Colleges around the nation are home to some of the most loved characters who help lead their team to victory! Mascots are a symbol of school spirit to help rev up the crowd, inspire fans, and intimidate the opposing team. However, some mascots just don’t quite live up to those expectations. We understand that with so many different teams and colleges that coming up with a unique mascot name cannot be the easiest task. After taking a deeper look into what mascots exist, we’re shaking our heads at these characters. In no particular order, here’s our list for some of the most outrageous college mascots.
After decades of going back and forth trying to choose a mascot, in 1995, Syracuse finally decided to make their official mascot an orange! All that time and they came up with an orange. That’s all you got? Originally, the name was between both Otto and Opie. They nixed Opie because it rhymed with dopey. Changing the name doesn’t really help you on this one, guys.
Evergreen State College: Speedy the Geoduck
Nope, this is neither a geode or a duck. It’s, believe it or not, a clam. Pronounced “gooey duck”, Speedy, who was introduced in 2006, has quickly gotten the rep for being the “weirdest” and the “worst” college mascot on countless lists. Even though Speedy can be seen punching around on the court, how scary can a clam really be? Speedy even has a fight song that goes something like “Siphon high, squirt it out, swivel all about, let it all hangout.” Interesting…
University of California-Santa Cruz:
Sammy the Banana Slug
The original mascot for UC Santa Cruz was actually a sea lion, but the students were having none of that. For five years, there was a great sea lion versus slug debate. Student versus Chancellor. Finally, after appearing on the David Letterman show, the Chancellor gave in and the students got Sammy as their official mascot. Sammy may have managed to get a full spread in People Magazine at one point, but this doesn’t change the fact that banana slugs are slimy, slow, and definitely anything but intimidating.
North Carolina School of the Arts: The Fighting Pickle
Apparently, the idea of the Fighting Pickle mascot was originally suggested as a joke. Hmmm, really? We can’t imagine how on earth anybody would actually be serious (boy, were we wrong). In a mascot choosing contest, the fermented veggie actually won and became the school’s official mascot, proving that sometimes people take jokes way too far. Nothing is less intimidating than a pickle wearing a tutu and feathered cap while prancing around with a paint brush. Since this is an art school, they don’t even have any sports teams! Which just makes the Fighting Pickle that much weirder. Although we admit, he has a pretty sweet stache, though.
Stanford University: Trees
To be honest, the Stanford Tree is the school’s marching band’s mascot (lame). The school actually doesn’t even have a mascot (even lamer) so they just decided to adopt the Tree as their unofficial mascot. There are different variations of the Tree but each one sports big googly eyes and fat red lips that look like they were pulled off a Mrs. Potato Head doll. Props to Stanford for coming up with a distraction, because If you were at a game you might be staring at the big, awkward piece of foliage running around the field scratching your head asking……why?
Delta State University: Fighting Okra
Just when we thought a Fighting Pickle mascot was enough we got a Fighting Okra. Vegetable mascots must have totally been trending back then or something. Apparently, the school wanted something green and southern, so yeah, an Okra was the obvious choice.
Scottsdale Community College: Artie the Artichoke
Oh, another green vegetable, how original. Like many of our mascots on this list, the students were the ones who chose the mascot. First off, we need to stop letting this happen because then we end up with mascots like Artie the Artichoke, who won by popular vote. Can he even play sports? With those short arms, can he even throw a ball, let alone clap his hands to pump up a crowd? All jokes aside, Artie is pretty friggin adorable though.
Rhode Island School of Design: Scrotie
This hands down has to be the most ridiculous mascot ever, in the history of forever. I have so many questions. I’ll start by telling you the name of their basketball team is “The Balls” and the cheerleading squad is “The Jockstraps” because, well you know, they support the, well, you know. Oh, and the hockey team? They go by “The Nads.” We couldn’t even make this stuff up if we wanted to. The inner child in us laughs at this entire ordeal and the fact that this is all completely true. At every game or event Scrotie appears, can you imagine? How the school administrators even allow this to happen is beyond us, but you’re laughing too.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette: Cayenne
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette wanted to change their name from the Bulldogs and go with something that better represented their location and school spirit. Being in the heart of Cajun country changing their name to the Ragin Cajuns seemed appropriate. Now they needed a mascot. First, they thought of Mr. Ragin’ Cajun then they came up with Fabulous Cajun Chicken-Ummmm what? Well, I see how that one didn’t work out. So finally they decided on a Cayenne pepper. I get that cayenne peppers are an ingredient in Cajun cooking but having a pepper as your mascot just weird. Food isn’t threatening or terrifying, but that face is. So it kind of works.
Western Kentucky University: Big Red the Hilltopper
What is this thing? What even is a Hilltopper anyway? We’re not too sure. This big red blob that looks like an off-brand Kool-Aid Man or an over-sized red gumdrop that came to life. Regardless, Big Red was created to “symbolize the spirit of Western Kentucky.” How does a red blob do that exactly? We’re not too sure.
We had to look up what both sooner and schooner actually meant. That’s never a good sign. It’s like telling a joke and then having to explain the joke to somebody who didn’t understand. To start off, a schooner is a type of wagon. So their mascot is a wagon, like the one you’d ride in when you played Oregon Trail (miss that game.) How is a wagon a mascot? Also, what’s a sooner? After looking it up, we found out it’s “a settler who entered unassigned lands in the late 1800’s,” who, to no surprise, rode in a schooner. Then they added two horses, Boomer and Sooner, to pull the wagon. Scary.
Ohio’s state tree is the buckeye, hence Brutus Buckeye. We get that he is supposed to be a nut, but seriously? Buckeyes are poisonous and can kill people! Brutus looks anything but terrifying and would probably run away from any threatening situation. We can’t imagine anybody going nuts over this mascot.
If you could see us right now we look exactly like the girl in this picture. We’re just as confused as she is. So if Oksi is supposed to be a bear why does he somewhat resemble a creepy old man. Oski has been decked out in the same outfit since his debut in 1941 and that smile hasn’t left his face. It looks painful and frightening at the same time. We’re sure he’s a suuuuuuuper nice bear though.
We bet Pistol Pete used to be a really cool guy when he first became the Oklahoma State mascot. Now, he’s just like that old guy at the club who keeps getting older but to him “the crowd is getting younger every year.” Pete resembles a bobble doll with that enormous head on a tiny body. We think we actually even saw him in a music video once, the song was called the “YMCA.”
Xavier University: The Blue Blob
Well, ladies and gentleman here we have ourselves a Blue Blob. Yup, a Blue Blob. It is a blob, and it is blue. The poor guy couldn’t even get a name other than one that’s stating the obvious. What’s worse is that he is the school’s second mascot and is said to be musketeer D’Artagnan’s (their main mascot) sidekick. Nothing is more depressing than being a sidekick, especially to a guy named D’Artagnan.
Williams College: Ephelia the Purple Cow
Ephelia the purple cow got her 15-minutes of fame when Lee Corso wore her head on “College Gameday” in 2007 and she later appeared in a commercial on ESPN, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that she’s a purple cow. It seems that nobody exactly knows where “Ephs” came from. Some credit a poem written by Gelett Burgess while others say it was a result of drugs and alcohol. Nonetheless, a purple cow is pretty kooky and certainly not fearful. Even for a DIII team, they also could have put a little more money into that costume.
Trinity Christian College: The Trolls
Over the many years, there have been several theories on how the Troll came to be the school’s mascot and the answer is still unknown. Well, we need answers people! Some say this is the answer: TRinity COLLege Students. That just seems too silly and far fetched to me. As a Christian college, we’re baffled why they’d decide to choose an evil, mystical creature to represent them. Somebody needs confession!
Pepperdine University: Willie the Wave
So what if Willie the Wave does look like a washed up surfer? He’s honestly probably a pretty cool dude, or wave, that’s ready to party like it’s 1985. Somebody was asked to describe him and their response was “a cross between Gumby and a smurf.” Now, we’d say that’s pretty accurate.
Wichita State University: WuShock
We literally laughed out loud reading that WuShock, as described on the university’s website, is “a big, bad, muscle-bound bundle of wheat.” A bundle of wheat doesn’t sound intimidating in the slightest and is honestly rather silly. The key word in that last sentence is ‘sound’ because WuShock looks horrifying. So how’d WuShock come to be? Back in the day, students would earn money by “shocking” (harvesting) wheat. Shocking, isn’t it?