October 10, 2012
With college football season well underway, we take a look at the NCAA teams (there are no NFL teams with dogs name for some reason) that will be drawing inspiration from dog-inspired mascots as they take the gridiron. Who’s hot? Who’s not? What’s a Hoya? Read on!
1. Boston University Terriers- the rest of the NCAA should take note: this is what we’re looking for. A mascot that’s specific to the school’s location, in this case playing on the natural link between the University and terrier breed that take their name from this most bean-laden of American cities. As far as on-field intimidation goes, anyone who has spent any time around a Boston Terrier (hi Iggy!) knows how single-minded and purpose-driven the Boston Terrier can be, making this a great mascot all around.
2. Southern Illinois Salukis- named after an ancient Egyptian breed that thrives to this day, SIU comes in at #2 basically for not calling themselves the Bulldogs. I really love bulldogs (whattup Monkey and Coco?), and I get the appeal since they’re regarded as tough and tenacious, but as we’ll see they’re hardly a unique choice.
3. Georgetown Hoyas- in on technicality! Georgetown’s costumed mascot is indeed a bulldog, but the school’s nickname is the Hoya. Georgetown alumni will try to tell you it has something to do with rocks or walls or the student newspaper. What they probably won’t tell you is that all of these explanations eventually lead back to the fact that “Hoya” means “what” in Latin. So the fact remains they named their spots teams the “whats”. Sigh… really, Georgetown? Aren’t you supposed to be a smartypants school? You do sneak in at #3 because at least you gave your bulldog a hat. Nice touch.
4. Georgia Bulldogs- Bonus points for using a live bulldog as well as a costumed one, and for using the initials of the school for both of their names– “Uga”. I like when schools do that. True story: when Eastern Michigan University was looking for a replacement for their politically incorrect mascot the Hurons, there was a lot of support to go with the EMU Emus. Emu:”the schools initials AND the name of a giant, ridiculous bird! Suffice to say that would have been awesome, but they went with the incredibly boring Eagles instead. Yawn. There are more eagle mascots than there are bulldogs. Speaking of which…
Tied for 5th. Butler Bulldogs, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Fresno State Bulldogs – completely indistinguishable from each other. No one thought to at least mix it up by going with the American Bulldogs? Fighting Bulldogs? Nittany Bulldogs? Bulldog Tide?
9. Drake Bulldogs- Major deductions for not being named the Drake Drakes, or at least the Drake Ducks. It’s a no-brainer and you blew it. The Drake Quakes. The Drake Snakes. These are just off the top of my head here, and they’d all be improvements.