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Mascot, anyone?

Every so often someone revisits this story, because it's a hardy perennial that never goes out of style, on account of ... well, on account of the fact that Indiana University never seems to get around to making it go out of style.

Basically, the gist is this: All the cool schools have a mascot, even those engineering geeks at Purdue. How come we don't?

The ready and obvious answer is that when you call yourselves "Hoosiers," nothing good can come out of it, mascot-wise. The etymology of "Hoosier," after all, is cloaked in derision; it's what everyone called people from Indiana way back when, and the essential meaning, as nearly as linguists have been able to determine, was something along the lines of "ignorant bumpkins."

Well, we've certainly got our share of those -- most of whom reside in our Statehouse, judging from some of the bills and amendments they've been nitwit-ting into law these days.

Trouble is, "ignorant bumpkin" isn't the sort of image you want as a mascot. An 8-foot pair of overalls topped by the giant papier-mache head of the toothless stump-jumper from "Deliverance" ... well. You can just guess what SportsCenter would do with that.

So what's your mascot, then, if you're the Hoosiers?

Fortunately the Blob has a few suggestions:

  • An 8-foot breaded tenderloin sandwich. Timmy the Tenderloin. Tenderloin Ted. Something. I mean, what says "Indiana" like a giant breaded tenderloin?
  • An 8-foot quarterback topped by the giant papier-mache head of Harry Gonso. On account of, well, Indiana football can always use a little Harry Gonso.
  • An 8-foot likeness of Bob Knight, complete with giant papier-mache head of Himself. And just to one-up Purdue, which has that steam-chuffing locomotive, smoke could periodically come out of the giant papier-mache head's ears, if only to lend a little historical accuracy to the thing.
  • An 8-foot cardinal, the state bir-- oh, wait. Ball State beat 'em to it.
  • An 8-foot rose. Just for the irony of it.
  • Last but not least, and this is semi-serious, an 8-foot papier-mache chunk of limestone with big googly eyes and cartoon glove-hands, because half the campus is built from good solid southern Indiana limestone. You could call him "Limey." Or you could add two smaller papier-mache chunks and call them, collectively, "Larry, Darryl and Darryl." Or just call him "Stoner."
OK. So the last is probably out.

Ben Smith's blog.

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