7 Worst Mascots of the 2014 NCAA Tournament

March Madness is upon us, which is pretty much the Holy Grail of collegiate sporting events. And for millions of fans, it’s a chance to cheer on their favorite team. But for those of us who don’t follow college basketball during the regular season, there’s only one way to determine which team to support in the tournament: the mascot. And if that’s the only criteria, the following seven teams are in a lot of trouble.

Gonzaga Bulldogs – Spike the Bulldog

There was a time when Bull Dogs were actually considered fierce creatures. This was also a time when animal abuse was considered fun, and a time when you could buy and sell humans like cattle. We call this glorious period “the good old days.” Despite the name, it was pretty miserable.

In “the good old days,” bull dogs were used in the sport of Bull Baiting, a “game” in which they would grab a tethered bull by its nose and pin it to the ground (or die trying). However, in 1835, the practice was outlawed in England by some liberal pukes, and the Bull Dog began its slow, pitiful decline to the lap dog we know and hate today.

My cousin owns a Bull Dog. During the few hours a day when it isn’t sleeping, all it does is waddle around looking for food while waving its disgusting asshole to-and-fro for everyone to see. The name might sound fearsome, but in actuality, today’s Bull Dogs are pretty pitiful creatures, and make a horrible choice for a mascot.

Wofford Terriers- Ayeryel, Boss, Lil’ Ruff, and Blitz

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I have owned Terriers, and truth be told, they aren’t bad little dogs. And when push comes to shove, they are feisty, so I freely admit they’d have no problem holding their own against small vermin. But just because a dog is good at killing rats doesn’t mean it makes a good mascot. But for some reason, Wofford College went ahead and used the Terrier anyway. Perhaps the campus has a big rat problem.

Delaware Blue Hens – YoUDee

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Do you know what would inspire students and alumni while simultaneously striking fear into the hearts of opposing schools? Me neither, but I know it isn’t a big blue chicken. Is the University of Delaware selling soul food or trying to rally its sports fans?

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers – Chauncey

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The only thing worse than having a big blue chicken for a mascot is having a big blue chicken for a mascot and giving it a name no one understands. Apparently, Coastal Carolina University disagrees, and named their team the Chanticleers. According to the website, the term comes from a description of a rooster found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, because nothing stirs school spirit like a late-medieval term for barnyard fowl.

Harvard Crimson – John Harvard

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When your school’s nickname is a color, you’re pretty much free to pick whatever mascot you want. And in all fairness, going with your school’s founder isn’t a horrible idea. That’s what Harvard did, and on paper, it works. But in practice, it’s horrifying. Just look at that thing. Based on my Google image-search, I’m not the first person to have compared the mascot to the kid from Mask. And there’s a reason for that.

Syracuse Orange – Otto the Orange

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Again, when your school’s nickname is a color, you have the freedom to do whatever you want. But Syracuse decided to go the literal route with Otto the Orange, a giant piece of fruit. He’s just a god damn orange. That’s it.

In all fairness, Syracuse’s mascot didn’t used to be so lame. However, having a white guy dressed up like a fictional Indian didn’t sit well with Native America groups, and it was changed. Personally, as someone who is Dutch-American, I find the whole Orange thing to be even more offensive. It’s a culture, not a costume!

Tulsa Golden Hurricane – Captain Cane

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It’s bad enough when your school’s nickname sounds like a sex act involving urine. To make matters worse, Tulsa’s mascot Captain ‘Cane used to be a giant anthropomorphized version of said sex act. But in 2009, Tulsa’s powers that be grew tired of the snickering and dumped the old look in favor of a new, human-looking Captain ‘Cane. Now, instead of being the embodiment of human waste, he’s just a superhero who really likes golden showers. That’s better, I guess. Not really.

At least the old mascot had some disturbing charm. The new Captain ‘Cane just puts a human face on a weird fetish. The problem is the name “golden hurricane,” not the mascot that represents it. But at this point, I think Tulsa is better off just embracing the golden goodness and letting their freak flag fly rather than trying to cover it up with a guy in tights.