Mascots Most Loveable

The Indiana State mascot, Sycamore Sam, performs during the second round of the NCAA college basketball tournament. (AP)
The Indiana State mascot, Sycamore Sam, performs during the second round of the NCAA college basketball tournament. (AP)

The apparently indefatigable Dick Quinn, Director of Sports Information at Williams College, is gloating this week.

This is because Readers Digest has proclaimed that the Williams mascot, Purple Cow, is the nation's most loveable college mascot.

According to Reader's Digest, Purple Cow edged out the University of North Carolina's Fighting Pickle, the Blue Blob of Xavier University, and Peter the Anteater, which says "Zot!" while representing the University of California at Irvine.

What of Baby Owl, the second mascot of Temple University? Baby Owl was specifically created to be more "child friendly" than "Owl," which is neither a baby, nor, one assumes, especially friendly.

And what about Artie the Fighting Artichoke of Scottsdale Community College? Did Artie fail to get consideration because he represents a community college rather than a hotshot, big deal kind of place like Williams or U.N.C.?

Or maybe Artie was slighted because he's known as "the FIGHTING Artichoke." If so, The Fighting Okra, the unofficial mascot of Delta State University since the late 1980's was similarly handicapped.

Why still "unofficial," after all these years? I have no idea, just as I have no idea what would happen if the Fighting Artichoke, the Fighting Pickle, and the Fighting Okra were to have at one another some dark night in the desert or the swamp, though I suppose my money would be on the artichoke.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has a costumed mascot named Kasey the Kangaroo, which has to be at least as loveable and considerably less weird than Purple Cow. The same can perhaps be said of Cubby, the second mascot of Brown University…a young hat-wearing bear said to be - like Baby Owl - especially appealing to young children. Puddles the Duck, who represents the University of Oregon, might likewise prevail over the Williams entry in terms of lovability and failure to be weird. And if Purple Cow got points precisely for being unlikely, how'd she edge out Skitch the Sasquatch, mascot of the Community Colleges of Spokane?

And beyond that what of Sycamore Sam, allegedly a happy forest animal of no particular species, who is embraced - perhaps just for its ineffableness - by students at Indiana State? What, Mr. Purple Cow-celebrating Dick Quinn, of happy Sycamore Sam?

This program aired on April 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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