There's something about the way mascots are designed that just makes my skin crawl. The beefy muscles, the small waist, and everything usually tucked into basketball shorts or jeans or something. Have you seen Smokey the Bear lately? He's KILLING me. He's morphed into some sort of angry Uncle Sam/Top Gun Volleyball Scene hybrid that I find disturbing.
And then there's the way they act when doing their mascotly duties--fist pumping, gesturing, urging the crowd to "make some noise" but doing it like he'll freaking kill you if you don't. You know what I mean:
That pooch just seems like a bad dude. Not good bad, you know, BAD bad.
Apparently the Jazz Bear is quite famous, as far as mascots go. Awesome. Way to go, Utah. As if we don't have enough explaining to do, let's add the antics of a crazyangry bear to the list.
What? I'm adorable!
I know what you're thinking. Where is this coming from? I thought the same thing when my hate for these things filled me so quickly today. And I realized where it's coming from.
Doesn't it all start there?
Davis High is many things, but revered for its mascot is not one of them. Memorable, yes. Being taken seriously as a competitive threat? Not so much. I mean, we're no Beet Diggers or Farmers or any of these but...we're darts. Darts are small. They're inanimate objects, which probably violates the first rule of mascot selection.
I feel I'm headed for some serious Dart-lover backlash, so I'll hopefully avoid that by saying I loved my high school. I didn't mind being a dart, and I don't even mind the colors. Like I've always said to anyone who tries to poke fun, "...it grows on you." Brown and gold forever!
However, there was something truly embarrassing about mascothood at Davis: Dartman. I would hate for him to read this because I really don't mean it as a slight against him. It wasn't his fault! Our school's lack of funding, energy, desire, pity or whatever for our mascot left him without a real costume--you know, the cartoon-ized, puffy types shown above. Instead he just dressed sort of like a gladiator. From K-Mart. I imagine it's hard work to inspire a crowd when you just have some spandex and a cape on.
And then there was Dartwoman.
All I will say about that is this: In the litany of women's liberation milestones, let the brief existence of Dartwoman stand as a shining example of the female struggle. Sufferage, Roe v. Wade, blah blah, Dartwoman.
But my real issue with the Davis mascot was a much more personal encounter. I was part of this, ahem, team of sorts. We helped with school spirit, you might say. Well, one day our coach decided that we needed to join forces with Dartman. I'm not sure why she felt we'd be some sort of unstoppable means of sideline distraction, but our "joining forces" meant two things: We had to hang out with Dartman; and I, specifically, had to do stunts with Dartman. Alone. That's what I got for being small.
As if parading around in a tiny skirt and yelling stuff (adorably) at people isn't enough humiliation, just picture yours truly perched precariously atop an untrained gladiator's shaky arms. He was a one-man show and that was working fine for everyone until I entered the scene and awkwardly fulfilled my co-mascot duty.
Nothing personal, Dartman. I just think there are more convincing duos than the two of us. Perhaps Dartman lifting Dartwoman overhead would have been nice. Or you in a real costume and me with a disguise. The possibilities are endless.
Anyway, bygones. That was 10 years ago. I'm totally over it.
But I still kinda wish we were the Davis Raptors. I could really get into that.