Like it or not, mascots really do have an effect on how a sports team plays. The mascot, whether silly or sensible, can affect the fans in tremendous ways, causing them to cheer when the team is doing well and boo their opponent. Mascots are usually created designed with the main idea being to bring their team good luck. Mascots come in all shapes, sizes, and species. Some don’t even represent a tangible item. While some mascots seem to make logical sense (i.e., a Hornet for a team called “The Hornets” ), others simply make you scratch your head and say, “what were they thinking?” There are many odd mascots out there in sports-land. Here are just ten of the weirdest sports mascots ever to represent a team.
1. Scrotie, mascot for The Nads (now retired)
Rhode Island School of Design
Believe it or not, this was really the mascot at one time for the Rhode Island School of Design. Their men’s basketball team was called “The Balls,” and their men’s ice hockey team, “The Nads.” The teams even had clever slogans, with The Balls’ being “When the heat is on, the Balls stick together,” and The Nads’ not quite as clever, “Go Nads.” Scrotie emerged in 2001 as an unofficial mascot for The Nads. He ran around on the ice in an anatomically-correct costume with a red cape. Although the mascot was hilarious, it was immediately given the shaft and banned from The Nads’ competitions.
2. Steely McBeam
For those of us who are Steelers’ haters, Steely McBeam is one of the most ridiculous-looking mascots of all time. Although he hasn’t been around for long, this Pittsburgh Steelers’ football team mascot is already becoming tiresome, in his costume dressed as a steel worker with a long jaw and five-o-clock shadow, carrying a steal beam. The problem with Steely McBeam is, one might simply mistake him for a Steelers fan at the game, as most of them already look like McBeam.
3. The Boll Weevil
University of Arkansas
Mascot of the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s baseball and football teams, the Boll Weevil represents a crop-destroying insect. How does this fit in as a mascot for the school, you might ask? Aren’t mascots supposed to be intimidating, ferocious, and motivational to the crowd? Of course, if you live in Arkansas, boll weevils can be quite destructive. This mascot seems to be telling the team’s opponents, ‘Watch out, or we’re going to ravage all of your cotton crops!’
4. Sammy the Slug
University of California at Santa Cruz
Just what, pray tell, is a banana slug? The mascot of the University of California at Santa Cruz was proposed to reflect flexibility, non-aggressiveness, and contemplation, according to the school’s website. The student body whole-heartedly embraced the idea of the slug, and Sammy the Slug became the school’s official mascot in 1986. Isn’t that just what you want your team to stand for – not being aggressive? Being friendly and flexible? Being thoughtful and contemplative?
5. Otto the Orange
Why on earth would a New York school famous for harsh winters and not known at all as an orange-growing powerhouse choose a giant citrus fruit as their mascot? Otto the Orange wasn’t always the mascot for Syracuse University. They were once known as the Saltine Warriors. Which is worse? Otto the Orange has become the school’s beloved mascot, dancing and shaking his booty (if oranges indeed have a booty to shake) at all of the school’s athletic events. If the sight of a giant orange doesn’t strike fear in the heart of your opponent, what will?
6. The Fighting Okra
And next on the list of scary foods… okra! This crazy idea for a mascot garnered enough attention that he got to appear on a Food Network television show, but how intimidating is okra, really, as sports teams go? Those who are fans of the Missouri school Delta State’s mascot say the chant “Fighting Okra!” goes over well during games, as it just rolls off the tongue. It’s not as appetizing once the game is over, however. Go Okra!
Where in heaven’s name did they ever come up with this idea for a mascot? The Geoduck, which is pronounced “gooey duck,” is not a bird, but rather, a mollusk. This clam is the largest marine bivalve Washington State, home of Evergreen State College, who chose the Geoduck as their mascot for some reason. Really, does a Geoduck represent a fighting spirit, never giving up, and doing anything necessary to win? Or is it just a boring form or marine life? You be the judge.
8. Phillie Phanatic
The lovable, overweight, green Phillie Phanatic has to be one of the most unusual ideas for Major League Baseball team mascots ever derived. He has a cylinder for a nose and a tongue that sticks out, but no one really knows what the Phanatic is. The Phanatic, however, has become one of the most beloved mascots in the City of Brotherly Love, which is not famous for having the most considerate of fans. Good thing they have something to be happy about, anyway.
A mascot in the form of a giant flame, with a green basketball for a nose. What else goes with Miami basketball better than that? This mascot himself is a bit dangerous, as a flame should be. He was actually charged and convicted for aggravated assault against the wife of a Supreme Court judge after a game-time dance caused her to land on her booty on the floor. Burnie also shot a former NBA great, Dolph Schayes, with a water gun. Gotta watch out for these crazy mascots!
Wichita State University
The mascot for the Shockers at Wichita State University (Kansas), WuShock recently celebrated 60 years of mascot-dom for the school. How a shock of wheat can come to life as a mascot is beyond the realm of possibility for most people, but this mascot has become so popular, he has over 5000 Facebook fans. Then again, just about anything can get over 5000 Facebook fans anymore, as long as it has the right campaign backing it. Can you really see a shock of wheat as being ferocious?