Sunday, October 2, 2016


Mascots.   College mascots.   After graduation from high school, off I went to college:   Dade County Junior College located in Miami, Florida.   It was the first year that they were open.   Their mascot?   A shark.   Very appropriate for Miami Florida with the ocean and the beaches and the threat of a shark attack.

Now that is a mascot to be feared.

Yeah, I know that it is a blurry picture, but you get the idea.   Many years later the movie Jaws proved this to be true.

Ever hear of the Miami Dolphins football team?   Another fish for a mascot.   However, Dolphins have a more gentle persona than a shark.   After all, how many people are bitten each year by Dolphins as compared to shark bites.

Then I went to the University of Miami.   But the University of Miami mascot is an Ibis.   A wading bird with a long curving delicate bill for picking up crustaceans and snails in shallow water.   Doesn't look like much of a tough mascot.   I was disappointed.   Why couldn't they have chosen a really tough animal like bulldogs or panthers or wolverines.

But leave it to the graphic artists to turn this sweet little bird into a rough and tumble mascot.   Now the Ibis looks pretty tough.
But the costumed Ibis that goes running out onto the football field with the football team doesn't really look like an Ibis to me.
With that beak it looks more like a duck.   What do you think?
But putting the mascot aside, the University of Miami was a fantastic place to go to college.   They were the best years of my life.   But I  moved to Arizona and finished my college at Arizona State University.   Their mascot?    A devil.   A Sun Devil.   I didn't care having the devil as a mascot.
I must admit that a devil was a bit appropriate because of the intense heat in Arizona.   It really was hot as you know where.   LOL.     For the logo on the football helmets they adopted the pitchfork of the Sun Devil.
But the Sun Devil does seem to be a rough and tumble mascot.
The ASU students and fans have adopted making a pitchfork with their hand by holding down the ring finger with the thumb.   The remaining three fingers form the pitchfork trident of the Sun Devil.

So where am I going with all of this?   Her comes the "grand finale".   We have all heard of the expression that "No matter how bad you might feel, there is always someone worse off".   So what kind of a mascot can be worse than an Ibis or a Devil?   How about an artichoke.
Yes, an artichoke.
And he has a name.   They call him Artie the Artichoke.   The artichoke is even on the college's football helmet.   Although it is highly stylized it is still recognizable as an artichoke.
And what do they call the football team?   The "Fighting Artichokes".   Really.   How did all of this come about.   This information I got from a Wikipedia article on Scottsdale Community College under the "History" section of the article.

"An important part of the college's history is encapsulated in the name of its football team and mascot.   During a period of campus unrest in the early 70's, many in the student body felt the administration was funneling far too much money to the school's sports teams and not enough to educational needs.   The student body was asked to vote on a new name and school colors for the football team;  the vast majority of participants opted to call the team The Fighting Artichokes, and chose team colors of pink and white.   The administration chose to ignore the election and continue with the 'Drover' mascot and the colors of red, white, and blue.   The students were furious.   Since the election was facilitated by the League of Women Voters, the results were binding and could not be overturned except through another election.   A second election followed and the student body overwhelmingly kept 'Artie the Artichoke' as their representative.   Some 30 years later, the colors were changed to green and gold.   Artie the Artichoke was adopted as the school mascot;  originally intended to be a source of embarrassment, Artie has been embraced by the students, athletes, staff, and the community as a beloved character."
I saw these t-shirts for sale.   The green and gold is the current schools colors.
I assume the pink and white colors of the t-shirt below must be the previous school colors.   What is your guess?
Scottsdale is an affluent community on the east side of Phoenix.   I lived in Phoenix at the time and I remember all of this happening.   I remember hearing that some of the football players didn't want to have to go out on the football field in pink and white uniforms with an artichoke on their helmet.   I am glad that the artichoke mascot has been accepted.   I guess that I shouldn't have felt so bad about having an Ibis bird for a mascot at the University of Miami.   If the students at Scottsdale Community College can accept Artie the Artichoke, then I should be able to accept Sebastian the Ibis.   Have a great day.   Lew

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