Five College Mascots Who Would Be Great Superheroes (or Supervillains)
ESPN kicked off this year's college football season with a series of posters designed by Marvel artists depicting college mascots squaring off in comic book cover inspired poses. Like comic book superheroes, college mascots are colorful characters who dress up in garish outfits and hope to vanquish their enemy in battle...or at least a dance-off during halftime.
There are a ton of weird and wild mascots, ranging from walking nuts to talking trees pulled straight out of Middle-Earth. But which ones would work best in a superhero universe? We've scoured through every mascot in college football and picked the ones who'd most likely be able to thrive in the Marvel or DC universes.
Rufus the Bobcat (Ohio University)
Rufus the Bobcat was just a mild-mannered college student at a small college in the backwoods of Ohio until a magic amulet embued him with the proportional speed, strength and fur of a bobcat.
The mascot of Ohio University, Rufus is one of at least eight bobcat college mascots in college football. So what separates Rufus from the other bobcat mascots prowling on college campuses? Well, he typically charges onto the field riding a motorcycle. He also has a little bit of experience in fighting crime.
In 2010, Rufus made national headlines when he tackled Brutus Buckeye, the mascot of Ohio State University. Rufus tackled Brutus as the nutty mascot ran down the field before an Ohio State/Ohio University game. Rufus not only left Ohio Stadium as the only victorious Ohio University representative (the football team lost to OSU 43-7), he also enjoyed a bit of celebrity fame as the incident quickly went viral.
Rufus (or at least the guy playing him) was harshly punished by Ohio University, but in his defense, Rufus just saw a guy running in a striped outfit and assumed he was an escaped criminal.prevnext
The TCU Superfrog is supposed to be a horned frog, a small lizard commonly found in Texas and other parts of the United States. Clearly, the SuperFrog stepped into a canister of mutagenic ooze or something, because it resembles either a monster working for Rita Repulsa or one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's hornier relatives.
If the SuperFrog is indeed a horned frog, then it's probably equipped with the same strange abilities as its smaller namesake. The horned frog, when threatened, can shoot streams of blood from its eyes at predators from a distance of four feet. If that's what a five inch lizard can do, the SuperFrog can probably launch blood out of its eyes with jet spray forces from across a football field.
It's hard to peg whether SuperFrog would be friend or foe in a superhero world. On the one hand, it's name is SuperFrog, which implies it's a hero. However, it shoots jets of blood out of its eyes, which is about as much of a supervillain power as I've ever heard.prevnext
Delta State's Fighting Okra
The Fighting Okra is the weird unofficial mascot of Delta State University, a small college in Mississipi. This menacing fruit looks like it was pulled straight out of a Marvel monster comic. With its empty eyes and long nose, the Okra resembles a classic Jack Kirby creation, only with incredibly furry eyebrows.
The Okra was chosen by the student body to replace the official mascot, a Statesman, because students didn't think their opponents would be frightened of an elected official. (Clearly, the students weren't expecting who'd be running for president in 2016!) Students picked the okra as a replacement because it fit all the characteristics of a proper mascot. It was mean, green, fuzzy, and tough, and also happened to have high nutritious value. It's also looks insanely frightening, especially because it's wearing a pair of boxing gloves.
While the Okra looks like a supervillain, we've noticed that it developed a kinship with Mr. Statesman, the school's other mascot. Mr. Statesman and the Okra sounds like a fantastic comic book title, so we hope that the two are fighting crime when they're not cheering on Delta State's sports teams.prevnext
The Mountaineer (West Virginia University)
West Virginia's mountain man mascot has been a fixture at WVU games for over 80 years. Decked in deerskins and carrying a long musket, the Mountaineer is a symbol of the frontier spirit around which the state of West Virginia was founded.
But a coonskin cap isn't what makes the WVU Mountaineer unique. The Mountaineer is chosen by the Mountain, the school's secret honorary which (presumably) meets inside of a secret mountain lair. The Mountain chooses the Mountaineer by putting applicants through a series of trials, which includes interviews and a live tryout in front of a crowd.
The new mascot then spends the rest of the fall and winter following around the old Mountaineer, learning the secret Mountaineer ways before officially assuming the mantle in the spring.
So basically we've got a guy who dresses up in an outdated costume and is part of a legacy that dates back to the 1930s. Sounds like the Mountaineer would be right at home inside a DC comic book.prevnext
The Masked Rider (Texas Tech)
Texas Tech University has a real life superhero as a mascot. The Masked Rider is a Zorro-esque caped figure who rides out onto the football field before every game on a jet black horse. Wearing a gaucho cap and a mask, the Masked Rider is dressed entirely in black except for his (or her) bright scarlet cape.
The Masked Rider got its start in the 1930s, when a student mysteriously rode in and out of the football stadium during a game as a prank. When Texas Tech decided on a mascot in the 1950s, the school revealed the Masked Rider to its fanbase during a bowl game. According to reports, the crowd first sat in stunned silence as the Masked Rider and his faithful steed sprinted across the field and then erupted into a mighty roar.
If the Masked Rider's costume wasn't enough of a reason to include him on the list, he originally went by a different name more familiar to comic book fans. Texas Tech originally called its mascot the Ghost Rider before deciding upon a more generic name.prev