Every college basketball fan naturally thinks that his or her team’s mascot is the best, but, with apologies to the Anteaters and Golden Gophers of the world, not all mascots are created equal. Some do a much better job than others of looking like an impressive symbol of a team’s power and confidence rather than the star of a video that teaches three-year-olds to share.
Pittsburgh’s Roc the Panther is a prime instance of the former category. He avoids looking either too cheerful or too stylized, keeping the attention where it belongs: on a carnivorous animal who may or may not have had lunch before the game.
Read on for a look at Roc’s place among the country’s top 20 mascots. Among the keys to doing well in these rankings: actually looking like the animal/person being represented and looking imposing rather than creepy or laughable.