Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ole Miss Shelves Mascot

From the Sept. 19, 2010, NY Times "Ole Miss Shelves Mascot Fraught With Baggage" by Robbie Burns.

The old mascot was a caricature of an antebellum Southern plantation owner and essentially a cross between Mark Twain and Col. Sanders. (Of course, plantation=slavery=slaves.)

Now, 12% of Old Miss' students are black and the symbol was viewed as having racial insensitivity.

The university dropped him as symbol back in 2003, but he continued everywhere on t-shirts, flags and even corkscrews. Also, Confederate flags are discouraged and "Dixie" is no longer the unofficial fight song.

This past summer, the school announced an official ban of the sell of anything with the image. The students had a vote to choose a new mascot in an attempt to recast the university whose image was tarnished in the 1960s racial strife.

However, the Colonel is not going off into the sunset without a fight. You see many tee-shirts inscribed "Colonel Reb--Loved by Many, hated by Few." A group of fans have formed the Colonel Reb Foundation and have gathered 2,000 signatures on a petition against a new mascot.

Right now, possible replacement mascots include a bear, lion, horse, land shark (the name of the football team's defensive line), and Toddy (derived from the school cheer).

I think the best new possibility is the pop-eyed fishy Admiral Ackbar, the leader of the rebellion's fleet in the attack on the second Death Star in "Star Wars." If you're going to be stupid, why not go all the way.

Big surprise, another attack on our heritage.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does. --Old B-Runner

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