Mascots are used as icons of power in university sporting events, as well as a way to bring the whole student body together. While some universities might choose fearless creatures such as lions, tigers or bears as the leading image of their team against opponents, some schools just decide to go crazy—or in this case, weird—in their mascot choices.
1. Rhode Island School of Design
Scrotie goes on top of this list, not only because it’s my university’s mascot, but also because it’s genuinely the weirdest mascot out there. Scrotie is a walking penis. The costume of Scrotie goes along with the school’s sports team names, which are named after male genitalia. The basketball team is called “the Balls” while the hockey team goes by “The Nads”. When I first heard of these names, I thought students were joking, but somehow these names passed through the university administration. Both team names are even written and commercialized in the school’s clothing. There are T-shirts, one of which I personally even have, that has a ball drawn on it with “Go Balls” written on it. Not sure if I'll ever be able to wear it outside campus, but who cares, it’s fun cheering for our Balls team.
2. Evergreen State College
A geoduck, the largest burrowing clam, and the creature famous for its long, suggestive body that protrudes from its shell, is this school’s mascot. It’s seen air boxing on the court and dancing vigorously. I’m not sure if the sight of a boxing clam is pleasing to my eyes, but it must be a one of a kind scene for its opponent.
3. University of California - Santa Cruz
With a chill personality and dance movement, this university’s mascot, Sammy the Banana Slug, has made itself well known to the public. Despite its weird shape and name, it managed to be recognized as one of the top college mascots in Readers Digest in 2004. Who knew banana slugs could make it that far in the world?
4. North Carolina School of the Arts
Just when you thought vegetable and fruit choices as university mascots would end, North Carolina School of the Arts mascot is literally a pickle. To be specific, “The fighting Pickle.” The mascot was first chosen as a joke, but then it actually became the official mascot of the school where it’s always present in the school’s athletic events, cheering, greeting and dancing with the cheerleaders. I mean can you imagine how hilarious it would be watching a pickle dancing on a sports field?
5. University of Arkansas at Monticello
Besides choosing food as a mascot, some universities decided to choose another type of powerless creature as their mascot. For this university, Boll Weevil—an insect that damages crops—was chosen to be their mascot. It’s ironic that students choose this insect as their mascot, when it’s probably being crushed by the players during their games.
It might be the school’s unofficial mascot since the administration refuses to accept a dancing keg of beer as their sports mascot, but students are still hyped up and in support of their big beer keg as their mascot.
7. Stanford University
The Stanford tree isn't like any other! It’s got a huge mouth and a strange strut. It’s not strange enough to have a weirdly shaped tree with a big mouth roaming around the sports field, but students actually compete between each other as they try to out-stage one another with shocking stunts. All in hopes to strut around their school’s field for the rest of the year. Gosh, some people would do anything for an open mouth tree. Strange isn’t it?
From pickles dancing on a sports field to phallically shaped costumes roaming around and screaming “Go Balls,” these universities have truly taken mascots to a whole new level. Being a student that goes to RISD, I have to say wearing shirts and holding signs that say “Go Balls” each basketball game is truly a pride that one takes as time passes by. Who knew I’d end up cheering for balls as an adult?!