Boggs never would have donned the pinstripes. Can you imagine Colt McCoy in an Oklahoma Sooners uniform? Hell no. I can imagine him enjoying passionate anal sex with Sam Bradford, but he’d treat that wounded man hole with a sodering iron before he ever bled Sooner red. You see, college hate derives from real differences. Big State U versus Small Pretentious College, public versus private, Smart Kid U versus Dumb Fuck Tech. Every college develops a reputation, traditions and habits that are utterly unique and undeniably annoying to the nearest neighboring school. It starts out with some innocent ragging of your rival, and the next thing you know you’re wasted at an ESPN roast shouting “FUCK TOUCHDOWN JESUS” at the head coach of Notre Dame.

And the most genius thing college football does is ball all that hate up almost entirely into one glorious weekend – Rivalry Weekend. The Iron Bowl, the Egg Bowl, the Apple Cup, the Commonwealth Cup, the CIVIL WAR, for godsakes. Awesome! I want to eat a Virginia Tech undergrad and shit him out in the shape of Virginia’s V-Sabres right now.


You know, I’m tired of national broadcasters telling us we have to respect how great this rivalry is. Grambling-Southern is a great rivalry, too, but it’s still shitty football I don’t feel like watching. And before anyone goes on a “respect the troops” kick, I do respect the troops. I appreciate that they fight for my freedoms, and now I’m going to exorcise my freedom to throw Army-Navy in the same basket as the WNBA – terrible sporting events not on my TV.

Virginia-Virginia Tech

In the ’80s and ’90s, these guys , two of the best coaches in the game, made the Commonwealth Cup great. The game frequently matched two top 25 teams and the intensity was fierce. Then UVA’s guy got too old and this ass face decided to come along, play some chess, stick his face in a fan and lose 8 out of 9 to the Hokies. Not to mention, this problem drinker apparently drove drunk to every head coach interview he ever had because no coordinator that good would ever sit around as No. 2 to a guy with half a face for three decades with no good reason. Anyways, one of the most underrated rivalries in college football turned into Texas-Baylor and now no one cares. But now UVA has this guy. Give it about three years.

USC-Notre Dame

Like Notre Dame football, the importance of this rivalry is nothing more than an illusion propogated by TV. As I mentioned, passion makes a rivalry, and if the dudes and babes of sunny SoCal don’t give a shit about their team, neither should you.

Oregon-Oregon St.

Well, if anything, the Civil War has to have the best name of all rivalry games, and the Ducks versus the Beavers has to be best rivalry matchup of ridiculous mascots.

Ohio St.-Michigan

For years, ESPN had you fooled into thinking this was an amazing game played between elite teams for the highest of stakes. Then Ohio St. kept losing BCS bowl games by 20. Now Michigan is looking like their Smart Kid U brethren and this rivalry is pretty much like me when I’m watching it – in a coma.


The Nerd Bowl! This series has lacked memorable games in recent years, most people hate these schools as the elitist institutions they are, and 95% of the college football fan population would rather fuck a dead pig than watch California football (Seriously, that’s not even a joke. Southerners and Midwesterners are mildly disapproving of fucking dead livestock. But they hate football from California). Alas, The Play (“The Band is on the Field!!!”) is as memorable as it gets and earns this rivalry some points.


Yes, I’m just fucking with you now


Sorry, Maryland. No one in Virginia considers you a rival. In fact, no one cares about Maryland. Go bother West Virginia. They’ll burn couches with you.

West Virginia-Pittsburgh

When it comes to pure ignorant, nasty hatefulness among fans, this rivalry is the winner. The Backyard Brawl also generally determines the winner of the Big East. Congratulations! Your rivalry game gets to decide which team gets to embarass the BCS again this year!

Florida St.-Miami

This rivalry is just tantalizing. It was the most dramatic in college football for years and it still feels like these teams should be elite, but the fact is it’s closer to the level of UNC-N.C. State than it is to the glory days of this rivalry in the ’80s and ’90s.


Great game, great tradition, but with the crazy intensity of so many Texas games (Texas A&M and Nebraska, for starters), one begins to realize that Longhorn fans are just sick in their heads, think everyone is a rival and would probably sacrifice more than a couple of Mexican illegals for a win over East Texas Tech-El Paso, much less the Sooners.


For my money, this one takes the cake both historically and right now. Who cares that both teams have hedge funds and law firms running their recruiting slush funds, these teams are basically combining NFL quality play with the immeasurable passion of uneducated, backwoods rednecks that are told from before they can walk that they are, under all circumstances and with no exceptions, to hate anyone wearing the wrong team’s colors. In most rivalries where a family’s two children go to each school, the parents get some cute flag with half of one school’s colors and half of the others. In Alabama, if a son or daughter goes against family tradition, they’re not invited back for Christmas. Carrying some “Family Divided” flag with mixed team colors will make you the victim of a hate crime faster than a black guy wearing a gay pride shirt walking into an Alabama KA frat house.

Ultimate Lame Mascot – The LND Finalists

We presented the lamest of the lame and the people have voted.  Without further ado, here are the winners (losers?) of the previous polls.  Vote to see who gets crowned LND’s Ultimate Lame Mascot.

The Stanford Tree – Achieving a majority of the votes in our most viewed post ever is no small feat.  With 60% of the vote in the BCS category, this was a bigger landslide victory than fellow Stanford Alum Herbert Hoover crushing Al Smith in the 1928 Presidential Election… or perhaps the more appropriate analogy is fellow Stanford alum Herbert Hoover getting crushed by FDR in the 1932 Presidential Election. Wait a sec, this is Late Night Debates – it is like including Angelina Jolie in a sexiest female category with the top six from our Most Shameful Celebrity You Would Do post.  That’s more like it.

Louisiana Lafayette’s Cayenne – Coming out on top with 47% of the vote amongst the non-BCS Division I schools is UL-Lafayette’s pink peppery thingy. What is it exactly? Why is it pink? Is that a crab claw in it’s hair? Why is it cross-eyed? No one knows the answers to any of these questions, but the LND readers have spoken and they agree on two things – it’s lame and none of them ever want to see it without clothes on ever again.  Get out of my dreams angry dragon turd – I wish I had never met you.

Evergreen State Geoduck – With 85% of the vote in the FBS, DII and DIII category, the Geoduck was strong like bull against stiff competition.  Alright, enough penis jokes.  If you take a closer look at the mascot, there is much more terribleness to be seen.  Those are some sweet basketball shorts it has on.   Is it wearing fairy wings?  I guess splurging for shoes would have put the costume over budget.  That pose looks like he is challenging the Fighting Irish leprachaun of Notre Dame.  Silly Geoduck, the leprechaun won’t fight you. Everyone knows he loves penis. Sorry, LND can only resist a good dick joke but for so long.

Lamest college mascots (FCS, DII and DIII)

Combing through the thousands of FCS, Division II and Division III mascots is akin to taking part in a psychology experiment where you’re strapped into a chair and forced to watch images of violence: After a while you just feel angry, befuddled and ready to lash out like a rabid mongoose (Surprisingly, the rabid mongoose is not any of these colleges’ mascot).

Apparently not content with sports mediocrity and marginally gifted athletes, second tier college sports programs feel the need to cement their second rate status with a smorgasbord of subpar characters roaming the sidelines of their sports fields. Whether it be smug smartasses at prestigious liberal arts colleges for the cocaine addict kids of the smarmy New England elite or the bong-toking youth of California’s counter culture, the often quirky student bodies of smaller schools have tended to lead to some very strange, strange mascot decisions across the nation. Except in the Midwest, where the future factory workers of America are too dumb to come up with anything beyond the animals they see in their back yards — gophers and badgers aplenty. Ah, you can always rely on America’s Heartland to be as plain as Tilda Swinton eating vanilla ice cream on white bread.

But I digress. The point here is that there are so many terrible mascots in the pantheon of FCS, Division II and Division III college athletics that there is simply no way one man, at least with a life that doesn’t involve living in his mother’s basement and spending 14 hours a day playing Second Life, could adequately survey the entire collection and come up with a perfect list. So, LND has opened this final installment of lamest mascots up to write in ballots, which we will consider when we run the poll to pick the ultimate lamest mascot in all of college sports later this week.

Without even scouring the thousands of atrocious options available, we still managed to come up with some pretty fetching selections, including our No. 1 — what has to has to be, hands down, bar none the most hideous, disturbing, discomforting, bizarre, misguided, foul and unsettling mascot in the history of sport. (Perhaps only behind the Ancient Athenian Fightin’ Prepubescent Boy Love Slave)

10. Mary Baldwin Fighting Squirrel

This mascot is a perfect metaphor for undergrads from small schools just pleading for anyone to pay attention to their team: He’s small, annoying, is constantly chirping at you, tries to act tougher than he is and, ultimately, you just want to laugh at his whole tough guy routine. Fighting Squirrels — that’s about as intimidating as the Fussy Babies. Although, maybe if Mary Baldwin gave its squirrel a light saber it would look a little tougher.

9. Delaware Blue Hen

I understand state universities wanting to represent something unique about their state with their mascot, but someone has to have the common sense to just say no to repping your state’s favorite chicken. I mean, there are so many other great things about Delaware the school could have chosen. Like … wait a minute. No there’s not. Well then, they could at least not dress the chicken up like an emo chick in a skirt with spandex tights underneath.


8. Peter the Anteater (UC Irvine)

Entry No. 1 from those quirkier-than-thou Californians. The only problem is UC Irvine misses all of the comedic potential with their big F.U. to RaRa team pride by not replicating the utterly bizarre awkwardness of the anteater’s body. In fact, what is going on with Peter’s body? His ripped biceps are almost as out of place as Nick Cage’s toupee. What sick, sadistic bastard gets an anteater all cracked out on steroids and then unleashes its ‘roid rage on an unsuspecting public?


7. Gaylord, the Campbell Camel

I’m not proud of this, but the fact that the camel is named “Gaylord,” which makes me giggle, is 99% responsible for the camel making this list. The other 1% is the fact his tuft of hair looks just like Nick Cage’s toupee.

Moving on…


6. Williams Purple Cow

I like how Williams athletics is so meaningless, even it’s mascot doesn’t pretend to give a shit. However, we’re not sure if this mascot is a reflection of pretentious New England boy’s prep graduates trying to show how jocular they find sports or if it represents the women at Williams. Don’t worry Williams boys; I understand. If the ladies of my college had a trunk like the Purple Cow, I’d want to return to the warmth and comfort of spooning my boy’s prep roommate in a heavy wool blanket during a Cape Cod winter, too.

5. John Harvard (Harvard)

Nothing says honoring the founder of perhaps the world’s most prestigious university by blowing his likeness up into a big silly bobble head and making him appear to be a ruddy cheeked alcoholic with a cleft lip. Boy, that is a face even a blind Saigon whore couldn’t love. You’d think the rich fuckers stockpiling Harvard’s endowment could at least cover the plastic surgery bill for ole John. Alas, maybe it’s for the best. John Harvard should look tortured and tormented being forced to watch athletic frivolity. The Puritans were, after all, giant buzz kill, cockblocking tight asses.

4. UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slug

Let me be the first to admit I am actually a giant fan  of the Banana Slug. Entry No. 2 from California is one of the only examples in all of academia that properly hits the offbeat mascot sweetspot by expressing just the right amount of irony, humor, “we don’t give a shit” and “go fuck yourself.” I mean, does anything say apathy better than a slug? Alas, any objective human being has to admit that this mascot is undeniably terrible, all creative license aside. It’s not like there’s any shortage of things about the banana slug to make fun of. For example, try and find a picture of the banana slug where he’s not wearing Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Now UC-Santa Cruz, here I was thinking you all were trying not to be stereotypes?

3. Trinity Christian College Trolls

With all due apologies to Oklahoma State’s Pistol Pete, THIS is the mascot I am most afraid is going to rape me. I know trolls aren’t supposed to be pretty, but isn’t it a little odd that the mascot for a Christian school appears to have herpes? Somebody needs to go to confession! So how does a Christian college end up with an evil, sinful beast like trolls as their mascot? TRinity cOLLege Students. No, Trinity. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Absolutely not acceptable.

2. Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevil

When your state’s flagship university is already reaching down the mascot well all the way to a scary pig, you know little U. of Arkansas-Monticello was going to have pretty slim pickins when it came their turn to pick a mascot. But the most awesome thing about this glorified 1950s-era depiction of a Martian isn’t the fact that Arkansas-Monticello chose to inspire its fans by selecting as its mascot an insect that destroyed the lives of their ancestors by wiping out Arkansas’ cotton industry.  No, that little bit of irony isn’t half as entertaining as the fact that the boll weevil sets a nearly unbreakable record for phalluses on one mascot — not only are his antennas a pair of parallel needle dicks, but his schnoz is the sort of warty, lumpy, bulging, left-leaning meat club that porn starlets have nightmares about.

1. Evergreen State Geoduck

Speaking of phalluses, actual geoducks — the world’s largest burrowing clam, native to the waters of the U.S. Pacific Northwest — look like the sort of wrinkled, beastly horse cocks  that have stolen the last shreds of dignity from Tijuana sex show performers for generations. I’m not the only juvenile-minded idiot that thought so, considering the Chinese have stimulated (hehe) a bustling geoduck fishery by considering the fleshy gastropod a culinary delicacy that is both an aphrodisiac and “enhances virility.” OK, new rule — if Asian people think your mascot is going to help them be big man, pleasure woman long time then you should immediately burn your mascot costume and start over. Evergreen State probably has some fierce rivalries with the Directional State U. Raging Tiger Penises and the Tech Fightin’ Blowfish.

Editor’s note: Although the mascot was retired in 1999 when Elon College decided it was too big for propagating blatant oxy morons when it became Elon University, the Elon Fighting Christian is and always will be the worst college mascot of all time. What would Jesus do? Well, LND’s staff theologian tells us he is fairly certain he wouldn’t have gone around trying to fight everyone. Here’s to you Elon, for making the sort of terrible decision that will haunt you until your dying day when God can ask you, “So where did I start to confuse you?

Lamest college mascot (Non-BCS FBS schools edition)

Note: In researching terrible mascots, the plethora of available options is just too much to resist stretching this feature out to a four-parter. Take a look at our BCS post and keep an eye out for the FCS and DivII / DivIII editions. Keep voting as the winners of the 4 posts will face off in an ultimate lame mascot challenge.

Before moving on to the FBS schools that don’t get a chance to take home the National Championship, as a Virginia Tech alum I cannot resist the urge to pontificate on that new UVA mascot.  Though it may not be one of the 5 worst BCS mascots, it is definitely in the top ten.This is so bad it needs some quickfire jokes, Daniel Tosh style. Let’s put 20 seconds on the clock:  Is that a horse, a hippo or a California Raisin?  Some kid called, and he wants his Thing Hands back.  Mascots can’t resemble Native Americans anymore, but this proves the NCAA thinks it is fine for your mascot to dress in blackface.  Is that logo ironed on or is it just a sticker?  He’s ready for the upcoming 90’s frat party – he already put on his MC Hammer pants.   I’m pretty sure The Hoo crapped this out in 1983 and it just recently escaped from the sewers of Charlottesville where it has been living a life of solitude, prostituting itself out to drunken frat guys and feeding on the blood of the homeless.

Now that I have that out of my system, I present LND’s lamest mascots from non-BCS Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

5. Akron’s Zippy the Kangaroo

When you have a nondescript nickname like the Zips, your mascot can be whatever you want it to be.  Akron could have gone with a lion, tiger, bear, eagle, gorilla, or any number of menacing mascots.  They also could have gone for a local theme, and since Akron is known as the “Rubber Capital of the World”, my vote would have been for a giant condom.  Instead, they went with this far from intimidating Kangaroo.  On Zippy’s website, he claims his favorite food is stadium hot dogs.  Something tells me that is not the only kind of sausage Zippy enjoys.

4. Middle Tennessee State’s Lightning

MTSU’s sports teams are known as the Blue Raiders, so logically their mascot is a Pegasus. They got the blue part down, as that thing looks like Papa Smurf should be riding in on it.  As a Pegasus, he uses his wings to fly.  That means the only thing the cape could possibly be for is his weekend job performing magic at birthday parties. TA-DA!

3. Louisiana-Lafayette’s Cayenne

The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette have a long history of bad mascots including the drunken Cajun Man and the even more drunken Cajun Chicken, but in an effort to outdo themselves they came up with this atrocity.  As if the pepper to the left wasn’t bad enough, the university felt the need to share the image to the right of what Cayenne looks like when he takes the football jersey off.  That angry dragon turd is going to haunt my dreams.

2. Tulsa’s Captain ‘Cane

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane felt the need to justify this ridiculous superhero getup by actually giving him a back-story and some super powers. Apparently, the Captain “carries a hurricane-summoning sword, energy-sourcing thunder boots, lightning bolt blaster gloves and a wind-current flying cape.”  Even the super-lame Captain Planet had better superpowers than that.  It must be awfully hard to fly with those huge cement blocks for feet. And nothing lets people know you are a superhero quite like that inverted soul patch on his forehead.  They would have been better off with Captain Crunch as their mascot.

1. TCU’s SuperFrog

As discussed in a previous LND post, a horned frog is actually a lizard that can squirt blood from its eyes.  Somehow TCU manages to take the bloody eye lizard and make it even less kid friendly.  It looks like the weird love child of the Predator and Felix the Cat.  When you add the fact that SuperFrog is like 8 feet tall, there isn’t a preteen in the world that will go within 20 feet of this creature.  I do enjoy that Felix the Predator takes his fashion tips from Doug Flutie, however. Nice belly shirt, SuperFrog. Nice belly shirt, indeed.

Lamest college mascot (BCS schools edition)

I recently attended U.Va.’s football season opener, where the Mike London era was deemed a near universal success as the Hoos exorcized the biggest shame of the Al Groh era (a 2009 season opening loss to mighty FCS William & Mary) and helped the ACC prevent repeating another 0-2 start against the mighty CAA by beating the Richmond Spiders 34-13.

I say “near universal success” because of this creature, which made its debut Saturday:

Now, I’m not one to get too worked up over bad mascots. They are, after all, for kids. And this horrendous creature is only a side mascot to U.Va.’s real mascot, Cavman — a gay, manscaped Frenchman in an astronaut suit, which if you’ve read the tales of Cavaliers is pretty much historically accurate. But the locals in Hooville were not pleased. Some college football fans, and I’m talking about grown ass men, are not merely content to be armchair quarterbacks and Monday morning coaches; they like to play AD with a GED and hold up their pretend BS in mascot marketing to speculate on how a joke of a mascot will crumble their favorite program from the foundation.

At U.Va., the hypersensitive fans probably just can’t take any more ridicule after a 3-9 Al Groh special in 2009. I’ve seen the new mascot called everything from what would happen if Grimus raped the Chick-fil-a cow to Mr. Cameltoehands. I have personally dubbed it Puff the Magic Demon Horse.

What this new scandal of Charlottesville is not is the worst mascot in college sports. Not by far, not even close. In fact, I had only planned one “Worst Mascot” debate, but the sheer immensity of terrible mascots at every level of college athletics has forced me to split it up into divisions: BCS schools, non-BCS FBS schools, FCS schools, and Division II and III (where shit really gets Grateful Dead, Beatles White Album trippy).

So without further adieu, I present LND’s five lamest BCS school mascots. There’s no real methodology (to even suggest such a scientific process is to insult the nature of the late night debate), but in general I celebrate mascots that are so terrible they’re awesome (the Western Kentucky Blob) and instead look for that certain soulless lameness that comes when sports marketing departments try really hard and still fail.

5. The Penn St. Nittany Lion

How do you fuck up a predator cat, Penn St.? Easily, the easiest of all mascot breeds to successfully execute. Well, start with using a leftover oversized Winnie the Pooh costume for the Big Cat’s body. Next, instead of giving your ferocious feline a full set of teeth, make him look like Cletus the Slack Jawed Kitty straight out of the coal mines of Southwest Pennsyltucky by only giving him four teeth and a gap-toothed grin. Third, leave him au natural in the buff, but put a scarf on him just so he has the feel of a freaky European football streaker that you should shield your children’s eyes from.

4. Big Al, the Alabama Elephant

I’ve got no problem with a big elephant costume in principle, but let’s call a spade a spade here: That is a big, swinging, flaccid cock dangling from that creature’s face. Good lord, I’d hate to see Big Al get excited. Maybe I’ve just got trunk envy. Don’t mock me elephant. Some are showers, some are growers.

3. Brutus the Buckeye (Ohio St.)

Ohio St. fans will defend this atrocity to the death, much like they will defend their teams over-inflated ranking every year. But much like Ohio St.’s performances in national title games, there’s just not much evidence to support Brutus as anything other than lacking. Let’s look past the obvious issue that Brutus’ testicle head is the perfect complement to Big Al’s dick face. What is going on with that outfit? He’s wearing those old school, three inch too short jogging pants that everyone but your crazy Uncle Jimmy with the pornstache tossed out in 1986 and, speaking of the ‘80s, Freddie Krueger is bound to come looking for his sweater sometime.

2. Big 12 Cowboy mascots (the Texas Tech Red Raider, the Oklahoma St. Cowboy, and the Nebraska Cornhusker)

Someone tell Big 12 schools to stop the biggest hit to the image of the American cowboy since Brokeback Mountain. Let’s play a round of rapid fire.

Texas Tech: Flouting Warner Bros. ownership of his likeness and all sorts of laws prohibiting fire arms in public places, Yosemite Sam has apparently decided to live out his Zorro fantasy in Lubbock.

Oklahoma St.: I am honestly afraid this man is going to rape me. He has clearly done time. And the detail of the wrinkles in his creepy hard plastic face is disturbing. I’m willing to bet this costume actually smells like chewing tobacco spit and strippers.

Nebraska: Tight jeans, sturdy work shirt, normal size cowboy hat, chizled jawline; the Cornhusker is much more like real modern cowboys — gay.

1. The Stanford Tree

You might think the Tree would fit my “So terrible it’s awesome” exception, but you’re missing a key element exacerbating the horrendous lameness of this mascot. You see, one Stanford student is chosen to grace the Cardinal sidelines each year in a Tree costume that they must make themselves. And under the irresistible pressure for undergrad college students to become unbearably obnoxious by out-cute and clevering anyone who has come before them, it has become en vogue on campus to make each year’s tree more terrible and ridiculous than the one preceding. Unintentional humor has resulted in some of the best mascots in college sports, but forced cuteness in a hybrid form of nerd and college humor is not to be rewarded. Sorry, Stanford smart asses, but I have to give you the only thing that will wipe that smug smile off your pretentious faces. A big, steaming ‘F.’

Tim Tebow — Real American Hero or Giant Douchebag

This debate was infinitely simpler for the last four years. If you were a Florida Gator fan, Tebow was Superman. If you were an evangelical Gator fan, you probably believed Tebow was Jesus, or at least Jesus’ cousin. Otherwise, you thought Tebow was a super douche. The argument was black and white. And ESPN’s anointing of Tebow’s every bowel movement as a nightly top story, joining with Brett Favre and Yankees-Red Sox games as apparently the only meaningful stories in all of sports, only widened the dividing lines further. The Cult of Tebow had a nightly excuse to break from their plans of committing mass suicide the day Timmy left Florida while the haters were forced to stew in their own bitterness watching one Tebow saved a baby kitten story after another.

But now that Tebow is but a humble backup quarterback in the NFL and ESPN is not shoving his smiling face so far up my ass that his dimples tickle my prostate, I wonder if Tebow doesn’t maybe deserve everyone giving him a new look.

Super Douche?

So many of the things that make Tim Tebow a Super Douche are actually the doing of the douchebags that love him so, but we say celebrity and pro athlete fan bases are merely a reflection of their true selves. For example, John Daly is beloved by beer swilling trailer trash throughout tornado alley and Tom Cruise fans are all — well, no one likes Tom Cruise anymore. However, Tebow has done plenty on his own accord to face the charge of douchebaggery, as well.

So with that said, Tim Tebow is a douche because:

* His fans would dare imitate the perfection of Chuck Norris facts with their cheap Tim Tebow facts knockoff. It’s more like Harry Potter fan fiction than Chuck Norris humor. A randomly generated “fact” from — “Tim Tebow invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink.” That’s right Tebow fans; don’t let anyone think your obsession with a 22-year-old buff dude is gay or anything.

* The fact people use Tebow like it’s a first name. Calling an athlete by only his last name is neither original nor clever. But to put an unmistakably douchey mark on Tebow’s resume, fans use his last name in the same overly familiar, I sleep with a doll of my favorite athlete manner that super fans do when they only use their favorite athlete’s first name. Ever have to sit with a Cowboys fan when they talk about how awesome Troy was? Yeah, pretty unbearable.

* ‘The Tebow’ hair cut. Seriously, dude. Try a new look. Joey Lawrence during the Blossom years was the last man that dedicated to his hair’s brand power.

* The pro-life Terry Tate knockoff commercial with mommy. I’m not hating on the pro-life movement, but any athlete earns serious douchebag points when they’re pressing their political or social beliefs on America before their 25th birthday. Is Tebow preaching at us really any less maddening than Sean Penn telling us Hugo Chavez is really a good guy. Seriously, Tim, you’re a quarterback. Just hand the ball off to Knowshon Moreno.

* ‘The Promise.’ The speech was bad enough. In it, Tebow highlighted the douchiest parts of his personality, that he is the sort of freakishly over-intense, ADHD, OCD, mildly autistic dude you should always be slightly worried might stab you just because he doesn’t understand basic social norms. But Florida immortalized this douchebaggery by actually mounting the speech on a plaque on campus like it was one of the Ten Commandments or a Shakespearean monologue or even something original. All the dude said was sorry we lost and we’ll try hard. What the fuck is the big deal? I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

* Crying. There’s no crying in football, Tim. Particularly when you lose. Take it like a man.


Now that the passions of college football fandom are somewhat in the past, it pains me to say that some of the things Florida Gator fans have seen in Tim Tebow the last four years do make him a pretty legitimately solid guy. Let’s not kid ourselves here, douche or not, there is sparsely a single dude alive today that wouldn’t give up his right to use birth control for the chance to party with Tebow just one night. Rub your balls on Tebow, and girls will mind the stepchildren just in the hope you might sweat Tebow DNA on them.

So the guy can’t be all that bad, and Tim Tebow is not a douche because:

* He saves starving babies. Tim Tebow isn’t a missionary in the Spanish, Cortes convert or I stab your children in the neck sense. He’s more like Mother Teresa with a six pack, carrying scores of babies out of Myanmar and the Sudan so that Madonna or Brangelina can one day adopt them. I’ll give 4:1 odds Tebow ends up like Manute Bol — old, penniless and wrestling bears for money after leaving the NFL because he’s already given everything he’s ever had to buy shoes for naked African ladies.

* He just chills with ridiculously hot chicks day, after day, after day. He’s not like Tony Romo, star fucking B list singers to make sure he’s still a hot commodity on TMZ or Tiger Woods destroying billions in endorsement value by cheating on his wife with IHOP waitress skanks. No, Tebow just gets down with anonymous Southern hotties, making him the South’s Derek Jeter. Good choice, Tim.

* The Friar Tuck cut. See point No. 3 on the douchebag list to understand how truly difficult this must have been for Tebow. The man’s Howie Long spike was as much a part of his legend as his actual football accomplishments. But to allow a hater former Kentucky Wildcat Denver teammate to steal his dignity by shaving his do into the Friar Tuck look as his rookie punishment, and then repping that look for all the world to see just knowing ESPN producers would have an orgasm with a new Tebow story on their hands, is the act of a solid dude. And Dez Bryant wouldn’t even carry his teammates’ pads. Man, suck must be in the water at Cowboys Stadium.

The Verdict

Take him out of the college game, ESPN’s overly obsessive spotlight and away from all those jort wearing Gator fans, and you can kind of see how maybe the haters were a little too hard on him the last four years. It’s not like he’s Greg Paulus or anything, and you did probably just hate him because he was the superstar on a team that dominated college football for most of his four years in school.

Now, he’s getting a fair shake to prove he is who he’s always been. A humble, good natured fellow who has the Christian nation completely fooled into believing that he’s not “ramming it home” and “breaking the plane” on all those hotties he keeps appearing next to on the internet.

I don’t even know what I’m saying. Am I about to give Tim Tebow my personal seal of approval? This goes against every fiber of my being, but until Tebow becomes a star in the NFL (quiet your laughter, please) and ESPN begins its 365 days a year effort to make you despise anything that even rhymes with Tebow (Fuck you, Margaret Cho and Sandra Oh) by putting him in every program from NASCAR2NITE to the Little League World Series, I’m going to have to say Tebow seems like an OK guy.

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