Scrotie the Penis and 11 More of the Country's Weirdest College Mascots
On many college campuses across the country, sporting events are THE most important thing. Of course, I don't know any of this from experience because my school couldn't care less about sports (and doesn't even have a football program), but I digress. Mascots are the face of the team, the guys that get you pumped up before the game, and the first thing the opponent is supposed to fear when they walk onto an opposing team's territory. Because a mascot is supposed to convey the personality of a given team or school to the rest of the world, many colleges opt for fierce wilderness creatures like lions, tigers, and bears — oh my! But there are a few dark horses in the mascot world that are keeping it interesting. The weirdest of the weird mascots include fighting vegetables, lowly insects, and genitalia — yes, GENITALIA. A lot cooler than your school's lion, am I right?
Scrotie the Penis / Rhode Island School of Design
Yes, you read that right — Scrotie the Penis is the unofficial mascot of RISD. He was created in 2001 by a group of students, and became the mascot after frequenting the school’s hockey games donning a superman crest (the S is made of a particularly serpentine sperm) on his chest and little red cape on his back while encouraging fans to yell “Go NADS!” What may be even more disturbing is the school itself has extremely sexual sports team names, including The Balls (basketball), The Jugs (women’s soccer), and, of course, The Nads.
The Fighting Okra / Delta State University
Delta State University students describe their mascot as a “large, prickly, bipedal vegetable with an inherently bad temperament.” The school’s Fear the Okra site includes a gossip section reporting silly rumors like “It has never been seen smiling”, “It has been known to spread the ‘FUNKRA’ to other vegetables”, and, my personal favorite, “Even Chuck Norris fears the Okra.” Sounds like a team to be feared to me.
The Cobbers / Concordia College
The name “Cobbers” evolved from the once derogatory nickname, corncobs, which was thrust upon the boys at Concordia by another local school because Concordia was “out in the country.” The name was later shortened to “cobbers” which has a refreshingly nice meaning. In three different languages, cobber refers to a good friend or companion. Sounds like the Cobbers may make better sportsmen than they would scary opponents.
The Banana Slugs / University of California, Santa Cruz
Sammy the Slug is pretty cute, he’s just weird. The banana slug began as an unofficial mascot for the school’s team and was sort of a jab at their fierce competitors with fiercer mascots. The school accepted that they weren’t the toughest opponent and embraced the banana slug as a symbol of their lowliness. Though the banana slug may be pretty lame sounding, he has no known predators so at least he stands a chance in the wild.
The Demon Deacons / Wake Forest University
No, a demon deacon is not a once-devout Catholic man gone bad, it’s Wake Forest’s badass mascot . The Demon Deacon got his name in 1922 after displaying a “devilish” spirit against Duke. He looks more like George Washington than a deacon, but he drives a pimped out motorcycle so I guess that makes him cool?
Image: Wake Forest University/Facebook
The Fighting Artichokes / Scottsdale Community College
Yet another fighting vegetable. The Arizona community college mascot, Artie the Artichoke, was a product of a student vote. In the 1970s the school asked students to choose their mascot from the following list: The Artichokes, The Rutabaga, or The Scoundrels. Though it seems like the first two choices may have accidentally been copied off a grocery list, the artichokes won and the administration was pissed. At least the students didn’t get their pick of colors, which were pink and green.
Keggy the Keg / Dartmouth College
Who would have thought an Ivy League school would have the bro-iest of all mascots? Since there is no official Dartmouth mascot, Keggy has become the face of the Big Green. Keggy’s only been around since 2003, but he’s had quite an interesting 11 years, including being kidnapped and held for ransom.
The Ragin' Cajuns / University of Louisiana at Lafayette
First, let’s discuss that this sounds more like the slang term for party school attendees rather than a sports team. And the description of the team name on the school’s website says it all: ”A Ragin’ Cajun is not a person or an animal, but a feeling that describes our unique way of life.” Because of this, the students chose to represent themselves with a Cayenne pepper. What’s with all the vegetables?!
Image: University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Facebook
The Trinity Trolls / Trinity Christian College
The legend of the troll is somewhat unknown. One theory says the name came about as an acronym: TRinity COLLege Sudents. Another says the troll was chosen because “God would need to give Trinity supernatural power to develop a viable basketball team.” Is it just me or does the troll’s costume vaguely resemble Buzz Lightyear’s?
Image: Trinity Christian College/Facebook
The Gauchos / University of California, Santa Barbara
UCSB’s mascot is the gaucho, and no, not those heinous pants you once thought were cool in the early 2000’s. A gaucho is an Argentine cowboy and dons a Zoro-like hat and mask. He has quite a slew of nicknames, including “Olé”, “Gaucho Joe”, and my personal favorite, “Fantom of the Thunder Dome”.
Image: UC Santa Barbara/Facebook
The Boll Weevils / University of Arkansas at Monticello
What is a boll weevil, you ask? A boll weevil is a small beetle that feeds on cotton and flowers. It is also the beloved mascot of the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Though it sounds gross, the boll weevil is actually kind of adorable with his green coat, big snout, and long antennae.
Image: UAM Sports/Facebook
The Stanford Tree / Stanford University
You’d think the Stanford Cardinals mascot would be a Cardinal, but alas, it’s a tree. The honor of becoming the tree is bestowed upon a worthy pep band member after an intense Hunger Games-like competition. The whimsical looking tree costume is actually handmade by the mascot himself and changes every year. Fun fact: The mascot was put up to a vote to students in 1975 and, thankfully, the tree beat out the other options: a steaming manhole and A GIANT FRENCH FRY. Could you imagine cheering on the Stanford French Fries? Nope, me either.