Weird College Mascots

Weird College Mascots

Claire Marvin, Reviews and Columns Editor

It’s college day at Miramonte, and seniors are flaunting their college attire. One aspect of college-hunting that not everyone takes into consideration is the college’s mascot. Here are a few of the best weird and wacky college mascots:  


1. The Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes (Scottsdale, Arizona)


Artie the Artichoke was adopted as the Scottsdale Community College’s official mascot after a period of student unrest in the 1970s. Students at this time felt that the administration was giving too much of the school’s money to their athletic programs and when the student body was asked to vote for a new mascot they chose the “Fighting Artichokes” to embarrass the sports teams. However the administration chose to ignore the election and further angered the students. Since the election was facilitated by the school’s League of Women Voters, the decision could not be overturned  except through another election. When the second election rolled around, the students voted to keep the name the “Fighting Artichokes” and Artie the Artichoke became a beloved part of the Scottsdale community.


2. Delta State Fighting Okra (Cleveland, Mississippi)

Although the official mascot of Delta State is the Statesman, the Fighting Okra has become a sort of urban legend around the campus and shows up randomly to torment students and cheer on the sports teams. The Fighting Okra is even featured in a few funny commercials to advertise the school. Okra is a vegetable with long green pods and was ironically chosen as Delta State’s unofficial mascot in the 1980s when students decided that the Statesman (a politician or a notable public figure) was not frightening enough.


3. Wake Forest University Demon Deacons (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

In 1922, the Wake Forest University Deacons started to rack up some pivotal wins, including one over rival Duke. The Deacons old nicknames like “Old Gold and Black” and the “Baptists” didn’t quite mesh with the new school spirit surrounding the athletic program, so Ahoskie sports editor Mayton Parker looked for a new term to capture the Deacon’s “devilish” spirit and thus coined the term “Demon Deacons.” The Demon Deacon was first personified by student Jack Baldwin in 1941 on a dare from his Fraternity brothers. He rushed onto the field riding a Carolina ram dressed in a top hat and tails.


4. UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs (Santa Cruz, California)

Sammy the banana slug has been the official mascot of UC Santa Cruz since 1986 when students voted to overturn the school’s previous sea lion mascot. Sammy is now a beloved member of the Santa Cruz community and brings humor as well as energy to the UCSC athletic department.



“No known predators, no known problems. It might be an issue though because yellow is not my color.” – Adam Brager, UCSC class of 2017


5. Trinity Christian College Trolls (Palos Heights, Illinois)


Before Trinity Christian College’s debut basketball game in 1966, a professor was looking for a mascot name that would sound good with Trinity. While scanning the dictionary, he came upon the word troll, (a race of supernatural beings, sometimes conceived as giants and sometimes as dwarfs, inhabiting caves or subterranean dwellings) and the troll has been TCC’s mascot ever since.


6. Stanford Cardinal/Trees (Palo Alto, California)

 MCT Campus/ L. Francis

Until 1972, Stanford’s mascot had been an Indian (Native American) named Prince Lightfoot. However this bothered a group of Native American students and they successfully petitioned to get rid of the “Indian” mascot. Stripped of an official mascot, the Stanford athletic department reverted to “Cardinal” (a hue of the color red) which had been used to represent the school before Prince Lightfoot was introduced in 1930. The Stanford “Tree” was adopted by the school’s marching band and graces both the official seal of the University as well as the seal of Palo Alto.


“Especially being a Cal fan all my life, I didn’t have much love for the cardinal and the tree. The tree is kinda wacky and spontaneous; it’s going to take me awhile to warm up to it.” – Charlie Wiser, Stanford Class of 2017


7. Concordia College Cobbers (Moorhead, Minnesota)

When a group of students from another school satirically referred to Concordia College students as “Corncobs” in 1893, the Concordia students decided to embrace the name rather than allow it to become a term of ridicule. The new name caught on in 1928 when the Concordian used the name “Cobbers” in their sports reporting and the name became official in 1932 when the yearbook was changed from Scout to Cobber.


8. University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils (Monticello, Arizona)

A boll weevil is an insect that eats cotton and is relatively common in the South. In 1925, the school’s president, Frank Horsfall, gave the mascot its name at a pep rally before the school’s  first homecoming game.  According to the Drew County Historical Journal, Horsfall said, “The only gosh-darned thing that ever licked the South was the boll weevil. Boll weevils! That’s what you are – Boll Weevils!”


9. Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (Fort Worth, Texas)


The Horned Frog (actually a lizard) has been TCU’s mascot longer than TCU has been the university’s name. When AddRan Christian University (renamed TCU in 1902) was located in Waco in 1897, four students chose the Horned Frogs to be the school’s official mascot. In 1992, the Horned Frog was named the State Reptile of Texas.



“The horned frog is really strange considering it’s essentially just a tiny lizard. Like who’s going to be afraid of that? I’m sure I’ll get used to it though.” – Maddy Bush, TCU Class of 2017


10. Ohio State Buckeyes (Columbus, Ohio)

In 1965, Ohio State students Ray Bourhis and Sally Huber decided Ohio State needed a mascot. The contemplated a buck deer, but decided bringing a live buck deer into the stadium would cause too many problems. Instead, they selected the buckeye, the dark brown nut of the the official state tree of Ohio.