BIZARRE Sports Weird


Mascots have been in use since the early 1900s, when the Chicago Cubs brought a taxidermied bear to the field with them. In the intervening century, they’ve moved away from actual corpses and toward dudes in stuffy, bad-smelling costumes capering on the sidelines to draw fan attention and build morale. Some mascots are legendary — the Philly Phanatic, Mr. Met — while other are less so. In this piece, we’ll travel the world of sports to spotlight the ten most insane mascots we’ve ever seen.

The Mean Machine
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
Often times, schools get inspiration from their local wildlife for a mascot. Camas, Washington, is in the middle of lumber country, but instead of picking a beaver or a bobcat, they went a little more literal. Meet the Camas Mean Machine, an anthropomorphic paper rolling device. The Georgia Pacific paper mill employed a huge percentage of the town’s adults, so their kids obviously wanted to give back a little bit. The design of the costume is pretty amazing, and you’d think that an opposing mascot could get pretty viciously mangled if it got stuck in those rollers.

The Eutetic
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
Smaller colleges often have a little more leeway in picking a mascot, but perhaps someone should have reined in the St. Louis College of Pharmacy before they put the Eutetic out there. What the hell is a “eutetic,” you might ask? Don’t feel bad—so did we. As it turns out, it’s a Latin term meaning the process of combining two solids to form a liquid. The name was adopted by the school in 1993 and they soon came up with a mascot for it, which for some reason is a shaggy yellow ogre in a lab coat.

Monty The Biscuit
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
It’s tough to come up with a gimmick for a minor league baseball team when all the good names are taken. When Montgomery, Alabama, got their new team, the owners opened it up to local fans to come up with one. The final result was the Biscuits. The staple starch of Southern food is flaky and delicious, and the team’s anthropomorphic biscuit Monty has an entire documentary about him. At games, he’s often joined by a pot belly pig named Miss Gravy. Now that’s a team up we can get behind.

The Billiken
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
Most of these mascots are obviously modeled on real-world creatures, but every once in a while you get a real curveball. Here’s the St. Louis University Billiken, a white-faced elfin creature that doesn’t look like anything. But in the early days of the 20th century, this little bastard was unavoidable. Created by an art teacher named Florence Pretz, the Billiken was a pop culture sensation, and when a student noticed the resemblance between it and football coach John Bender, it became linked to the college’s athletic program.

Sammy The Banana Slug
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
U.C. Santa Cruz is a funny little college nestled on the Northern California coastline with a very laid-back approach to athletics. The school’s philosophy has always been that sports are for everybody, not just jocks. When it came time to pick a mascot, they deliberately went for one that was as harmless as possible: thebanana slug. These yellow invertebrates can grow to almost ten inches long and are native to North America. In 1980, administration tried to introduce the sea lion, a more serious mascot, as an alternate, but the students resoundingly rejected it.

Speedy The Geoduck
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
Evergreen State College, located in Olympia, Washington, is a very nontraditional place of learning. So it’s not surprising that they have a seriously weird mascot. Pronounced “gooey duck,” it’s not a waterfowl covered in slime. Instead, it’s a sort of clam native to the Pacific Northwest that is famous for its enormous, phallic siphon that can stretch out as far as three feet from the shell. The mascot made its debut in 1971, shortly after the school adopted “Let It All Hang Out” as its unofficial motto. We told you the place was nontraditional.

The Criminal
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
There’s actually a good reason for Yuma, Arizona’s, Yuma Union High School mascot, being a criminal. When the school’s original buildings were destroyed in a fire, all of the students moved into the closed Yuma Territorial Prison for three years, with classes conducted in the cells. When the football team won the state championship that year, their angry rivals dubbed them the “Criminals” and the name stuck. They’ve come to embrace the moniker, and the school’s gates are actually made of recycled bars from the prison.

The Fighting Okra
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
Sports teams typically choose mascots that express some essential character trait like dedication, toughness or a propensity for violence. So what can you say about Delta State University’s Fighting Okra? When we think okra, the adjective that first comes to mind is “slimy.” The vegetable, common in Southern food, is definitely an acquired taste. The Fighting Okra is actually the school’s second mascot. Originally, it was the Fighting Statesmen until student athletes complained that it wasn’t sufficiently intimidating. Obviously, their replacement choice wasn’t much better.

The Tree
weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
Sticking with the vegetable kingdom for a little bit, we come to the Stanford Tree. The school’s official mascot is the cardinal, but students really don’t give a rat’s ass about that bird. Instead, they throw their support behind the Tree, which has been redesigned every school year since its debut in 1975. As an unofficial mascot, the Tree can get away with all sorts of shenanigans, and the school’s rivalry with UC Berkeley has seen it in the middle of more than a few drunken brawls.

weird sports mascots, funny sports mascots
The Rhode Island School Of Design is weird even by art school standards. If you want to get in, you have to send them a drawing of a bicycle. So it only stands to reason that their unofficial mascot might be the strangest of all time. In 2001, the school launched a student competition to come up with a character to encourage their ramshackle sports teams, and the winner was “Scrotie,” an anthropomorphic penis and balls. The costume has gone through several iterations, with the current model a distressingly realistic six-foot dong wearing a red cape.




a design school’s football team was never going to win.

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