Monday, February 25, 2013

My Little Brother Ranks the Pac-12 Mascots

My 16-year-old brother Ethan is awesome. He has a 4.0 GPA, is so fluent in Spanish that he speaks better than his teachers, and can play just about any song on the guitar.

Ethan & I at da beach
But being awesome is about the only thing E and I have in common; I'm actually amazed that we get along as well as we do. Some regular topics of conversation with Ethan include: his goal to look and act just like Edward Cullen, complaining that they don't sell his favorite skinny jeans at H&M anymore, and asking, "Have you heard of [some screamo band]?" And while it's widely known that other members of our family (mostly me, but also my dad) care too much about sports, Ethan could not care less. Just a few examples...

[During the Super Bowl] E: "...That's LaMichael James?!"
Me: "Yes."
E: "What?! I thought he played for the Ducks!"
Me: "He got drafted a year ago."
E: "What does that mean?"
Me: *facepalm*

[Watching a commercial] E: "...Who's that guy?"
E: "...Who?"
Me: *facepalm*

Me: "Hey, you should watch the Stanford game with me tonight!"
E: "No, I'm gonna go see Twilight again with my friends."
Me: *facepalm*

You get the point.

I'm not a huge college hoops fan, but I do enjoy watching everyone foam at the mouth over their brackets every year. The other day at the gym a Syracuse game was on TV, and I caught a terrifying glimpse of the mascot, Otto the Orange. I've never really understood what the creators of college mascots were going for: are these guys supposed to be endearing or ferocious? Accurate representations of natural creatures, or cutesy cartoons? Whatever they're shooting for, most mascots just come across as either so far-off that they're in a plush fantasy world of their own, or so close to actually looking real (especially in the case of human mascots) that they're unsettling.

As March Madness gets closer, I've been thinking about how nonsensically crazy-creepy college mascots are even to people who "get" sports, so how crazy-creepy must they be to those on the outside, living in worlds where it doesn't matter who the NFC North champion is? I decided to get Ethan's reaction to the mascots of my dear Pacific-12 conference and have him rank them from best to worst.

12. The Stanford Tree

The Shrub
The Tree

E: "What the...?"
Me: "Their mascot is technically the Cardinal, but that's a color, so the band made the Tree."
E: "That's so retarded. Why don't they just get a new mascot?"
Me: "Some seasons they have a Shrub."

11. USC Trojan

Notre Dame v USC

E: "One word: GAAYYY"

10. Utah Utes, "Swoop"


E: "...Isn't the 'swoop' the Nike symbol? What is that?"
Me: "No, you're thinking of the 'swoosh.' And that's an eagle."
E: "...Why? I thought they were the Utes? [groans]"

9. UCLA Bruins, "Joe Bruin"


E: "That's just a bear. What is a bruin supposed to be?"
Me: "A baby bear, I think."
E: "Well shouldn't they be the Cubs? Baby bears are cubs. That doesn't make sense."

8. ASU Sun Devils, "Sparky"


E: "That guy just looks like a douche. Also, is he wearing a leotard?"

7. WSU Cougar


E: "He looks drunk. Like, all the time."

6. Arizona Wildcat


E: "You can tell he's a smoker, just look at his teeth. Is that a pirate hat?"

5. OSU, Benny Beaver


E: "...Is their mascot a nerd?"
Me: "No, it's a beaver."
E: "Oh! I thought it was a nerd. Because of the buck teeth."

4. Cal Bears, "Oski"


E: "[immediately bursts into laughter, says nothing]"

3. Washington Husky


E: "Awww, he's cute."
Me: "What about the human version?"
E: "It looks...real, but like in a bad way. The eyebrows are so...bushy."

2. Colorado Buffalo, "Ralphie"


E: "That doesn't even look like a buffalo. It looks like a monkey with horns."
Me: "To be fair, they have a live one too."
E: "I guess that's pretty cool."

1. Oregon Duck


E: "GOOO DUCKS!" (he said this exactly like the LTD guy)

Even though my brother doesn't care about sports, he's not guess is he chose the Ducks for first place because he assumed I would hurt him if he didn't.

Personally? I would've picked the buffalo. SO badass.

1 comment:

  1. My two favorite parts:

    E: "That guy just looks like a douche. Also, is he wearing a leotard?"

    E: "You can tell he's a smoker, just look at his teeth.

    He is a genius! Gosh. I think the Beaver looks like a nerd now too. Love your blog!