The 14 Worst Mascots of the NCAA Tournament
Selection Sunday came and went, and the field for the 2014 NCAA Tournament is all set. March Madness is a wonderful time of the year, a period in which an entire month’s worth of shit-talking is devoted to a bracket that our girlfriends are going to win anyways after they chose the team with the cutest name to win. So rather than trying to guess which team will be slicing up the net come April 7th, we instead set out to analyze the 14 absolute worst mascots for teams competing in this year’s NCAA men’s tournament. Our results are as follows:
14. Wofford College Terriers
I’ll be honest: I’m not entirely sure how to pronounce Wofford. But knowing that their mascot is a Terrier, I’m sure as hell going to call them “Woof-ord.” The fact still stands, however, that Terriers are useless as a mascot. Unless, of course, Wofford wants their opponents to walk up to their bench, whisper “Awwww!” for several minutes, and then be better at sports than them. Take this rule of thumb, Wofford: If your mascot is the subject of 20 or more Buzzfeed listicles, you should probably find a new mascot.
13. Albany Great Danes
At first glance, a dog as a mascot seems like a pretty safe bet. Bulldogs, Huskies, hell even wolves all laid the groundwork for successful canine-inspired mascots. And I’ll admit that at first glance I didn’t see anything wrong with the Albany Great Danes. That is, until I found this gif:
You see, the Great Dane might think he’s all that, but he so isn’t. Against the Stony Brook Seawolves, the Great Dane thought he’d start some shit with his rival Wolfie the Sea Wolf (a boss mascot if there ever was one). But the Great Dane got GOT, mentally and spiritually, and was left to storm off in embarrassment after the tussle, tail tucked shamefully between his furry little stubs of legs barely supported by his size 15 clown shoes. Shitty mascots never die, they just fade away into gif lore after the America East Conference Championship.
12. Otto the Orange, Syracuse Orange
There are just too many things I don’t understand about the use of a color as a mascot. First of all, what happens when you play a school with the same color? Yeah, their color isn’t their mascot, but they still wear just as much of it as you do, and now you look like sort of a prick for claiming ownership of this color. Another thing I don’t understand is this: Why? Why would you have a color as a mascot in the first place? And if your mascot is going to be the fruity manifestation of that color, why not just call yourself the Syracuse Oranges? And as long as you’re the Syracuse Oranges, why wouldn’t you just find a mascot that didn’t look like the Kool-Aid Man’s sex-offender cousin?
11. Pistol Pete, New Mexico State Aggies
Two other schools, Oklahoma State University and University of Wyoming, share Pistol Pete as their official mascot along with New Mexico State. Both OSU and Wyoming got things right, creating a crusty-yet-goofy caricature that represents the region’s colorful past, inspires fear in opposing teams, and whips up support among the home student section. But New Mexico State’s Pistol Pete doesn’t do any of those things. Rather, the Aggies’ Pistol Pete looks like a long-lost member of the Village People, replete with assless chaps, burgundy-colored leather, and a mustache that caricatures Ron Jeremy far more than New Mexico’s cowboy forefathers.
10. John Harvard, Harvard Crimson
If you’ve seen The Social Network, you know that there are three things wrong with the statue of John Harvard at the school. And if you’ve got a mildly functioning brain, you know that there’s pretty much a limitless number of things wrong with having this guy as a mascot. For starters, it’s lazy and uninspired. Harvard as Harvard’s mascot? That’s not the kind of creative thinking that will impress any admissions offices. Second, the guy was British. He died a full 140 years before America even became a thing. Now, I’m not normally one to engage in hyperbolic jingoism, but I have a hard time accepting anything that happened before 1776 as anything less than an inexcusable mistake. Finally, this mascot is pretty offensive. The Harvard family is a proud and respected group, not a savage warrior to be made into a caricature. Shame on you, NCAA.
9. Cayenne, Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Look into these eyes.
Now in gif form:
If those eyes haven’t yet scared you into a coma, then you might want more answers on their origin. Mainly, you’re probably wondering why there is a mascot with such an incomprehensibly soulless face. Is it actually a subtle slight at Cajun culture, like Jar Jar Binks’ accent? Quite possibly. This is Louisiana, so when it comes to behaving properly toward other races, all bets are basically off. It’s interesting to ponder what a “Ragin’ Cajun” really is, and why said Cajun is in such a rage. My best guess is that his rage is founded in the fact that his culture is being appropriated using an anthropomorphic chili pepper that looks ready to commit all forms of assault against innocent bystanders.
8. The Blue Blob, Xavier Musketeers
Musketeers are cool. All you need is a dude with a goatee and a sword and you’re in business. A musketeer makes a great mascot. Xavier had a good thing going with the whole Musketeer thing. Know what doesn’t make a great mascot? Blobs. Or even worse, a blob that looks like the unholy bastard progeny of the Cookie Monster and Chris Berman. Making your mascot a shapeless blue organism with a tongue the same size as its shoes is the school spirit equivalent of dropping out after the second round of the NCAA Tournament, a feat Xavier is only all-too-familiar with.