Youngstown State’s Pete the Penguin
Name (3): Alliteration, gettit? Pete the Penguin is a fairly lame name, and is a name shared with several university mascots, such as Pistol Pete and Purdue Pete. I’d prefer ICE, because then he could triple the workload as a caterer/bounty hunter.
In a fight (3): The Penguin can withstand the harshest wintery conditions, but these battles are in basketball arenas and on soccer pitches, not the south pole. Pete has the distinct disadvantage of short legs and wings that won’t do him much good because he can’t fly. He is outmaneuvered easily by any foe in the conference, and while his peck might do some damage, the range on that blow is very short; most likely opponents can just circle and keep him at arm’s length. The battle’s over if that fucker hits the ground.
Relevance (10): Not only is he a penguin, but he’s got a winter cap and scarf just to let you know it’s cold, like the south pole. Too bad it’s colder on 7 Horizon League campuses than Youngstown.
Love-ability (10): Obviously somebody loves him, as he’s got his own wife Penny. Pete strikes the adorable chord on a major level, and kids are into him because he’s a freakin’ penguin.
Style (10): Admit it, ladies. Imagine yourself as Penny the Penguin. You come home from a long day at work and you walk in, Pete waiting for you in nothing but a winter poof ball hat, red scarf and a mischevious smile. If Horizon League mascots were featured in GQ, Pete the Penguin would be on the cover.
This was a very scientific study that I’ve been putting together for years. In no way did I spend just one hour on a Monday night in August building my rankings. Mascots are rated in five sections, and in each of those sections they can score anywhere from 1 to 10. The points, added up in the end, set their ranking. I was helped by high ranking members from each Horizon League university in this highly scientific process. These should not be viewed as my own ideas but those of a collective group of non-biased, PhD-holding scholars.
The categories are: Name, In a Fight, Relevance, Love-ability and Style. The name is self-explanatory, In a Fight is how they would fare in combat, Relevance is how they fit their institution, Love-ability is the capacity for love kids and fans have for their mascot, and Style is all about trying to dress the best (which would be Villanova’s mascot, Jay Wright).