They’re one of the most crucial aspects to a college sports viewing experience.
The players? Nope.
The coaches? Nope.
The fans? They’re definitely important, but there’s one other group that we’re forgetting about.
University mascots are extremely pivotal in maintain the identity of a school, and give the students, alumni and fan base a face. When the team is riding high on the field of play, a mascot is thriving off of that energy to elevate the level of the venue that much higher. Even if the vibes around the game are a little off, a good mascot will manufacture excitement and remind the fans that everyone is in this together.
To that end, Quality Logo Products took a stab at trying to pinpoint which mascots around the country took up the most real estate in our hearts a couple of weeks back. Their hierarchy consisted of four main categories, including the best and worst mascots, the sexiest mascot, and the always grammatically correct “unsexiest” mascot.
We’ll take a look at their rundown, and see how the 1,266 people they polled felt about the mascots in their respective categories.
While there is no shortage of schools who claim the Wildcat as their athletic moniker, there was only one that came out on top. Representing Northwestern University, Willie the Wildcat was victorious in the best mascot faction. He’s been a staple of the college athletic scene since 1947, and has brought a level of adorable ferociousness that has been seldom duplicated. While major Northwestern sports haven’t always been dominant, Willie has brought the passion necessary to make opposing Big 10 athletes cringe at the sight of him.
While every mascot serves a purpose at his or her institution, the voters did not show Oklahoma State’s Pistol Pete much love at all. It’s not clear what they didn’t see in him, but the Big 12 staple seems to have some work to do to get back in the good graces of the public consciousness. Pistol Pete’s genesis as a mascot had roots in the story of a real person named Frank Eaton. Eaton was known as a true marksman in his day, and was eventually known as Pistol Pete. The mascot may need a little more personality in addition to the level of precision he brings to the battlefield.
Northwestern’s Willie the Wildcat actually took home top honors in this category as well. But at the risk of blowing up his already large(but attractive) head, we’ll focus on the runner up in the category. Army’s Mule apparently has fans fixated on him as opposed to the action on the field. The Mule doesn’t just bring good looks to the field; he brings a value to the U.S. Military Academy operation that transcends sports. Historically, mules have carried gear for servicemen and women. Their brawn, coupled with their integral role in operations, makes the Mule a sight for sore eyes.
The University of California Berkley’s Oski was tabbed as the least sexy mascot in the exercise. He’s the face of Golden Bear nation, and fans in Northern California probably find him slightly more attractive than others elsewhere in the country. Oski has been prancing around campus since 1941. While he’s not exactly the most chiseled with regards to mascot physique, he brings a level of playful and jolly good-natured fun. There’s no word on whether Oski will be training with some of the Golden Bear athletes this fall to get back to the level of conditioning he had in the 1940’s.