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One of the greatest and oldest college traditions is the mascot. Often seen pacing the sidelines these characters of all shapes and sizes are critical for keeping fan moral high! Mascots don’t just represent a school’s sports teams, but also the history and tradition of the institution. At Prep Sportswear we love clever mascots, these are our favorites!
10. Southern Arkansas Muleriders – The Mulerider mascot of Southern Arkansas traces its history over 100 years. In the early 1900’s automobiles were scarce in the rural South which resulted in residents using other forms of transportation. The young men of the football team commonly used Mule’s for transportation around campus. One evening in 1912 the players arrived at their head coach’s house for a team dinner. Legend has it, while the riders dismounted, Coach Turrentine shouted to his players, “My Mule Riders!”
9. Henderson State Reddies- The school was originally nicknamed the “Reds” for their bright sports Jerseys. The name eventually shifted to “Reddies” and became the student body mantra. After a fire in 1914 almost destroyed the entire campus students had to decide if they wanted to transfer or rebuild the school. The decision to rebuild shows the “Reddie” spirit at its best!
8. Stetson Hatters – I can’t imagine many Stetson cowboy hat fans realize what’s on their head also represents a universities mascot. John B. Stetson, maker of the well-known hats, was named chairman of the board of Trustees in 1889. When the school fielded its first football team in 1901 they used the nickname Hatters and it’s still in use today.
7. New Orleans Privateers- Even though a Privateer might look like a pirate, they are two different identities with a very interesting history. Privateer was a term used for pirates pardoned by the U.S government in the 1800’s. After being pardoned these Privateers would go back out on the open seas to capture other pirates still pillaging.
6. Wichita State Shockers- Shockers is a great mascot because it’s so unique to the schools tradition and geography. Shocking is used to describe the process farmer’s use to harvest wheat. Early students would earn their tuition by shocking the nearby fields. Combine the name with the big yellow wheat design and it makes for an awesome mascot!
5. Campbell Fighting Camels- What a name! Camels are already one of the most unusual creatures in the animal kingdom. When you add “Fighting” to the equation, it makes for one of the funnier mascots in college athletics. If only a real Camel was able to energize fans at half time.
4. Evergreen State Geoducks- First and foremost let’s explain what a Geoduck is. Geoducks are enlarged Salt water clams native to the west coast of North America. This small school in the Pacific Northwest likes to beat to their own drum. Fight on Geoducks!
3. Saint Louis Billikens – The Billiken mascot was created over a hundred years ago by a Kansas City art teacher. This chubby, Buddha-like figure, with pixie ears was a rock star from the start and quickly caught on with SLU’s athletics. This loveable mascot will put a smile on your face and maybe even give you good luck.
2. Trinity Christian Trolls- This might come as a surprise but, Trinity Christian College in Illinois, is the only College in the country with a Troll mascot. The origin of the nickname is still unclear but Trolls have been spotted under a bridge near campus which has furthered the legend. Never has being called a Troll been such an honor.
1. UC Irvine Anteaters- If you want a clever mascot, allow your students the ability to submit whatever options they want. In 1965, the student body sided with “Peter the Anteater”! These far-out creatures live up to their name by eating up to 30,000 ants a day! Well done UC Irvine, you have come up with the most unique mascot college has to offer!
In this edition of Throw Back Thursday we honor the great tradition of the American Basketball Association! The NBA wouldn’t be what it is today if it didn’t incorporate some of the ABA’s best teams, players, and style. All basketball fans young and old, reminisce with us, while we bring back our favorite teams of the past!
Denver Rockets – The Rockets were a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA) when it was founded in 1967. Success came quickly when future Hall of Famer Spencer Haywood was drafted in 1969, leading Denver to the Western Division Finals. In 1974, knowing the leagues would merge; the Rockets changed their name to the Nuggets.
Memphis Tams – The ABA came to Memphis in 1970 and nicknamed their team the Tams in 1972. The mascot name is an acronym for Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Professional basketball in Memphis would fold with the ABA in 1976 and wouldn’t return until 2001.
Texas Chaparrals - The Chaparrals played home games in Dallas, Fort Worth, and as far away as Lubbock. Originally based out of Dallas in 1967, the team rebranded themselves as the Texas Chaparrals, in an attempt to attract a larger fan base. In 1973 the Chaparrals were leased to a group in San Antonio and renamed the Spurs.
Utah Stars – When the ABA reached its pinnacle during the early 1970’s the Utah Stars emerged as one of the league top teams. The Stars appeared in two ABA Championships and beat the Kentucky Colonels in 1971 to take home the crown. Despite averaging over 8,500 fans per game the Stars folded with the ABA-NBA merger.
Minnesota Muskies – The Muskies had a very short yet successful stint in the new American Basketball Association. In their only season in Minnesota the Muskies won 50 games and reached the Eastern Division Championship. The team was sold the following year and moved to Miami.
New Jersey Americans – The Americans were one of the founding teams in the upstart ABA. Initially playing their home games in Teaneck, New Jersey they changed the mascot to Nets in 1968 before moving to New York. In 1976, the Nets were one of four ABA teams to merge into the NBA.
After what has unfolded in college football over the last calendar year, it’s safe to say the Baylor Bears have a monumental chip on their shoulders. The “us against the world” mentality has always been a part of the Baylor program. With traditional powers such as Texas and Texas A&M neighboring to the south, it has always been difficult for the Bears to be relevant. Relevance is no longer an issue in Waco, and Baylor is undeniably the best college football team in the state of Texas. Unfortunately, being the best team in Texas didn’t secure the Bears a coveted spot in the 2014 College Football Playoff.
After a one lose regular season campaign in 2014, the Bears were regulated to play in the Cotton Bowl against Michigan State. The underdog Spartans won 42-41 in what would be Baylor’s last game against a ranked opponent. Baylor has been dominate so far this season outscoring opponents 459-200 through eight games. This number can be misleading when you consider the Bears haven’t played a single team with a winning record. To boost their resume Baylor desperately needs a win against a ranked opponent. Luckily for them the 12th ranked Oklahoma Sooners come to town this weekend.
Ten years ago the idea of Oklahoma coming into Waco wanting revenge would sound ridiculous. In 2015, it’s a reality, with the Bears outscoring the Sooners 89-26 in their last two contests. This traditional Big 12 front runner has recently taken a back seat to teams such as Oklahoma State, TCU, and Baylor. Their only shot at a Big 12 Championship and playoff berth is winning on Saturday. A win for the Bears will certainly jump them to 5th in the rankings and leave them knocking on the final four door. It’s almost been a year since Baylor has played a championship worthy opponent. Can the Bears survive their strong November schedule unscathed? If so the committee will have no choice but to put them in the top four.