This morning on Twitter, I saw a letter from the ASB (student government) President at Ole Miss which caught my attention. The ASB wants to replace our on field mascot (finally right?! JK, settle down you racists, Colonel Reb ain’t coming back), Rebel the Black Bear, with a Land Shark. For those of you who don’t know (or more likely don’t give a shit about Ole Miss), the land shark is a celebratory hand gesture similar to the rooster (not sure this is even a thing, but I’ve heard people call it a rooster if you don’t lay the thumb down, looking at you Marshall Henderson).
It was made famous at Ole Miss by a former Rebel linebacker and Iraq war veteran, Tony Fein (who made Tim Tebow cry and later died of an accidental morphine overdose). The defense adopted the Land Shark and now “throws it up” after big plays on defense (tackle for loss, sack, etc..).
10 years (or something like that, who actually remembers) ago, I chose not to vote on the mascot issue, and have regretted it ever since. I am staunchly against the Land Shark (as a mascot, not the celebratory gesture) because not only can sharks not breathe on land (I cannot independently verify this, but someone on Shark Week said it, so I took it as gospel) but they also DON’T FUCKING EXIST! This time, the least I can do is give my 2 cents.
While I am fully on board for getting rid of the bear, this shark thing isn’t a good idea. Around the country, people are laughing hysterically at us (see football program), let’s not add fuel to the already out of control blaze. Yes, the bear was a terrible mascot choice from the jump (Admiral Akbar was the only option I would have supported back then), but don’t hastily replace him without a reasonable (and the land shark is not reasonable) replacement. I have a suggestion that I think most alumni could get behind (and by most I mean at least a few).
How about an Oak Tree?! For the record, I initially thought Magnolia Tree, but decided those broad leaves and large flowers would make an odd looking costume. Anyway, similar to the Stanford Tree, which I assume has some sort of significance to their campus, our Tree can signify the most beloved (or well known) spot on our campus… the Grove. Y’all want a PC mascot, this is your chance, as I’ve never heard of anyone being offended by a tree. I mean, they make oxygen which allows us to live, who could hate that?!
No disrespect for Tony, but do we really want that tragic story (thanks for your service, but the rest is a cautionary tale at best) to represent us? Furthermore, a mascot should stand for ALL SPORTS! The Land Shark is synonymous with football and football alone. The Tree (or Colonel Oakey, or whatever dumb name we decide to call it) would represent our beautiful campus as a whole. Look, I’m not even sure this vote matters as I haven’t seen anything from the administration in response; however, that’s what I thought back in whatever year I didn’t vote the first time.
Students of Ole Miss, let your voice be heard!! Write in OAK TREE on Election Day!!!
Class of 2008