What’s in a name? For some mascots, it means a lot of head-scratching fans.
While wise organizations pick something tough or inspiring, others go in a different direction. Whether it hinders or grows merchandise sales, many fans don’t know team mascot origins.
Below are five strange team mascots you can find in the American college basketball circuit. If you have any others, we would love to read them.
Arizona Sun Devils
The state of Arizona is home to countless myths, legends, and superstitions. However, it seems as if they chose a mascot at random.
Despite all the supernatural tales they could have drawn from, they chose the Sun Devil. It is less of a demon surviving on sunlight, but a literal interpretation.
To make things more confusing, the mascot’s name is Sparky the Sun Devil. If that isn’t strange enough, he’s rumored to have Walt Disney’s face.
According to the official website, Sparky is an imp, which, again, is not a demon. To add a layer of confusion, Sparky holds a trident instead of a pitchfork.
Dartmouth’s Keggy the Keg
Dartmouth is among the oldest and also one of the most well-respected colleges in the nation. Their unofficial mascot, however, seems to have come from the frat houses nearby.
While known as the Big Green, Dartmouth doesn’t have an official mascot. Therefore, one tailgating party too many has led to this infamous stand-in.
Not even the student body is entirely onboard because of ongoing party reputations. Many have embraced the creepy anthropomorphic keg and its terrifying opened maw.
It’s essential not to hang around Keggy too long, especially when driving. The last thing you want to do is to look for a bail bonds agent later.
What are “hoyas,” you ask? We would love to tell you, but we aren’t sure.
Apparently, the more well-read students combined a Latin and Greek phrase. Their battle cry, Hoya Saxa, translates to “what rocks.”
I’m assuming that is more rock and roll and not a box of random stones. Hoyas are also evergreen bushes, which is much less intimidating.
Saint Louis University Billikens
No, Billikens is not the protagonist from Lord of the Rings. In fact, few would know what a Billiken is in a college setting.
Billikens are allegedly good luck spirits, which also look like imps. Apparently, Billikens are well-known in other parts of the world, just not Saint Louis.
While this seems harmless enough, the mascot came to its creator in a dream. One that probably led to the artist screaming in a cold sweat.
North Carolina Tar Heels
We all have heard of the Tar Heels, yet few know why. It’s only rumor is an old legend involving a hungry goat.
While crossing a tar pit, the goat got stuck. Rather than succumbing, he pushed forward towards food.
That’s literally the end of it. It’s a children’s story about a goat that followed its stomach.