Once I received all of my college acceptances, I found myself having a hard time choosing between them. They all had great qualities: impressive programs, cool locations, fun extracurriculars, etc. The schools had so much in common that I just couldn't narrow my decision down to one school.
So I let their mascots do it for me.
I decided to compare each school's mascot, grading them on a scale from 1 to 10 in categories such as ferocity, appropriateness to school/location, effectiveness (how good their sports teams are) and cuteness. What transpired was the Ultimate College Mascot Showdown.
Ithaca College Bombers
Ferocity: 4. Ithaca College's mascot is a pilot who drops bombs in battle. The fact that he could blow up a small village in Pennsyltucky is rather frightening, but take away the airplane and weapons of mass destruction and you get a less than terrifying skinny guy in a funny hat and goggles. This guy's not exactly making the competition run for cover.
Appropriateness: 2. The Bomber was apparently conceived from the resemblance of Ithaca's baseball team's uniforms to those of the New York Yankees, also known as the Bronx Bombers. Otherwise, the mascot is rather inappropriate for a school with a high population of pacifists. Many anti-violence groups within the school have protested for a change of mascot.
Effectiveness: 5. Ithaca may be an NCAA Division III school, but their sports teams have had some success over the years. The football team has one the DIII National Championship three times and has one of the best women's soccer teams in the Division.
Cuteness: 0. There is nothing cute about a fighter pilot. Sorry.
Total Score: 11/40
Boston University Terriers
Ferocity: 5. Though they were originally bred for fighting, Boston Terriers are known for having friendly personalities. Don't cross Rhett, the BU terrier, though. With his trademark snarl, he is probably one of the more stubborn members of his breed.
Appropriateness: 7. He may not be the scarlett red of BU's colors but he is a Boston Terrier after all.
Effectiveness: 6. The Terriers won the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey National Championship last year. Other than that impressive feat, the Terriers have had national success in men's basketball, field hockey, women's soccer, and women's lacrosse.
Cuteness: 7. Boston Terriers are adorable for wrinkly dog lovers like me, but can be a little stubborn and bratty. It's kind of a "different strokes for different folks" cuteness situation.
Total Score: 25/40
Hofstra University Pride
Ferocity: 8. The Pride, represented by two lions, is pretty ferocious. One lion is scary enough, but two lions? That's pretty much a death trap. Unless it's Simba and Nala. Then you only really have to worry if you're a warthog or an antelope.
Appropriateness: 2. The name of the mascot stemmed from a PR campaign stressing pride in the school during the 1980s. Unfortunately this campaign was necessary for the school to save face after being stricken with financial troubles in the 70s and laying off 100s of employees. Oopsies.
Effectiveness: 1. Hofstra's Division I men's lacrosse team is doing well this year, but the school plans to terminate their football program next year.
Cuteness: 3. Lion's are pretty cute...until they eat you.
Total Score: 14/40
Syracuse University Orange
Ferocity: 0.5. The only way an orange can hurt you is to squeeze juice in your eye, blinding you for about 3 minutes tops. Otherwise it's a delicious snack filled with Vitamin C for every other mascot to enjoy.
Appropriateness: 5. Yes, it agrees with the school's colors, but the weather in Syracuse is much too cold to grow oranges, despite the fact that there is an orange trees planted on SU's campus. The orange yield of those trees is a bit questionable.
Effectiveness: 7. SU's men's basketball team had a very successful season this year and their men's lacrosse team won the Division I National Championship last year. If only their football team was a little better...
Cuteness: 8. Bizzare as it may be, Otto the Orange (essentially a cheesepuff with a hat) is adorable. I'm a little upset that I didn't buy a plush Otto doll for myself last summer.
Total Score: 20.5/40
Drexel University Dragons
Ferocity: 10. Not many beings can claim to be more badass than a dragon. Those things can rip your head off with their massive claws and then scorch you until your entire body resembles burnt toast. Nothing beats a dragon.
Appropriateness: 7. Drexel gets major points for alliteration. Drexel Dragons has such a nice ring to it. I can only think of a handful of schools who create alliterations with their team names. Plus a dragon is pretty creative, representing the creative types found at this school.
Effectiveness: 6. The Division I women's basketball team participated in the NCAA Tournament last year and recently had one of their senior members drafted to the WNBA. Drexel's men's lacrosse team is also doing pretty well for itself this year and is #11 in the nation.
Cuteness: 3. The actual Mario the Dragon Mascot costume is pretty cute, but if you encountered a dragon in real life (not that you would), you probably wouldn't think so.
Total Score: 26/40
It was a very difficult decision, but I think the mascot comparison helped a lot. I find the strength of a school's mascot to represent the strength of it's academics. Nothing says "Hire me!" like an animal/fictional character/piece of fruit with an attitude.
So, the winner is...DREXEL! I will be joining Drexel's Class of 2014 in the fall and I couldn't be happier. I love the campus, the honors dorms, the program, Philadelphia, and of course Mario the Dragon. September, be swift!
Note: I did not actually base my college choice solely on mascots or athletics, nor am I looking to offend any of these schools because they're all great. But I am going to Drexel. :D