As some of you know, this space last week was used to get up close and personal with some of the mascots we’re used to seeing in the SEC. We’re pleased to present today part II of that illustrious series, soon to be released in limited engagement as part of Ken Burns’ documentary “SEC Mascots: Today, Tomorrow, Forever.”
Team: University of Florida
Mascot: Albert and Alberta Gator
Long the mascot and number one suspect in a string of missing Jack Russell terriers in rural areas of the Sunshine State, Albert the Alligator exhibits distinctly mammalian qualities: fur, opposable thumbs, and a sweater. In 1986, when UF athletic department top brass detected a noticeable downward spiral in Albert’s behavior, which culminated in the reptile’s messy attempted impregnation of an assistant coach’s faux leather jacket, the school brought in Alberta — a female counterpart. Sadly, the two have since been unable to consummate their union as there are no zippers on their costumes.
Pros: Two sets of eyelids
Cons: Eats people.
Fun Fact: In 2007, Sports Illustrated ranked Albert number one in their “Mascot Power Rankings,” and he recently greenlit Meryl Streep’s “A Question of Mercy” for Paramount Pictures.
Team: The University of Kentucky
Mascot: I.: “The Wildcat”, II.: “Scratch”
If you’ve never seen a wildcat wearing a sparkly sequined jacket with tails before, you’ve obviously never been to a University of Kentucky basketball game or come face to face with your own mortality in an Arizona plains sweat lodge while pumped to the gills with peyote. UK’s original, nondescript mascot has long been a fan favorite, known only as “The Wildcat.” His partner in crime, the latter-added and loved-by-children “Scratch,” is more civilized, donning a fashionable hat. This, of course, means that when it rains, Scratch’s head becomes significantly less wet. This has been a long time point of contention for “The Wildcat,” to no avail with his higher-ups.
Fun Fact: “The Wildcat” was adopted in 1976 after being rescued from a home occupied by an old woman possessing 47 people dressed as cats.
Team: University of Arkansas
Mascot: The Razorbacks
Perhaps one of the only Division I schools to have an entire family functioning as a mascot, the Razorbacks consist of “Big Red,” the adult male, “Sue E,” the adult female, and “Pork Chop,” their child. The latter is currently at the center of a vicious and well-publicized custody battle, the details of which have revealed Sue’s longtime affair with Boss Hogg, the nine-foot inflatable mascot introduced by the university during the 1998-99 football season.
Pros: Brings home the BACON!
Cons: Is a real BOAR!
Fun Fact: Many Arkansas fans wear hats fashioned to look like a razorback head. These people are, largely, too old to look this ridiculous.
Team: University of Tennessee
Volunteer fans didn’t have to look around much to figure out what their mascot should be when they settled on the Bluetick Hound, which narrowly beat out “rabid bat” and “possum living in the attic.” It should be noted that the University is currently on “Smokey IX,” with Smokeys I-VIII meeting their demises at the hands of, respectively, a 1947 Hudson Pickup, a 1961 Dart, two Chevy Silverados, a Yukon Denali, a Pontiac Vibe and a Mayflower Moving Truck.
Pros: “Aww, he don’t bite.”
Cons: “Smokey! Git yer ass back in here!”
Fun Fact: Smokey spends his time off the field tied to the handle of a rusted 1973 Frigidaire in the front yard of the university.
There you go, folks…look for the final installment next week. Until then, enjoy the following two short films which, I feel, truly illustrate the ups and downs of being a child.
That is all.