Fine, Fit, and Famous: The Best Animal Mascots of All Time

animal mascotsA mascot is “a person or thing that’s supposed to bring good luck or that is used to symbolize a particular event or organization.” Indeed, mascots help fans and community members connect, share in, and promote a team’s excellent sportsmanship – or at least their participation and dedication.

Modern day athletics wouldn’t be the same without the elevation of certain mascots. Many are part of historically-steeped traditions that continue to rile up crowds and sow enthusiasm. While there are numerous fantastical mascots across the nation, there are lots of live animal mascots that truly inspire the masses.

Safety First

Most college mascots are actually people dressed in furry, felted, or feathered costumes. For safety’s sake or the lack of a historical tradition that includes live animal mascots, the few college football teams with real mascots continue to help sell tickets and associated merchandising.

Plus, with live animal mascots, there are always possible hijinks in store…

Great Distractions

Animal mascots can be incredibly inspiring and entertaining. Take, for example, any of the following greats:

  • Baylor Bears – Students voted in 1914 between the Baylor Bookworms, Antelopes, Frogs, or Ferrets, but the Bears came out victorious. Named after the wives of two former university presidents, the current bears enjoy life in their own habitat on campus and are part of a long line of bears that have called Baylor home.
  • University of Washington – The Huskies boast both human and animal mascots. “Dubs” is actually an Alaskan malamute that leads the football team onto the field. In his off-time, he’s cared for by students on campus.
  • Bevo – At the University of Texas in Austin, Bevo is a well-known longhorn steer. Have you ever heard the phrase “hook ‘em horns?” That’s Bevo!
  • Cam – Colorado State has touted this fabulous domesticated breed of sheep (known as a rambouillet) since 1946. He leads the charge onto the football field and patrols the sidelines during the games.
  • Freedom – While the Georgia Southern Eagles have a dressed up human mascot, they also give a majestic American bald eagle her due. She soars above the crowds before meeting her handler in the middle of the field.
  • University of Georgia – Who can resist an English bulldog? Uga hangs out on large bags of ice during the super-hot games, but he does occasionally sniff out the sidelines of the Dawgs.
  • Handsome Dan – Speaking of bulldogs, Yale University has enjoyed a storied history with one lasting over 120 years. Originally purchased in 1889, Handsome Dan became collateral in battles between Yale and Harvard.
  • Texas Aggies – There have been numerous incarnations of “Reveille” that go all the way back to 1931. Reveille IX reigns as the queen of Texas A&M and is the cutest collie ever to root on her team.

Animal Mascots for All Ages

As long as animal mascots are well-cared for and supported by their fans and surrounding communities, they deserve a place in our hearts and minds. They certainly make games more fun!

If you have any questions about animal mascots (or have a few to add to our list) feel free to let us know. Until then, find your own favorite team and root them on to the playoffs!