Tag Archives: mascots

Mascot Midnight Madness Mayhem!

Greetings readers,

Last week, I had someone ask me why the Cleveland Cavaliers have a dog as a mascot, when they are the Cavaliers. I thought it brought up an interesting point. Sometimes the mascot suit itself doesn’t go along with the nickname of the athletic team. I know this might be common to some teams, probably your favorite team does this too.

First off, what are the purposes of mascots themselves? It’s to bring entertainment to the casual fans and everyone alike. I bring up the casual fans just because the people there to watch their teams won’t notice the mascot unless they do something to interrupt the game itself or walk right by them. It also brings an additional feel to the environment, to make it the team’s own. Are mascots needed, by any chance? Not entirely. Like I mentioned before, the casual fans love them and children also love mascots as well.

There’s probably a lot more teams that I don’t mention here,  but I’ll mention a few. Of course, I should mention that this isn’t the important thing of sports, but it is an interesting topic.

Indiana Pacers– If you don’t know what a Pacer is (I didn’t either when I first saw a game in 2009), it’s a combination of horse racing pacers and the pace car used in the auto racing field (moreso at the Indianapolis 500.) Both of those things have rich histories in Indiana, and there’s an interesting story on wherever to call the team Indiana or Indianapolis, but more on that later. That said, here’s Boomer and Bowser. Boomer is a cat and Bowser is a dog. Boomer, born in 1991, saw the beginning of the Reggie Miller era, while Bowser (2001) only saw a few years of the player now on TNT. If you look at their bios, it talks about what they like and don’t like (the one that made me laugh was “Bowser’s Salary: 365 Dog Bones.) Besides what I mentioned above, with the environment and the children, what does a dog and a cat have to do with a nickname based on an object in horse racing and auto racing? Granted, having someone dress up as a race car probably wouldn’t be something to remember, but it does raise an interesting a question.

Cleveland Cavaliers– The Cavs are currently rebuilding to replace their former star LeBron James, who is now playing for the Miami Heat as you know. One thing that never be taken away from the city of Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Enter Moondog (the picture you see on the article.) Disc Jockey Alan Freed coined the “Rock and Roll” phrase, as well as the “Moondog” nickname. If you want to see something funny though, check out Moondog’s profile on CavFanatic and look under favorite types of music. There is no mention of rock and roll but classical, jazz, and “sassy.”

Stanford University- This school from the PAC-10 calls itself the Cardinal (no ‘s’.) It’s different from Cardinals because it’s not referring to the bird but rather a color in the color palette. Until 1972, the school had a nickname of Indians. When that was dropped, the nickname was the Cardinals, but not representing the bird. In 1981, the school decided to drop the ‘s’ and stick with Cardinal. This is an interesting case, since the school itself does NOT recognize the tree as an official mascot. Granted, it is a representation of the El Pato Alto and the redwood trees. However, the media (sportscasts and college games) will still have the tree as their official mascot.

Troy Bruins- As you might know, I am an internee with the Bruins. Also, I wrote an article about Troy’s hockey team earlier in the year. One thing I didn’t mention is the mascot suit. If you are a Dayton Bombers fan back in the day, you might recognize the tale (no pun intended) of the squirrel who couldn’t fly since he broke his tail so he flew planes instead. It made sense, since the the Bombers were based on Dayton’s history of flight and had a logo of a fighter in their last logo. It kind of makes sense in Troy since it’s in the same area of Dayton and there is Waco Field, just a few minutes outside Troy’s limits.

Ottawa Senators- When you think of the term “Senators, chances are you are thinking about Politics in America. If you’re in Canada or you love some NHL, you think about the hockey team. The past few years have been splendid for this team born in 1992. This second-franchise of the Sens (first one played until 1934 and won 11 Stanley Cups)  has yet to win a Stanley Cup but did come close in the 2007 Finals. The term Senators does not represent what we Americans think and hear about on those news networks, but rather a form of a Roman General. The mascot suit itself is “Spartacat“, a lion that is proudly recognized within the city of Ottawa. Its rival is Carlton the Bear, the mascot of the Toronto Maple Leafs (originally I thought about talking about Carlton, but I decided to leave him out just because I didn’t want to have a super long article and bore the readers.) Spartacat has been with the Senators since 1992 as well.

Those are only a few examples of nicknames that don’t match with the mascot suits. Like I said earlier, it’s not a huge deal if this happens, but it can be common. This might warrant a few sequels (by sequels I mean future posts) on the subject, since I left out a few examples out.

It doesn’t matter who/what the mascot is, it just matters who you root for. The players make the team, not the mascot suits.

Until next time,

-Lee

Colonel Bear Rebel

College sports are huge, no doubt. What happens when your alma mater or your school changes names, mascots, or nicknames?

In 1997, Wright State University changed their Raider mascot to a wolf from a viking. Also in that same time frame, Miami University (in Oxford, Ohio) changed from Redskins to RedHawks. Add Ole Miss to the list.

To distinguish themselves out of the old South traditions, the University of Mississippi has replaced the Colonel with a black bear. The original icon wasn’t the only tradition to be stopped. In 1997, Ole Miss stopped their tradition of waving the Confederate flag and have even banned their band from playing “From Dixie with Love.”

The tale of the bear actually came from a hunt by Teddy Roosevelt and also by Nobel Peace Prize winner William Faulkner (nicknamed “The Bear”.)

To be honest, it’s not a bad transition from a Southern Rebel to a bear. There does lie a story on the bear, like I previously mentioned. Also, this was the popular choice with students as nearly 60% of the voters picked the black bear over a land shark and something representing the “Hotty Totty.”

How will this translate into the rest of the SEC? Of course, this is just an image change but who knows what will happen. Will it be widely received in the world of Division I college sports?

Sorry about the short article, but I thought it was interesting to talk about. Until next time.

-Lee

The Battle of the Miami Valley

Rivalries are everywhere you go. Wherever you take two rival high schools, two colleges, or two pro teams; they’re everywhere.

Today, I want to talk about a pair of schools that I have lived near all my life. I’m talking about a battle of Flyers and Raiders.

That’s right, Wright State University and the University of Dayton.

The Wright State Raiders belong in the ten-team Horizon League, whereas the Dayton Flyers are in the Atlantic-10 Conference along with thirteen other teams. Wright State is a public school funded by the state, while UD is a private school. The Raiders have a color scheme of green and gold, while the Flyers have a red and blue color palette. The Raiders are represented with a gray, fierce wolf but have been represented by a viking between 1987 and 1997 and a brown wolf from 1997 until 2007. The Flyers have a mascot of a pilot (it sort of reminds me of the Iowa Barnstormers in a way.) The mascots are named Rowdy Raider and Rudy Flyer.

You might be asking “Why Raiders?” Since Dayton has had the Flyers, Wright State had to come up with something else. Since the city of Dayton is the birthplace of aviation, you have the Flyers and Wright State (based on Orville and Wilbur Wright).

Whenever these two teams play each other, there’s never an empty seat. The fans pile up and the athletes give it their all. The atmosphere fills with electricity between both schools.

To me, these games take the same time of research and preparation but they bring the same excitement, sometimes even more. It’s a great combo of the two teams getting together to play and it makes for a great broadcast. Also, in an attempt to not boost my ego, I feel like I am the voice of the Miami Valley at that point (unless it’s covered by another station which Women’s Basketball is.) I’ve only missed ONE WSU vs. UD broadcast, and it was a hockey broadcast.

Except for Men’s Basketball (which I am NOT opening that can of worms to remain neutral), the two schools play in just about every sport. Sometimes there will be off-years (like Men’s Soccer, for this season). Baseball plays twice unless the weather has something to say about it. The rest of the sports is usually just once a year, however.

While this is a great rivalry for sports, this is also a great friendship as well. Both schools have been picking up some abandoned places to create jobs. For example, UD bought the old NCR headquarters and will be creating offices there. Wright State took up an abandoned cement factory in nearby Fairborn and created Calamityville. Both schools have deals with Air Force.

So there you have a preview of our rivalry in the Miami Valley. These schools both are great places to continue education and both field incredible athletic teams and arenas.

Sorry about the delay of this article, readers. I hope you enjoyed it.

-Lee

When Mascots ATTACK! (in Ohio)

It’s now Tuesday, and people all around the world have probably heard about the Bobcat mascot attacking Brutus. Is this the first attack from mascots? Nope.

Let’s face it, by releasing this Tuesday I am no way adding to the stuff you already know. You can see from the YouTube video from BuckNuts that Rufus Bobcat storms out of nowhere to tackle the OSU mascot. He does make some contact before losing his head. Then, the Bobcat tries for a second time and wrestles Brutus to the ground before being escorted out of Ohio Stadium.

According to an ESPN article, the guy in the mascot planned this when he tried out for the team. The 19-year-old Brandon Hanning is no longer allowed to be affiliated with Ohio University athletics. He is now a student at Hocking College.

Of course you know about how Ohio University has written an apology letter to Ohio State. Of course you know that the person in the Brutus mascot just handled it like a professional and took one for the team. The Buckeyes did extract revenge on the Bobcats and won 43-7 over the MAC squad.

When there are two mascots out at a game, you would expect to have a little disrespect but not like this. When the Raiders hosted the 2007 Horizon League Tournament in Men’s Basketball, they played the Butler Bulldogs (a rival.) The bulldog suit was there, and the wolf mascot was there. They ended up arm wrestling, but I can’t find a picture of that ANYWHERE (when Google fails, you know you have to dig deeper into the Internet.)

Was that tackle and wrestle unsportsmanlike? No question. Was it entertaining? Some will say yes; some will say no. What do I think? I’ll leave it up to you to answer that one. I do think Ohio U. did the right thing and apologize, but I really don’t think it should go on further than that. The person in the mascot has been punished and you teach future mascots to not tackle other mascots, especially in their home stadium.

Speaking of rivals, the next post will be about one special rivalry in the Miami Valley. One resides in South Dayton, the other just five minutes east of Dayton. I’m sure people around this area reading this will already know what’s coming up. Until next time.

-Lee