Every college team has its own rituals or symbols which are considered to bring good luck. One of these things is a mascot. Nowadays, a mascot is a symbol for a team. They use a mascot as a funny, charismatic, scary or even a cute symbol. All to entertain the fans and to bring good luck to the team they represent. Commonly, a mascot is a person, animal or object. It’s common in the world of sports to use mascots for merchandising. Since a while, costumed characters have provided teams with an opportunity to choose a fantasy creature as their mascot and so did college sport teams. We selected some of the most famous mascottes in college sports for you:
University of Tennessee – Smokey
Smokey represents the University of Tennessee. The animal is a Bluetick Coonhound and therefore a real life dog. Smokey X leads “the Vols” on the field for football games. There is also a costumed mascot that appears at every Vols Game and has won several mascot championships. The Bluetick Coonhound won the contest to select a Coonhound which should serve as the school’s live mascot. At halftime of the Mississippi State game that season, several dogs were lined up on the old cheerleaders’ ramp at Shields–Watkins Field for voting. The commentators introduced each dog and the student body cheered for their favorite.
Saint Joseph’s University – The Hawk
The Hawk is one of the most famous mascots in college sports. The Hawk won in 2014 “the best College Basketball Tradition” by NCAA.com. The idea originated from the 1954-55 season. At first, there was an actual hawk. Later, the actual hawk switched to a costume hawk. The hawk has not missed a men’s basketball game since that first season. The Hawk is unique because it is one of the few mascots in the nation that travels to every game, and the student who holds the position receives a full scholarship. Awesome!
University of Tulsa – Captain Cane
The university of Tulsa has a remarkable story behind the mascot. It goes like this… Colin Cane, a freshman at The University of Tulsa, worked in IT support at night. During an electrical storm one night, Colin was called to the TU sports complex to fix a satellite for broadcasting a live game. Never again would he watch his favorite team in action. As he adjusted the satellite, Colin got stuck in a web of forces. The highlight mutated Colin over the course of several years. He eventually lost his hair but gained super-human powers. Thus he became Captain Cane, a champion athlete and highly educated student for every branch. Did you know that our soccer player Yoeri Sijbers played for the men’s soccer team at Tulsa, before becoming one of the assistant coaches?
University of Texas – Bevo
Bevo is the live mascot at the University of Texas at Austin. Bevo is a Texas Longhorn steer. The profile of the Longhorn’s head and horns gives rise to the school’s hand symbol and saying: “Hook ’em Horns”. The idea to use a live longhorn as the university’s mascot attributes Stephen Pinckney. In 1916, Pinckney gathered $124 from other alumni to purchase a longhorn in the Texas Panhandle, which they originally named “Bo” and shipped to Austin.
Syracuse University – Otto the Orange
Otto the Orange, known as the Syracuse Orange, is the mascot of Syracuse University. The Syracuse mascot was originally a Native American character named “The Saltine Warrior” (Syracuse’s unofficial nickname is the Salt City) and “Big Chief Bill Orange”. In the 1980s, a new Syracuse University mascot emerged and was described as “juiced-up” and quickly became popular on campus. We are sure that our student-athletes Sarah Sinck and Kim Hansen have seen Otto live in action. In 2007, Otto “the cute” orange ended up in a fight with The Hokiebird. See below how that went..!
University of Colorado – Ralphie the Buffalo
Ralphie the Buffalo is the mascot for the University of Colorado. People call Ralphie one of the best live mascots in sports. It takes five Ralphie Handlers to run her around the field: two upfront on each side to steer her around the field, two in the back on each side to help guide her, and one in far back to control her speed, called the “loop” position. A tradition of the Ralphie Handler Team is to eat a large team breakfast or lunch at a local diner prior to game-day events.
University of Oregon – The Duck
Even though the uniforms have changed, The Duck remains as one of the most recognizable and lovable mascots on the collegiate sports landscape based on Disney’s Donald Duck character through a special license agreement. However, not everyone accepted the cartoon mascot’s image at face value. Some people say that the Duck doesn’t’ have a “fighting appearance”. Nevertheless, the Duck as a famous and loved mascot. Our tennis player Myah Petchey at Oregon has for sure seen The Duck in action!
Michigan State University – Sparty
Sparty is the mascot of Michigan State University. Sparty is represented as a muscular male Spartan warrior/athlete dressed in stylized Greek costume. After they changed the name from “Aggies” to “Spartans” in 1925, it took a while since Sparty appeared. Its first appearance was in 1955 and was a papier-mâché Spartan. Sparty has even got 2 statues. During the week before the annual football game against the University of Michigan Wolverines, members of the marching band take turns each guarding the statue against vandalism by fans of the rival school. The tradition is “Sparty Watch”.
Stanford University – The Tree
Stanford Tree is the Stanford Band’s mascot and the unofficial mascot of Stanford University. The Tree is a member of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) and appears at football games, basketball games, and other events where the band performs. The 1975 vote for the mascot included suggestions, many alluding to the industry of the school’s founder, railroad tycoon Leland Stanford: the Robber Barons, the Sequoias, the Trees, the Cardinals, the Railroaders, the Spikes, and the Huns.
Louisiana State University – Mike the Tiger
On the first day of classes at LSU in 2017, students aren’t the only ones getting a start at the university. This particular morning, Dr. David Baker, LSU’s attending veterinarian, along with student caretakers, opened the door of the tiger habitat and officially welcomed Mike VII to campus. The Tiger serves as the graphic image of LSU sports. By tradition the tiger is a live Bengal tiger, although the current mascot and his two immediate predecessors are mixed-breeds. His name is in honor of athletic trainer “Chellis Mike Chambers”. According to folklore, LSU will score a touchdown for every one of Mike’s roars on game day. LSU made a three-stage retirement plan for the Lion:
First Stage : He no longer participates in pre-game events such as the roar before the game.
Second Stage : He stops attending the games altogether.
Third Stage : He retires to another location.
Are you interested in becoming an athlete for one of these mascots at a US University? Contact us for a scholarship and we are happy to tell you more about it!