1) Though Roscoe may not be the coolest name for a mascot, being called the Lions is pretty awesome. On the other hand, I have no idea what a “sooner” is. If I did, I would probably hate the name even more. What is the worst NCAA mascot name?
LK: The University of California-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. At first glance this is a horrible beyond horrible mascot name. There is no intimidation in a slug. Maybe a bit of disgust, but no intimidation. However, John Travolta did wear a Banana Slug T-shirt in “Pulp Fiction.” This raises its cool level a tad. The students did vote on the name and even fought for it. But seriously, would you really want to be the “Slug of the Week?”
RL: As far as Roscoe goes, I agree – it’s a pretty weak name. I would’ve suggested something from the Thundercats, but that’s just me. The worst name in the NCAA, though? Oh boy, that’d have to go to the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Commonly known as the Warriors, their full title does indeed include Rainbow, and no, that fabulous name isn’t just limited to their crew team. On the surface the mascot looks pretty fearsome – a bare-chested native Hawaiian wielding a big drum – but when you add in a touch of rainbow paint, well, I’d be happy just to know that my university’s representative wasn’t getting pedicures on the weekend.
PL: I think the most unoriginal, uninspired and inanely misused NCAA mascot belongs to the University of Oregon Ducks. Oregon didn’t even take the time to create its own mascot because it is none other than the beloved Disney character, Donald Duck. Now, don’t get me wrong; I love Disney and I love Donald Duck, but to my knowledge, Oregon is and never was in any way associated with the late Walt Disney and his conglomerate. Disney was born in Chicago, and the closest he probably ever got to Oregon was Los Angeles. So, Oregon, you have been warned. Rethink this mascot thing, or I shall have to proclaim your university the worst mascot school in the country.
RV: I have personally always found the Rainbow Warriors display a very wrong image and I am sure they wish they could ignore the rainbow part. For that, and the additional idea of naming our mascot after a thundercat (but not Snarf), Ray gets as many points as I can give him – 3. The Banana Slugs are just a sad, sad team name by any standards, and defending its name is even more sad – 2 points Lauren. All Disney characters are a bad choice for mascots; I don’t see anyone taking up Mickey as a mascot. Why? Because it’s a horrible idea. So is Donald – 1 point Pat.
2) What championship team from last year is most likely to repeat this year: men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse, the Flying Pineapples Ultimate Frisbee team or some other team which I didn’t even mention but you see going all the way?
LK: Because lacrosse lost its best players to graduation last year – goalkeeper Megan Marquardt, midfielder Bridget Bigley and the unstoppable phenom, midfielder Lauren Dougher – it will be a lot easier for women’s soccer to repeat. Though the team did lose goalkeeper Alissa Kacar and forward Brittny Boyd, it still has some big names on the field, like All-American Dana DiBruno. Let’s just say it will be a good year for sports all around.
RL: Women’s soccer. While the lacrosse team lost six players to graduation, including both goalkeepers and Bigley, and with the men’s soccer team already struggling early in the new season, women’s soccer leaps off the page at me. Women’s soccer is off to a 3-0-2 start, but the record doesn’t tell the tale of the tape correctly – its rock solid defense has allowed only one goal the entire season, as freshman goalkeeper Jessica Clark continues to impress with four shutouts thus far. Fresh off of a 5-0 blowout of conference rival Montclair State University, the soccer team looks poised to springboard into another dominating year. As far as Ultimate Frisbee – no comment.
PL: For me, the answer is quite simple. Despite many great performances last year by several different teams, the team I would put my money on, were I a betting man, would be the women’s lacrosse team. Last year was the the team’s second straight national title and the 13th overall in the school’s history, and it wasn’t that long ago that the program produced a six-peat – yes, a six-peat – of national championships. Taking a glance down last year’s roster, the champs fielded a relatively young team in 2006, so with another year of intense playoff experience under everybody’s belt, I expect the lacrosse team to be fully recharged in 2007.
RV: As a big fan of soccer in general, I have to say that men’s soccer is letting me down at the moment and maybe I should start rooting for women’s soccer, because Ray has convinced me to put my faith in them – 3 points. The lacrosse team is legendary, even if it did lose a star or two. It previously went six years in a row, so it can bounce back – 2 points Pat. Lauren’s answer gets the last point.
3) What can the College do to get more people in the seats for the home games of various sports? Please avoid violence whenever possible in your answer.
LK: I wouldn’t know when the football games were without having to look it up myself. The school should try something fun, like those refrigerator magnets with all the schedules on it, because obviously people are going to the fridge an awful lot these days. There should be much more promotion for our sports, like giving away pompoms and towels outside the student center the week before the big game against Rowan University. Some people are not even aware that Rowan is our rival! I mean, wouldn’t you want to go to a game where you can see fellow students kick the Profs’ asses? I know I would, just for the pun.
RL: The College bills itself, first and foremost, as a premier academic university. In my experience, the athletics of the university and the corresponding programs haven’t been pushed nearly enough to warrant big crowds or a rabid fan following. Here’s more food for thought: What are the two collegiate sports that draw the biggest crowds? That would be football and basketball. How many times has the College nabbed a D-III blue chip player in one of those two sports? Those are the players that, when working together, electrify crowds, win games and build followings. Until the College pushes its athletic programs more and then grabs top-notch D-III players, we’re going to continue to draw less than impressive crowds.
PL: First, stop doing homework on the weekends. Get out and go see a game or three – especially if you’re not a sports fiend like me. I don’t need to go see a baseball game. I’ve seen and played many a baseball game in my life. The people that need to come out to these games are people that know nothing about them. In my experience, you’re in a room with someone who’s not crazy about sports and you’re watching TV and you turn on a game. By the end of the game (or, perhaps, within five minutes), he’s more into the game than you are. It’s human nature; when given the proper exposure, people become curious about what they don’t understand. So really, I’ve got to conclude that it is timid sports non-enthusiasts, and not a legion of lazy sporting fans, who are to blame for the poor attendance at sporting events here at the College. So if you’re not into sports, get out to see a game! I promise, you’ll thank me for it.
RV: For really impressing me with what I have always known, but never really internalized, Patrick gets 3 points. For the “We should do that!” award, Lauren gets 2 points. For giving a great answer, but just not good enough this round, Ray gets 1 point.