Saturday, July 30, 2005

End Zone World: High School Mascots

High schools are generally clueless about choosing mascots. They could choose based on a sense of fun and whimsy; or a historical aspect of a geographic area; or a school + mascot wordplay which is fun to say aloud. Instead, high schools often cede mascot choices to the students.

In theory, this is egalitarian. In reality, this often devolves into the dominant group of girls organizing, cajoling, and bullying fellow students into voting for whatever mascot the dominant group of girls considers the "cutest." One should avoid letting teenaged girls control a process. Case in point: Grandview(Texas) High School, i.e.

the Grandview Zebras

Grandview is located on a hot and grassy prairie - but that's where the logic of this mascot choice ends. A zebra is a prey animal. When you think of a zebra, it is going down and dying in a panic, i.e. a Lion or a Cheetah is taking it down with a chomp on the neck; a group of alligators is ripping a zebra apart - same with a pack of hyena. Who wants to be a zebra?! Other possibilities for Grandview:

  • Gators
  • Gamebirds
  • Gorillas
  • Guatemalans

and my favorites:

  • Grandview Grasshoppers
  • Grandview Gravity
  • Grandview Gravy - I once made up some cheerleader cheers* for the Grandview Gravy, whose mascot would be named "Lumpy."

The real purpose of this post is to consider the Tuttle (Oklahoma) Tigers, as I encountered a Tuttle Tiger at Cabella's last week. Nice nickname. Not overly cute. Fierce. Alliterative. But not good enough, reason being that "Tuttle" is such a spectacular name - a gift from the Mascot Gods.

"To whom much is given, much is expected." - Book of Matthew

When you're working with fabulous material, like "Tuttle," you don't want to mold a simple ashtray. Its a waste, and a kind of affront. Consider the memorable possibilities:

  • Tuttle Turtles
  • Tuttle Toddles - these would be weeblo-like mascots: "they wobble but they don't fall down." Students would don colored sumo suits on the sidelines. I think these would be undefeated mascots. No rival student, in a lion or tiger costume, could defeat a Tuttle Toddle in sideline combat. The gymnasium would be "The Toddle House."
  • Tuttle Tittles - these would be laughing creatures with expressive faces
  • Tuttle Tattles - good cheer-taunt possibilities: "Don't do wrong..." School Newspaper: "The Tattler."
  • Tuttle Puddles**
  • Tuttle Muddles - "Muddle through, boys!"
  • Tuttle Bubbles - children's bubble-blowers in the stands!

Even if you're allergic to whimsy, the point is:

How could you pass on Tuttle Turtles!?

Its natural, its memorable, and its catchy. Turtles would've been embraced by the entire town of Tuttle. You'd have turtle statues all over Tuttle; turtle figurines; climbable turtles in playgrounds; shoe-polish turtles in store windows. Tuttle would've reacted similar to Hutto, Texas, where beloved, smiling Hutto Hippos have come to represent the entire town.

In End Zone World(EZ World), it would be Tuttle Turtles.


I've also got a beef with the Buda (Texas) Eagles, who obviously should be:

the Buda Bellies

Another example of school officials shunning creative genius in favor of mundane mediocrity. Such a pity.


*Three cheerleader cheers for the Grandview Gravy:

1) Meat gravy
Cream gravy
Natural gravy too,
We're gonna ladle gravy
All over you.

2) You guys are so wimpy
You're gonna get a loss,
You guys are so wimpy
You must be a sauce.

3) Grease em
Give them gas,
Cream em
Soak em
Saturate their...quarterback.

One cheerleader cheer for the Grandview Gravity:

Think you're high and mighty?
Think you're pretty tall?
Here comes Gravity,
You're gonna take a fall.

Note: As mascots go, the Robinson (Texas) Rockets are well designed to defeat the Grandview Gravity. And vice verse, actually. Outstanding mascot matchup, if only.

**One cheerleader cheer for the Tuttle Puddles(this cheer recommended for girls' sporting events):

Manolo Blahnick, Jimmy Choo,
Espedrilles, spike heels, sandals too,
Luscious suede beauties you wear to a fete,
You can’t avoid the Puddles so they’re gonna get wet!

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