I struggled mightily to find a greeting card at the store for this landmark holiday, but I had no luck. Hopefully this blog will do.
Today is National Mascot Day, which "celebrates the fun, sometimes feathery or furry creatures who entertain us at stadiums", says the Washington Post, and a day that is near and dear to our hearts (not until I found out about this holiday two hours ago) given our affinity for mascots, mascot designs, mascot personalities and what they mean to their respective institutions.
College mascots are so much more unique than professional mascots; more often than not the college's mascot has a more personal feel to it, often rooted in state history or geography rather than a random fierce animal (for the most part). For example, pulling from our own licenses, Grand Valley State's mascot, Louie the Laker, is a tough guy sailor with anchors tattooed on his arms; it makes perfect sense given the Great Lakes that surround his campus and his students.
College athletics have so many great mascots, and I wanted to highlight some of our very best mascot themed products for you here.
Joy & Lady, Baylor. Baylor has an actual bear conservation habitat on their campus that is natural to American black bears and been in operation for over 100 years. While we don't have any Joy & Lady specific apparel, we do have a pretty sweet bear design on a t-shirt, cornhole board, and car decal. For being such terrifying animals that could rip me apart like a newspaper, they sure are cute.
Freddie & Frieda Falcon, Bowling Green. Similar to Baylor, while we don't have any Freddie or Freida specific apparel, both styles of Bowling Green t-shirts are some of our best selling products storewide. The name 'Falcons' was chosen just about a century ago by a sportswriter who liked that Falcons were fierce, fast, and unafriad to attack predators larger than they.
Blue IV, Butler. Butler is one of the many bulldog schools that uses a live bulldog at athletic events and let me tell you, Blue IV is the goodest of boys. Virtually our whole Butler collection has a bulldog head on it, because why wouldn't you want a mascot like that in your closet?
Oski, California Berkeley. Cal used to use a live mascot like Butler, but as you can imagine, Bears are slightly more difficult to wrangle than a bulldog. We have a few Golden Bear products in our store, but the Vintage Bear car decal is far and away my favorite product that we sell.
Magnus, Cleveland State. I want to see Magnus and Scotty in a fight and see who wins. Bearded, brawny, and outfitted with a sweet Viking helmet, Magnus is all set for Valhalla. We have a few great car decals with Magnus on them, too.
Billy, Creighton. What a great name for a bluejay. And this fella can't look much happier, either, so Creighton is winning on both accounts here. Like Butler, we don't have any Billy specific apparel, but part of the Creighton brand is the Bluejay mascot so they're relatively hand in hand.
DIBS, DePaul. DIBS is actually an acronym for Demon in a Blue Suit. They hit 'demon' on square on the head, I'll leave it at that.
Brutus, Ferris State. You can't think of Ferris State without their iconic logo, right? Unfortunately, they do not have a live bulldog mascot on site at athletic events, but I think it's definitely worth exploring.
Louie, Grand Valley State. Although we only have two Louie items in our store (hopefully more on the way), I want you to know that Louie has his own page on the GVSU staff directory website. I love it.
Shasta, Houston. Like Baylor, Houston has a live mascot at the Houston Zoo named Shasta, the sixth in the line of live mascots for UH. In 2007, the Oregon Duck and Shasta got into a fight and the Duck...took things a little too far.
Sparty, MSU. You all know Sparty. He's no stranger to us, either.
Grizz, Oakland University. When Oakland made the move from Division II to Division I athletics, they changed their name from the Pioneers to the Golden Grizzlies. I like to think that Grizz is good friends with Joy & Lady from Baylor despite their distance. They've got a great logo indeed.
Gators, San Francisco State. SF State doesn't have a character mascot of any sort, but a student journalist made the pun of the school being the "Golden Gaters", but the animal stuck instead. Just incredible wordplay and some pretty solid products here too.
D'Artagnan, Xavier. Second to the Cal vintage bear, Xavier's D'Artagnan is an incredible design; my hat is off to the creative designer who came up with the concept. We only have one D'Artagnan product currently, but I am hoping to create some more because it is so classic to me.
Header photo credit: Bill Streicher