Forget trojans, lions, or bulldogs. Nothing’s more intimidating than a mascot capable of giving you food poisoning.
1. FIGHTING OKRA
Delta State University’s official team name is the “Statesmen,” but when students realized that a politician didn’t stir fear in opponents, they chose vegetable meanus, “a large, prickly, bipedal vegetable with an inherently bad temperament.”
2. FIGHTING PICKLE
When the University of North Carolina School of the Arts needed a name for its 1972 intramural football team, they honored pickles. The school still lacks an athletic program. Or as Chancellor John Mauceri said in 2012, “The fighting pickles are peerless and remain undefeated.”
3. KERNEL COBB
Before calling themselves the “Cobbers,” students at Concordia College couldn’t decide on a name, trying “The Lutherans,” “Vikings,” and even the “Lutefiskers.” But when an opposing school jokingly called the rural students “corncobs,” Concordia took ownership of the insult.
4. PURPLE COW
Named for founder Colonel Ephraim Williams, the athletic squads at Williams College are called the “Ephs.” Since nobody knew what an Eph was, students voted in 1907 on a mascot, choosing the Purple Cow. (The school’s marching band is called the Moocho Macho Moocow Military Marching Band.)
When football players at Wichita State University needed a name for their 1904 team, they chose “Wheatshockers” because players spent the summer working the fields. The physical mascot is a “big, bad, musclebound bundle of wheat.”
6. ARTIE THE ARTICHOKE
In the early 1970s, Scottsdale Community College administrators were accused of bribing athletes to attend the school using scholarship money intended to help Native American students. Outaged students protested by voting to change the school’s mascot to something ludicrous.
7. OAKIE THE ACORN
To nobody’s surprise, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s first athletic program was in intercollegiate ... timbersports (like log cutting!). They’re called the Mighty Oaks.