Everyone loves a good mascot; they get the crowds riled and rowdy throughout every big game. Mascots exist to keep the audience entertained and in high spirits while rooting on their team. Sometimes however, no matter how well they perform, certain college mascots can’t help but stand out as a little wacky.
Read on to find out which of these schools in-person logos stands out as the most jaw dropping.
10. Otto The Orange: Syracuse University
The original Syracuse mascot, an offensively stereotypical Native American character called “The Saltine Warrior”, stemmed from a rumor that the architects unearthed a Native Chief while building the school’s campus along with Syracuse’s nickname of “The Salt City.”
“I took a trip to Syracuse my junior year of high school to visit the university. At the time, I already knew the teams were called “The Syracuse Orange.” However, I had no clue the mascot was a literal Orange,” Syracuse University senior Jamie Landell said.
After protests in 1978 against the school’s racist mascot, Otto the Orange came into fruition. This anthropomorphic fruit represents the school ever since and now stands out a staple of the university.
9. Sammy the Banana Slug: University of California Santa Cruz
Originally labeled as the unofficial mascot of The University of California Santa Cruz in 1981, Sammy the Banana Slug earned a promotion as the official mascot five years later. Often called one of the best nicknames in the college sports game, Sammy created quite a reputation for himself on and off the field. Named after the animal native to local Redwood trees found right on campus, if you don’t end up running into Sammy you will come across one of his siblings lurking nearby.
8. Brutus Buckeye: Ohio State University
Convinced that the school needed a mascot, a couple of OSU students took it up with the athletic council who found the idea rather interesting and agreed. At first, they wanted to make the mascot a buck, a male deer. They eventually settled on making it a buckeye, the state tree of Ohio.
“I always wanted to attend Ohio State, my dream was to travel the country with the football team as Brutus. Sadly, though I was put on the waitlist at first, I was eventually denied acceptance. I probably didn’t have what it takes to be Brutus anyway, so I guess it works out fine,” University of Rhode Island Sophomore Zander Perlman said.
After a “Name the Buckeye” competition in 1965, Brutus Buckeye became the stands out name. Since then, he remains one of the most famous mascots in the nation, making appearances on shows like ESPN and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
7. The Friar: Providence College
Introduced in 1935, Providence College created their first mascot: a Dalmatian dog named “Friar of What-Ho.” After four more generations of Dalmatians, a human representation of an older member of the Order of Preachers, introduced in 1963, took over as the leader of the spirit squad. Missing the animal aspect of their sideline spirit, they brought back the Dalmatian and even created a human costume of a Dalmatian to go with it. After that dog’s passing, Providence College decided to create a new, younger friar mascot, which it remains today.
6. Demon Deacon: Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University’s mascot creation came after a win against Trinity College, now Duke University, where the paper referred to the school’s football team as the Demon Deacons. Soon after the article, the university adopted the name as their own.
“When I went to my first football game at Truist Field freshman year, I felt pumped up enough just to watch the team in action. When I saw Demon Deacon ride onto the field for the first time, I knew I’d chosen the right school,” Wake Forest University Senior Miles Knight said.
Almost 20 years later, a group of fraternity brothers came up with an idea for what the “Deacon” would look like. They drew up a sketch of a fellow in a top hat and tuxedo and not long after, they added the motorcycle that he now rides onto the football field before every game.
5. WuShock: Wichita State University
The Shockers: the nickname of Wichita State University’s sports teams, an unusual name to begin with. No shock that the school’s mascot, WuShock stands out as just as unusual as what he represents. WuShock may be a personified bundle of wheat, but don’t let that fool you, he’s the toughest bundle you’ll ever meet. Wichita State University’s mascot since 1948, WuShock may not appear the most normal mascot in the world, but he’s certainly the friendliest.
4. The Billiken: St. Louis University
The Billiken: a creature described as monkey looking with pointed ears and a creepy smile. St. Louis University’s use of this strange being as their mascot began because of the monster’s resemblance to one of the school’s coaches at the time. The school also declared that a reason the Billiken remains their mascot is because he brings good luck. I know if I saw the Billiken in my nightmares, I would need good luck not wetting the bed.
3. Big Red the Hilltopper: Western Kentucky University
Unsure what a Hilltopper may be? Don’t worry, so are we. In 1979, a WKU student decided that the school’s teams could use a mascot. He pitched a big red blob to a committee ran by the school’s president with his reason being that he wanted stray away from the “hillbilly from Kentucky” stereotype. Named after the school’s sports teams nickname, the committee approved Big Red and added Hilltopper later due to the school’s location on a hill above the Barren River.
2. Speedy the Geoduck: Evergreen State University
Pronounced gooey-duck, Evergreen State University’s mascot may not sit well with some fans. The largest burrowing clam, the oldest known Geoduck lived to be 168 years old. Evergreen State University received a lot of feedback, both positive and negative, over their decision to enlist Speedy to represent the school. However, not many people may know this interesting fact about geoducks. They are considered a delicacy in many places around the world. Though unnatural looking, thinking that Speedy won’t energize Evergreen’s student body come game time, well that’s a fallacy.
1. The Gorlok: Webster University
Webster University’s incredibly unique mascot consists of the paws of a cheetah, the horns of a buffalo and the face of a Saint Bernard dog. The Gorlok’s name came from a competition in 1984 after a recommendation to combine the names of two streets, Gore and Lockwood Avenues, located in the nearby city of what used to be Old Webster. The Gorlok may seem cute to some, but don’t get too close, I’ve heard rumors that he bites.