Ranking the 10 Worst Mascots in College Basketball
Mascots are a part of the whole game-day experience for college sports.
They are supposed to help create an emotionally-charged environment that gets the crowd going.
However, there are a handful of mascots that may come up short of creating passion and fervor among the home horde.
Here are the 10 worst college mascots in college basketball.
If you have never seen a list like this, be ready to be blown away at the nicknames and mascots that schools put forward as the representation of their institution.
10. Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens
The University of Delaware has a curious mascot. They are the Fightin’ Blue Hens. Ooooh, scary!
The school’s website provides the background behind the odd image for the school’s sporting programs. It says:
The name "Fightin' Blue Hens" has its origins in the Revolutionary War and has been used by University teams since 1911.
On December 9, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved that a military battalion be raised from the lower three counties along the Delaware River. Thus, the Delaware regiment was born--a group of eight companies representing New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.
The second company was from Kent County and commanded by Capt. John Caldwell, an owner of gamecocks. The troops often amused themselves by staging cockfights with a breed known as the Kent County Blue Hen, recognizable for its blue plumage.
The renown of these chickens spread rapidly during this time when cockfighting was a popular form of amusement, and the "Blue Hens' Chickens" developed quite a reputation for ferocity and fighting success.
It’s amazing with all of the attention and controversy that arose a few years ago with Michael Vick’s excursion through the world of dog fighting that no one took the U of D to task over YoUDee’s blood sport heritage.
The Fightin’ Blue Hens haven’t exactly been tearing up the Colonial Athletic Association. It’s been a long time since they won 20 games in a single season.
9. St. Peter's Peacocks
If you can believe it, St. Peter's University is the only D-1 basketball program whose mascot is a peacock (and for the women’s program, a peahen). Surprised? Anyone?
The school’s Wikipedia page states that:"Primarily, the land on which Saint Peter's now stands was once owned by a man named Michael Pauw, whose last name means 'peacock' in Dutch."
It also says, "At one point in the 1960s, live peacocks roamed the campus."
The school has only played three times in the NCAA tournament (1991, 1995 and 2011), and they are still looking for their first victory.
8. Iona Gaels
The Iona Gaels, just like the St. Peter’s Peacocks, come from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Is having two teams with funky mascots from your league a good thing?
The school’s athletic website states:
A Gael is anyone of Irish-Gaelic ancestry, consistent with the Irish tradition of Iona. The College was founded in 1940 by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, commonly known as the Irish Christian Brothers.
The Gael, which is depicted as a spunky character, provides Iona with a nickname consistent with the school motto, certa bonum certamen, (“fight a good fight”) and personifies strength.
Though I actually like the motto (the English version, that is), could someone in New Rochelle spring for a newly designed mascot uniform?
Am I the only one that thinks that Killian (the IC mascot’s name) is flat-out creepy?
Though the Gaels have had some decent success in the MAAC (eight regular season championships), they are only 1-10 in their NCAA appearances.
7. Stanford Cardinal
The Stanford Cardinal men's basketball program has had some good success on the hardwood over the years, but they have one of the most misspelled nicknames in D-1 sports.
More than a few people add an “s” to the end, thinking that the West Coast brainiac school image is a red-feathered bird. Wrong.
The school’s website sets the record straight:
Since 1981, Stanford has been known as the Cardinal. Stanford was known as the "Indians" from 1930-72. As for the mascot, Stanford does not officially have one. The "Tree," which is a member of the Stanford Band, has been mistaken as the school’s mascot, but it is not.
The nickname for Stanford is the Cardinal – in reference to one of the school colors (and is therefore in the singular)
There is no official mascot at Stanford University. The "Tree," which is a member of the Stanford Band, is representative of El Palo Alto, the Redwood tree which is the logo of the city of Palo Alto. Since Stanford University and Palo Alto are almost inextricably intertwined in interests and location, it is a natural outgrowth of this relationship. The tree still exists and stands by the railroad bridge beside San Francisquito Creek – it is the site where early explorers first camped when settling the area.
If you ask me (and I don’t think anyone is), this is way more complex and confusing than it should be.
6. Stetson Hatters
Stetson's men's basketball program hasn’t been relevant in a long time. The last time the Hatters made it to the NCAA tournament was 1971.
Just last year, the school decided to go a different direction for their mascot.
West Volusia Beacon’s Jen Horton said that the central Florida school retired their Mad Hatter mascot. She quoted Ricky Hazel, assistant director of communications in the athletic department, who said, "The mascot we had was not very kid-friendly. In fact, it was kind of scary looking."
The Stetson University Today described the previous Mad Hatter this way: "The last version, a Mad Hatter with a crazy “Doc Brown” hair-style and giant teeth, was rumored to have scared children, and stopped making public appearances 10 years ago."
Enter John B, the Stetson’s new mascot.
While he may be a mascot families can love, does he get the fans excited and motivated for some intense hoops action? It’s my guess that John B will not get ‘em going in central Florida.
At least, it looks like John B is popular with the co-eds.
5. Pennsylvania Quakers
It is commonly assumed that the school must have had some religious affiliation in its beginning years (Count me as one who has made that assumption). Not true.
Penn’s archives director, Mark Frazier Lloyd said:
The nickname “Penn Quakers” was actually born through sports writing in Philadelphia in the 1880s and 1890s — just as the title “Ivy League” has its origins in New York sports writing half a century later.
Philly was known as the “Quaker city,” so “it was natural for sports writers to call the Penn athletic teams the Quakers.
Without having an original connection with the Society of Friends, it makes no sense for Penn to have this nickname and this mascot.
To make matters worse, their mascot uniform is a pale-skinned, goofy-looking geek.
4. Manhattan Jaspers
Is there any other D-1 basketball program that is named after a 19th century Catholic priest? I sincerely doubt it.
Manhattan College’s nickname came from Brother Jasper, who served at the college
This is the actual photo that the official college website provides in explaining "What is a Jasper?"
I have nothing against Brother Jasper or the great work that he did for the students that were attending MC at the time. But I am totally surprised that this has not been modernized in recent years.
3. Cal-Irvine Anteaters
Cal-Irvine has never celebrated on Selection Sunday. They are waiting to make their first NCAA tournament appearance.
Is it possible that the student body jinxed the athletic department when, almost 50 years ago, they voted to make the anteater the school’s mascot?
One of the strange parts about this is that, other than at a zoo, you would not find an anteater anywhere near the campus (or anywhere else in the United States).
Peter the Anteater is looking pretty buff these days, but I do not think that anyone is saying, "Hey, check out the guns on that anteater!"
2. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Mascot names should not have to be googled.
The Coastal Carolina hoops program may have the most unique mascot in the country, but…does anyone know what a “chanticleer” is? If you did, you are amazing (or lying).
It is no surprise that the school’s website devotes a lengthy page to What exactly is a Chanticleer?
It says: "The proper pronunciation is SHON-ti-clear. You may also hear Coastal's athletic teams referred to as Chants (SHONTS) to shorten the Chanticleer nickname."
It also says:
Chanticleer comes from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. More specifically, he comes from the Nun's Priest Tale, a story within Canterbury Tales. The Chanticleer is a proud and fierce rooster who dominates the barnyard.
A prior institutional connection with the University of South Carolina, whose nickname is the Gamecocks, had some influence on the selection of the current handle.
Even still, just like other mascots/nicknames on this list, this is way too obscure and odd!
1. Presbyterian Blue Hose
Presbyterian College has only been playing D-1 athletics for fewer than 10 years. They have averaged fewer than 10 wins per season.
When I first heard the nickname for the 1,300-enrollment school from Clinton, SC, I could not believe it. The Blue Hose?
Before figuring out what it really meant, my mind went to a cobalt garden device. My son suggested something about a group of Smurf prostitutes.
I know that there are two major league teams that are named “Red Sox” and “White Sox.” But I think that a school that is named after blue stockings is absolutely ridiculous.
And, while the name “Blue Hose” is related to fierce Scottish warriors, playing on a team named after stockings is absurd.