Mascot for University of Illinois?

#4
I preface this by saying that I am a big Chief supporter. I thought the campaign against him was ridiculous.

That said, it's been nine years. Next year's incoming freshman were 7 when the Chief was eliminated. They have no memory of him, and to them our halftime shows and other peripheral events around our sports teams don't come off as protests against the Chief's removal, but just seem odd and empty. Other sports programs have some sort of symbol or icon associated with them. Illinois has a big, orange "I".

At this point, the "Chief or bust" stance has diminishing value, as fewer and fewer students have any association with the symbol.
 
#6
Charlotte, NC
Chief and everything aside...

Will seem so tacky if all of a sudden we have a squirrel running around the sidelines. What is the appeal of having a "mascot"? What freshman is going to a game and thinking man itd be cool to have an adult dressed like a animal launching a plain white shirt into the crowd. What does a "mascot" even do that is currently not being done.
 
Likes: Poe's Law
#8
We never had a mascot and hopefully we never will. I loved the chief but I don't think he'll ever be back unfortunately. There is also no point to have some mascot on the sidelines as they don't do anything.
 
#9
Tyngsborough, MA
I've reconsidered. Let's put a big head on somebody, dress the person in an orange shirt and blue slacks and tell him to run around the stadium during football games and SFC during basketball games.

We'll call him "Illinois Idiot."
 
#12
A word of advice for this and any future committee's on this subject:

ANY mascot foisted on the fanbase in a top-down fashion, and that includes online fan voting or and faux-democratization of the process, will fail and fail miserably and embarrassingly and publicly for the University.

There may come a time in the future when some mascot-type thing bubbles up organically from the student body that people enjoy (Fightin' Abe kids, get on that). Consider making something like that official ONLY once it has gained acceptance that way.

But seriously, these are waters that our administration needs to stay out of. You start walking down the brainstorming path, and everyone thinks they have an idea that is fun that people will love. You get lost in mission creep. There are NO circumstances under which a public announcement of "hey, this is our new thing!" would end well.
 
#13
A word of advice for this and any future committee's on this subject:

ANY mascot foisted on the fanbase in a top-down fashion, and that includes online fan voting or and faux-democratization of the process, will fail and fail miserably and embarrassingly and publicly for the University.

There may come a time in the future when some mascot-type thing bubbles up organically from the student body that people enjoy (Fightin' Abe kids, get on that). Consider making something like that official ONLY once it has gained acceptance that way.

But seriously, these are waters that our administration needs to stay out of. You start walking down the brainstorming path, and everyone thinks they have an idea that is fun that people will love. You get lost in mission creep. There are NO circumstances under which a public announcement of "hey, this is our new thing!" would end well.
Exhibit A: Orange and Blue Bird
 
#14
A word of advice for this and any future committee's on this subject:

ANY mascot foisted on the fanbase in a top-down fashion, and that includes online fan voting or and faux-democratization of the process, will fail and fail miserably and embarrassingly and publicly for the University.

There may come a time in the future when some mascot-type thing bubbles up organically from the student body that people enjoy (Fightin' Abe kids, get on that). Consider making something like that official ONLY once it has gained acceptance that way.

But seriously, these are waters that our administration needs to stay out of. You start walking down the brainstorming path, and everyone thinks they have an idea that is fun that people will love. You get lost in mission creep. There are NO circumstances under which a public announcement of "hey, this is our new thing!" would end well.
Agree, and I suspect much of this is being driven by your third paragraph, i.e. the appearances of the Chief in the stands at home games recently. Doesn't really get much talk but I'm guessing the admin would like that to end and this is their idea to do that.
 
#15
I preface this by saying that I am a big Chief supporter. I thought the campaign against him was ridiculous.

That said, it's been nine years. Next year's incoming freshman were 7 when the Chief was eliminated. They have no memory of him, and to them our halftime shows and other peripheral events around our sports teams don't come off as protests against the Chief's removal, but just seem odd and empty. Other sports programs have some sort of symbol or icon associated with them. Illinois has a big, orange "I".

At this point, the "Chief or bust" stance has diminishing value, as fewer and fewer students have any association with the symbol.
students aren't the only ones who attend games. there will come a time when most of the attendees of a typical game do not know about the chief but i don't think we're there yet.
 
#16
Agree, and I suspect much of this is being driven by your third paragraph, i.e. the appearances of the Chief in the stands at home games recently. Doesn't really get much talk but I'm guessing the admin would like that to end and this is their idea to do that.
If they think this would do anything but exacerbate those kinds of demonstrations they should talk with their psychology faculty more closely.
 
#19
Why not a soldier, to represent all the Illini that have served in the military. That stays in line with the Memorial Stadium theme.
And not a cartoonist soldier. Something serious, dignified and historically correct. But I would'nt call it a mascot, rather a representative image of the Illini spirit.
 
#21
I was there for the student referendum and the corresponding poll of potential mascots. Needless to say it was a huge flop, the potential mascots ranged from decent to cartoonishly pathetic, to scribbles on a piece of paper. The whole thing was a joke. I'd rather not see a repeat of that fiasco, nor would I like to see an administration imposed mascot. Chalmers is correct that it needs to develop from the student body, similar to how the Stanford Tree started and was adopted as the mascot. (Stanford previously had a Native American mascot but it was removed a long time ago.)
 
#23
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
From page 6 of the document:
The Committee stressed that any mascot selected should be as
inoffensive as possible and special care should be taken to ensure the mascot works to
foster an open and safe environment for all students and campus community members.
This pretty much guarantees we'll wind up with something about as exciting as a bar code. It will eliminate soldiers, any animal that might seem aggressive or is related in any way to a culture, ethnicity, etc. It will eliminate any reference to an actual person, fictional person, or symbol that has any historical reference, because any of those things will have baggage attached that will offend someone and create an "unsafe environment."
 
#24
I'm with TheFlyingIllini1317. We've never had a mascot, and I don't see the attraction. And I agree with WesterveltVictoryCigar; this sounds like an attempt to get people to forget about the Chief. A mascot would just annoy me (even a Fighting Abe). A real hawk flying around at halftime would be OK by me (it's not a mascot), but I imagine the NCAA would consider it native American imagery and says its "offensive."
 
#25
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
I'm with TheFlyingIllini1317. We've never had a mascot, and I don't see the attraction. And I agree with WesterveltVictoryCigar; this sounds like an attempt to get people to forget about the Chief. A mascot would just annoy me (even a Fighting Abe). A real hawk flying around at halftime would be OK by me (it's not a mascot), but I imagine the NCAA would consider it native American imagery and says its "offensive."
The NCAA will not be the first or loudest group to weigh in on any symbols, mascots, etc. It sounds like campus is teeming with social justice warriors these days.