College football season is finally here. From tailgate parties to marching bands, few events can compare to the pageantry and pastimes that happen every Saturday on campuses across the country. For many fans, their school’s mascot is one of their favorite traditions and often this mascot becomes more beloved than some family members. Let’s look at some of the more interesting college football mascot facts.
Eagles, Tigers, and Bulldogs, Oh My!
In the United States, 76 four-year institutions are symbolized by the Eagle… coincidence? There are also 46 Tigers, 40 Bulldogs, and 33 Panthers across the country. Knights, Lions, Bears, Hawks, Pioneers, Cougars, Warriors, and Wildcats round out the top 10 most common mascots in America.
Handsome Dan – Yale University Bulldogs
Purchased for $5 in 1889, Yale’s “Handsome Dan” is credited as the first live college mascot. Like the Pope, the current mascot, Handsome Dan XVII, earned his title upon the passing or retirement of his successor and is selected based on his tolerance of marching bands and children and dislike for Harvard’s crimson color and all tigers, just in case they are from Princeton. It has been rumored that Handsome Dan VI passed away from shame in 1949 after watching Yale lose to both Harvard and Princeton.
Let The Students Vote, What Could Go Wrong?
Let’s hear it for democracy! Remember Boaty McBoatface, the recent online poll winner to name a British research vessel? Shenanigans like this are surprisingly common in college football. Turning 30 in 2016, the University of California Santa Cruz Banana Slug became more famous after John Travolta wore a UCSC t-shirt featuring the mascot in Pulp Fiction. Everyone loves Evergreen State College’s Geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck), the Scottsdale Community College’s Fighting Artichokes were a compromise between the administration and the students, but Dartmouth’s Keggy the Keg has earned flat reviews from the dean’s office.
What’s your favorite college mascot, Trivia Players? Leave us a note in the comments!