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.’

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