Not going to lie here, I don’t give two shits about college athletics. I may watch a few key football games, and check on the team I liked as a kid once in a while, but I find college athletics to be, oh I don’t know, underwhelming sounds good. The talent pool is spread to thin, except for a few places and they tend to be the ones kicking the ever-loving shit out of everybody else. Okay I got that off my chest, no moving on to their mascots, one mascot in particular…Herky the Hawk.
Yep, that’s him. With his evil, aggressive grimace. Pointing to his next victim in the stands. Herky, is like the mafia boss at the University of Iowa. At least, that is how Resmiye Oral, clinical professor of pediatrics, sees it. While she maintains that they are using their words to promote some kind of brainwashed unnaturally happy 18 year olds, Herky there is just too damn frightening. Don’t believe me, she wrote this in an email to the athletic department, “I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages…However, Herky’s angry, to say the least, faces conveying an invitation to [sic]aggressivity and even violence are not compatible with the verbal messages that we try to convey to and instill in our students and campus community”.
I don’t know what this lady is smoking, but I want some. Seriously, either she has gone bat shit crazy, or just really doesn’t understand that the mascot is meant to rile up the crowd and perform stupid stunts, all in anonymity. At one point she asked if they could make his face change to reflect different moods. The person inside the costume cannot perform their stunts or be a general jackass iff they have the heads of the Inside Out movie dangling for a waste band. I would wager that she is also trying to ban movies on campus that are rated over PG. Wouldn’t want that Angry Birds Movie being played and sending the wrong message now would we?
Is this what we have devolved into? Is this what is considered acceptable on college campuses. It is one thing to welcome the freshmen with open arms and a smile, and maybe a hazing or two, but to look at cartoon character and claim that it instills an aggressive nature in the students. No, no it doesn’t. That nature was always there, and the damn mascot just lets them know that it’s okay to let it out once in a while, and typically does so in the appropriate setting. He is not the sister of Sylville Smith screaming for people to burn shit down in the suburbs. He is a caricature that gets the kids stoked for whatever event happens to be taking place. In fact, I would argue he helps to instill in them a sense of pride and belonging.
Folks, we already have an overly sensitive population that is about to start breeding. It is time we let life kick them all in the nuts just a little bit. Give them a taste of the real world. If an over sized cartoon hawk with a person inside is making a kid feel aggressive, it is probably because they have surpassed that aggression for so long with social engineering, that they saw the hawk and said “damn it, that cartoon has a point!”. Or maybe they already saw the Angry Birds Movie, and just couldn’t wait to tip over a goal post after a big win, so they decided to kill someone, or themselves.
The point of all this is that the damn mascot has nothing to do with the aggression kids have towards anything. Maybe our education system should give up on this whole social engineering project that they started some 30 years ago and let kids be kids. Bring back the days when two kids had a problem, they went to the gym put on the gloves and kicked the shit out of each other. They didn’t bring guns to kill each other with. They learned to respect themselves and each other, what Ms. Oral is actually arguing, is that these incoming students, to the University of Iowa, do not know how to handle themselves appropriately, and aren’t really ready to let go of moms tit just yet. She may be right, but she, and others like her, may be the reason. Not Herky, he is exactly as he should be.