Now....for those of you who pay attention to college football, or college sports in general, you would know that Ole Miss' nickname is the Rebels. This nickname, of course, has it's roots in Southern culture. Because of those roots, in 2003, their mascot, Colonel Reb, was discontinued by the university, who claimed that it was trying to change their image. They have since also discontinued displaying certain flags and playing certain songs at football games. Then, they decided to and really screw things up by changing their mascot and nickname.
Fed up with the fact that their school does not have a mascot, this year students decided to hold a vote for a new mascot. This vote would be student-run with student-submitted nominations. After a couple months of lobbying, the finalists were chosen. The new Ole Miss mascot would be either a Rebel Black Bear, a Rebel Land Shark, or a Rebel Hotty Toddy.
I know what you're asking yourself, because I asked myself the same question, and I don't know the answer either: What the hell is a Hotty Toddy? After doing
Is there such thing as a Land Shark? The Land Shark isn't a mascot, silly Ole Miss....it's a well-known evening establishment in East Lansing! And everybody knows sharks can't walk so that nomination was just silly.
The Black Bear is, or at least was, actually quite prevalent in Mississippi. It was placed on the endangered list in Mississippi in 1984. There are still regular sightings throughout the state. So this option I could reasonably support.
To the surprise of exactly nobody, the Rebel Black Bear won. Which brings me to my next point. What is so rebellious about Black Bears? They're furry, native, and some females among us might even say they're cute and cuddly. I find none of that to be what I would determine as rebellious. So what are we to call these new Ole Miss'ers? Rebels? Rebel Black Bears? Black Bears? Does anyone even know? The university said it wanted to change it's image, so why not eliminate the whole Rebel part completely? That would be a change. I know they want to keep it in homage to the university's past and frankly, I'm cool with that. But for some, this is just one big cluster-you-know-what.
I would prefer to simply call them either the Rebels or the Black Bears. But since complete change isn't for everyone, for now, we're going to have to live with Rebel Black Bears. With sounds ridiculous. The may as well have paid George Lucas and made them the Ole Miss Fighting Ackbars. Through this all, we are left with a convoluted name for a team that nobody really cares about. They should have done something more extreme to at least make them relevant. I'm left disappointed and confused, and really have no other course of action but to yell at the Rebels for this sorry excuse of a mascot contest.