Watching March Madness NCAA Basketball action was bittersweet for me on Sunday.
Bitter, because my bracket was busted, thanks to losses from Duke and Missouri, combined with the fact that the schools I wrote in on my bracket never showed up to play (thanks for nothing Wayne County Community College and Fort Lauderdale Institute of Culinary Arts)
Sweet, however, because my alma mater, Michigan State University had advanced in the tournament to play Saint Louis University. I flipped on CBS to see the MSU logo, the ever intimidating and sleek Spartan helmet.
“What the hell is that?” I asked myself. I decided to call my friend Jason Gooley to ask.
“Shut up dude,” he replied, “didn’t you hear the beginning of the game? They said any reproduction or discussion of the game while the game is going on is prohibited.”
“How prohibited?” I asked.
“Strictly,” he replied.
I turned up the TV to try to hear what the mascot was. Then, finally, I thought I heard one of the announcers say they were the Saint Louis Pelicans.
Then I saw the actual mascot. There was no beak, the thing had hair, the ears were crooked, the face was flat…
“What’s wrong with the dean’s son?” I asked myself, concerned.
I decided to do some research. Turns out the Saint Louis mascot is the Billiken. Apparently, a Billiken was some sort of elf-like charm doll invented by a St. Louis woman in the very early 1900’s.
Why did the University’s founders think this would make a good mascot? Were they that short-sighted? Did they think, ‘wow this thing is hot, it’s going to be popular for all of eternity, let’s make that our mascot!”
This would be like a school that was founded in the 1990’s listing its mascot as the “Ferbys” or “The Tickle-Me-Elmos.”
I decided to do some more research and I found that Saint Louis University isn’t the only school in the country with a short-sighted mascot. Here’s a look at some other schools that made similar mistakes.
In the early 1990s, Michigan City Indiana High School’s switched its mascot from the Wildcats to ‘The Steve Urkels’
In a very short-sighted effort to cash in on the hype, newly founded Henderson Nevada College in August of 2011 listed its mascot as the “Kim Kardashian Marriage”
Here’s one that was just bad luck. In 1841, the University of Ohio’s mascot was named “The William Henry Harrison Presidency” obviously not knowing Harrison would die 30 days after taking office.
This one just doesn’t make sense, Sioux City Iowa’s brand new high school built in 1989 decided they would be known as the “Sioux City Iowa High Tight Rolled Jeans”
This just seems like a cheap shot at Great Britain, but in Irvine California, Irvine Community College switched its mascot to the “Countless women who are a lot hotter than Pippa.”
Anyway, my research stopped there after my search engine broke. I had a guy out to fix it, but he had no idea what I was talking about or why I had invited him into my house. It’s so hard to find good service anymore.