Monday, June 05, 2006

The Only Analysis That Matters - Part 2

Alright, if you have no idea what is going on - or if you want to read the first conference review (the ACC) then click [HERE]. Otherwise, we're diving right into the Big East.

Cincinnatti Bearcat

Strengths: It's not a bear and it's not a cat - it's BOTH! Originality (sort of), instead of sticking with one of the standard 8 mascots, they brilliantly combined two of them!

Weaknesses: What sound would a bearcat make? GRRRR-MEOW? And that cat half, what kind of cat is it? A grumpy siamese or a kick butt leopard? Looking at the mascot, you can't really tell - meaning it's probably just a stock issue tabby.

Rating: Sucks

Louisville Cardinal

Strengths: It's a bird with teeth, which is pretty darn cool. Making cardinal chomp faces with your teeth exposed on the side of your mouth is fun (try it, seriously). The Cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky, which is a mitigating factor for the "generic mascot 101" choice.

Weaknesses: In a league of unoriginal mascots, this one still manages to be represented in two seperate professional leagues as well as countless high schools and other colleges. Outside of the whole teeth bit, there isn't anything here you can't find in a bunch other places.

Rating: Doesn't Suck - the teeth and the fact that it's the state bird save it.

Pittsburgh Panther

Strengths: Wannstedt looks like he has a Panther attached to his upper lip - which earns style points for coach and mascot coordination. Supposedly Pitt was the first college to use "panthers" as a nickname, but we find that hard to believe.

Weaknesses: Again, the "generic high school" naming syndrom is in full effect here. The Big East has a serious problem in this area, and the Panther is a pretty egregious offender. Rule of thumb - if you are going to have a generic nickname, have a cool (preferably live) mascot. Unfortunately for Pitt, that's not the case. Furthermore, could you pick between the Panther and the Nittany Lion if you met them in the street? Do they save money at the schools by sharing the same costume?

Rating: Continues the Big East suck parade.

Rutgers Scarlet Knight

Strengths: It's a red knight, except it sounds even cooler and more sophisticated with the "scarlet" designation. Brings to mind Sir Launcelot searching for adventure in the forests of midieval England, saving desperate damsels from the clutches of evil wizards. And who doesn't love damsels?

Weaknesses: Sadly, the mascot looks way less cool than he sounds. A nice suit of armor would really go well here. Also, this is a fairly new mascot ... the original Rutgers mascot was the Chanticleer, which was darn cool in and of itself.

Rating: Doesn't Suck - though it could be an elite level mascot with a better costume.

South Florida Golden Bull

Strengths: It's a bull, and more specifically a Brahman Bull, and that's about as strong as it gets. Definitely more original than most of the rest of this conference's dismal collection of retreads, and Florida even has a bit of a cattle indrustry to fit with it.

Weaknesses: Brahmans are known as extremely docile creatures for their size, not exactly a terribly threatening presence.

Rating: Doesn't Suck

Syracuse Orange

Strengths: Goes well with bacon and pancakes.

Weaknesses: Does it comes complete with an Omega 4000? Seriously though, Syracuse's mascot history is an absolute disaster after they decided to get rid of the human Indian mascot in 1978. A Roman gladiator? Egnaro the Troll?!? (Seriously, a troll?). This went on for over 15 years until the school just settled on a big orange bag with a baseball cap on top. I guess if you've gone 15 years without a real mascot, a blob is better than nothing.

Rating: Sucks, sucks, sucks. One of the 5 worst mascots in college sports. And it's named "Otto".


Strengths: Fairly original, and husky's are awesome dogs. The Iditarod is one of the great American events, especially because of the history behind it and this mascot reminds me of that.

Weaknesses: Last time I checked the Iditarod was in Alaska, and not Connecticut. Also, the costume is pretty bland - almost as if you just ordered the generic white "bear/lion/panther/dog" costume in white from the mail order Costumes-R-Us catalog.

Rating: Doesn't suck, but it's awfully darn close.

West Virginia Mountaineer

Strengths: Looks like Davey Crockett, and every little boy wants to be him. Gets to wear a coonskin cap and carry around a rifle. Wears a fringed jacket. Gets to skip shaving regularly for the benefit of the costume.

Weaknesses: Has to put up with WVU fans, and the gunpowder for that rifle might not be safe around burning couches.

Rating: Most definitely does not suck.

The Big East did better than I thought they would, with only 3 "sucks" for a pedestrian 38% suck percentage - far better than the ACC, who had the unfortunate mishap of getting two of the Big East's worst mascots recently. This places the Big East in first for "my conference is better than yours" bragging rights at the moment, but there are still 4 more to go.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You misspelled both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh

7:11 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I really need an editor :(

7:47 AM  
Blogger eirishis said...

Gonna need to disagree with you on the UConn Husky ... completely and totally lame, has no connection to the state, and the costume is just pathetic. And that's coming from a Duke fan.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous anon.4 said...

Rutger's fist name was Chanticleer. That is awesome since they would be named after the rooster in Canterbury Tales.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huskies are even't that original, in the grand scheme of college sports: Washington, Michigan Tech and St. Cloud State (Minn.) all sport the nickname. Yes, I am one of the few college hockey fans to ever lay eyes on this site...

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UConn has the huskie for a maskot because the Iditarod that huskies run in is in the Yukon, which sounds an awful lot like U Conn.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Mr. A said...

Who the hell names a blob of Orange "Otto"?

Great stuff, these mascot reviews have been hilarious. Consider yourself linked to Pitch Right.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rutgers also has a knight in real armor on horseback at football games.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Fresno State has to be the ultimate in coach-mascot coordination

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bearcats actually come from a game against Kentucky, where one of Cincinnati's stars was named Teddy Baehr and the fans chanted "They may be wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side."

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the Scarlet Knight get bonus points for being in the greatest sportscenter commercial ever - the Y2K test?

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U Conn mascot most definitely sucks. That is about the cheapest costume I've ever seen.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Mr. Pink said...

My UConn vote is suck -

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

These are absolutely hilarious! I know we're not known for our sports, but can you do one on the Ivy League? I mean, you've made fun of Columbia as it is, and we here at Yale have Handsome Dan (definitely the best live bulldog mascot!). I'd love to see it written by a mascot reviewer that Dan beats the nasty bulldog over at UGA. :) Not to mention that the Harvard mascot is the Cantabs, and Penn the Quakers... there's so much suck available for mockery! You should totally do it.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Spellcheck maybe.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit that the Syracuse 'blob of Orange' is kind of lame. Too bad they got rid of the Saltine Warrior mascot (That was the Indian - Saltine comes from the fact that the city of Syracuse was a huge salt producer way back when). They recently paid an agency millions of dollars to come up with a new name/mascot for Syracuse. Theu came up with lame ideas like wolfpack & lions, blah, blah, blah. The students demanded that they keep 'Otto' and so they did. He is a goofy blob but I have to admit that he is unique among mascots.

7:45 AM  
Blogger BRoll said...

Otto the Orange rules all! Give him this - at least he's unique. He's an Orange. They're called "The Orange." Makes sense.

I'll take the Orange over ANOTHER Wildcat, Lion or whatever other generic mascot any day. Viva individuality! (And yes, I was part of the student uprising at Syracuse that fought to keep this mascot. So I'm biased).

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's true that the cardinal is Kentucky's state bird, but it's also the state bird of about ten other states. I don't know that basing a generic mascot on an equally generic state bird redeems it any.

On the other hand, you're entirely right about the teeth. Very cool.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess this is a football preview, but I wish you had included the basketball schools.

Have to seriously disagree with the girl who thinks Yale's Handsome Dan is better than Jack the Hoya. Hoya Saxa!

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Margaret said...

It's University of South Florida Bulls, not Golden Bulls. Rocky the Bull is awesome!

6:36 PM  
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Anonymous Chiko said...

I know this was written long ago, but I can't help but comment on the Rutgers mascot. We do have a real Scarlet Knight who comes onto the field (on a white horse) during the football game.

In regards to "firearm", you really can't beat having the cannon fire off every time the football team scores - can you? Flaming spear might be cool, but a real cannon?

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Panther (Felis concolor) was adopted as the University of Pittsburgh's mascot at a meeting of students and alumni in the autumn of 1909. According to George M. P. Baird, '09, who made the suggestion, it was chosen for the following reasons:

1. The Panther was the most formidable creature once indigenous to the Pittsburgh region.

2. It had ancient, heraldic standing as a noble animal.

3. The happy accident of alliteration.

4. The close approximation of its hue to the old gold of the University's colors (old gold and blue), hence its easy adaptability in decoration.

5. The fact that no other college or university then employed it as a symbol.

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