Gen and I had a conversation about silly sports mascots, and I'm always amused when I remember some of the weird mascots out there. My own alma mater, University of Chicago, has a phoenix as a mascot, which isn't very related to the sports teams being the "Maroons." Nothing strikes fear into the heart of your opponents like a fierce abstract visual concept.
Then there's the Stanford tree mascot. How you get a tree to represent "cardinals" is beyond me. How someone chooses a tree as a mascot also baffles me. What sort of message is a tree mascot supposed to send to the opposing team? Fear the leafy terror! Witness the awe of our wooden movements! Only you can prevent forest fires?!?
While looking into other silly mascots, I came across some other gems. The University of Hawaii has the "Rainbows." To be fair, only of the teams is actually the "Rainbows." The others chose Rainbow Warriors or just Warriors. Still, willingly choosing to call your team the Rainbows doesn't instill confidence in the competitiveness of the team. Closer to home, Franklin and Marshall is the "Diplomats." I haven't been to any games yet, but I chuckle imagining the cheers: "Ne-go-tiate!" or "Talk it over" (clap, clap - clap, clap, clap). Then I picture signs in the crowd reading "I beg to differ", "we can compromise", or even "let's split the difference."
If you ask me, part of the fun of sports is the competition. Lame mascots don't exactly project an image of sporting competitiveness, while providing a wealth of comedic fodder for opposing teams.