Real, live college mascots
Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2006
College football season is finally here and along with the pigskins come the college mascots.
While most colleges use humans dressed in an array of embarrassing costumes, some universities still use live animals.
Here’s my list, in no particular order, of live college mascots.
Colorado’s Ralphie probably takes the award for heaviest mascot.
Despite popular belief Ralphie is a female buffalo who charges onto the field before each game with six brave students holding on to ropes.
Probably not the most practical mascot, but certainly one of the most dramatic.
What would the Sooner Schooner be without the horses pulling the covered wagon?
The wagon has become so popular that it is now the official mascot and takes the field after each touchdown.
As much as it pains me (being a Virginia Tech fan and all) I must include Florida State’s Renegade on my list.
Renegade carries Chief Osceola onto the field before each home game so the chief can launch his fiery spear into the center of the field.
Despite my distaste for the Seminoles, I must admit I like the tradition of getting the warriors ready for war.
As a county livestock agent one of my personal favorites is Bevo of the University of Texas.
The 1,200 pound steer takes the field before games.
Imagine what their record would be if he could suit up.
Auburn’s mascot is names Tiger, but is actually a Golden Eagle.
He is released from the upper deck at home games, presumably in the hopes he will leave a surprise on the helmets of opposing players.
Speaking of questionable bathroom habits, one such incident involved Smokey, the blue tick hound from the University of Tennessee.
In an incident that’s probably still talked about today, Smokey used the restroom on the Auburn sidelines.
That’s one way to tell the opposing team what you think about them.
Then there are the less practical (and by that I mean less safe) mascots.
Mike the Tiger of LSU stays in his cage during games.
As a wild animal, Mike might decide the opposing linebacker looks like a good piece of meat for his next meal.
Since the 1920’s Baylor has used bear cubs, presumably since it would be safer than bringing momma on the field.
Finally, I’ve come to the king of all live college mascots:
The University of Georgia mascot has an air conditioned dog house on the field courtesy of a bulldog group from Jamaica.
Outside the stadium are crypts containing the remains of past UGAs which shows you the level of respect fans have for their mascot.
I’m not even sure he runs out onto the field as he would be considered obese and could fall over his wrinkles.
I’m sure I’ve misses some live mascots so if I’ve left yours off the list, let me know.
Luckily for the staff here at the News Herald, mascots in our area are all on two feet.
Heather Odom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.