The mascot debate/fandom thread

#402      
With respect to the Kingfisher, I disagree. I believe that group 100% wants a name change. Once again, I don't believe name change is the goal of Blocky or Alma supporters (more likely, quite the opposite).

That said, I wouldn't use the word sinister to describe the Kingfisher movement. I think it's a stretch to agree the Chief needed to go but then defend everything else commonly associated with the Chief. So in that sense, I agree with Kaufman. For me, the 3 in 1 and Fighting Illini are all co-mingled with the Chief and the Chief logo. If the Chief was wrong, then it's all wrong. Of course, then there's the "where does it stop?" argument, which I fully embrace. We've stopped at the Chief, and lots of people still aren't happy. Will everyone ever all be happy at the same time? Nope. But we're not going back, so I'm in favor of stopping here.

To summarize:
1. I think mascots are stupid, with very rare exceptions. As long as they don't get in the way of the game, I couldn't care less if they exist.
2. The Chief was not a mascot. He was part of the halftime show but never on the sidelines, engaged in hijinks with other mascots, or cuddling kids. For people who want a mascot, I would suggest they stop referring to the Chief as a mascot and instead emphasize the super fun and goofy things their new mascot will do, i.e. lean into the difference.
3. I think getting rid of the Chief was a missed opportunity for a win/win, and I'm not sure there have been any tangible benefits from his demise.
4. If you just want a mascot without a name change, stop drawing logos. Do we really think in this day and age that you can't render what a mascot costume would look like without drawing a logo? Teams have logos that match their team names, and they incorporate the mascot in logos when it's synergistic.
5. Lack of branding opportunities is not a reason to have a mascot. I've lived in the Chicago area all my life, and I can't recall ever seeing anyone wearing Southpaw gear. If it's out there, it's very uncommon. Is Michigan hurting because they don't sell a lot of mascot gear? Just stop with this one, please.
6. Mascots should be intentionally stupid looking, with some combination of a big head, bulging eyes, and/or massive belly. The Kingfisher is unintentionally stupid looking, IMO. It's like they want something worthy of being a primary symbol of the university, along with a kids photo op. It doesn't work. Next, please.
7. I'm resigned to the fact that there will be a complete re-branding in my lifetime. I will probably still go to games, as long as we're competitive, but I'll spend halftime on the concourse.


I totally agree with point 3. Unfortunately, the people who demanded the elimination of the Chief are a bitter lot. If Chief Osceola can exist at FSU, why can't Chief Illini exist at Illiniinquirer? Apparently the Native Americans who negotiated the retention of Chief Osceola are more business like and recognized the opportunity.
 
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#405      
vs hunter GIF
Fighting Illini Take that HUNTER
 
#406      
The attached picture is all the evidence needed for the argument of not needing some animal as a mascot.

My seven year old daughter which has never been to an Illini sporting event YET, barely watches any of the games with me, and doesn’t know of our mascot debate, drew this picture for my birthday today. From left to right; myself, “the Illini I mascot”(her own words), and her.

I only witnessed Chief Illiniwek once live. It was in 2005 against UC-Berkeley. I was still in high school and came up to visit my sister who was a student at the time and we went to the game. It gave me chills then, and still does today when I watch past performances. It is unfortunate how things played out and I don’t agree with them, but I don’t see things changing.

Whatever we do, for the love of pete, don’t make some animal a mascot. But, if we must have a mascot, I’m jumping on the “Blocky” train!!!
 

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#407      

GrayGhost77

Centennial, CO
The attached picture is all the evidence needed for the argument of not needing some animal as a mascot.

My seven year old daughter which has never been to an Illini sporting event YET, barely watches any of the games with me, and doesn’t know of our mascot debate, drew this picture for my birthday today. From left to right; myself, “the Illini I mascot”(her own words), and her.

I only witnessed Chief Illiniwek once live. It was in 2005 against UC-Berkeley. I was still in high school and came up to visit my sister who was a student at the time and we went to the game. It gave me chills then, and still does today when I watch past performances. It is unfortunate how things played out and I don’t agree with them, but I don’t see things changing.

Whatever we do, for the love of pete, don’t make some animal a mascot. But, if we must have a mascot, I’m jumping on the “Blocky” train!!!
#TeamBlocky
 
#409      

band camp

STL City
The attached picture is all the evidence needed for the argument of not needing some animal as a mascot.

My seven year old daughter which has never been to an Illini sporting event YET, barely watches any of the games with me, and doesn’t know of our mascot debate, drew this picture for my birthday today. From left to right; myself, “the Illini I mascot”(her own words), and her.

I only witnessed Chief Illiniwek once live. It was in 2005 against UC-Berkeley. I was still in high school and came up to visit my sister who was a student at the time and we went to the game. It gave me chills then, and still does today when I watch past performances. It is unfortunate how things played out and I don’t agree with them, but I don’t see things changing.

Whatever we do, for the love of pete, don’t make some animal a mascot. But, if we must have a mascot, I’m jumping on the “Blocky” train!!!
Chief is my first UI memory. Until I was ten I only wanted to go to games to see the chief.
I got left at home as a 5 year old for a certain hoops game in 1979. My sisters got to go with my dad. I threw a huge fit because I wanted to see the chief. I had no idea who Ervin Johnson was. I still remember this vividly.
That being said, I am over the chief, but feel fortunate that I got to see him many times.
 
#410      
Being a 45 year season ticket holder, I was neutral until the early 90s when a lady was speaking on the west side of the football stadium (she was native American). I was so disappointed in the way Illini fans treated her. I became a anti-chief fan that day and 30 years later still feel the same way. We have enough hate in this country as it is. Why pile on?
 
#411      
I am ok with just the Fighting Illini. I don’t understand the desire to have something else. It is probably one of the coolest nicknames in college sports.

You get rid of Illini think of everything you might need to change like a new fight song. We changed the name of Assembly Hall we might as well change Memorial Stadium name.
 
#412      
I would think Marquette is actually a pretty good model for the most mascot-skeptical (including the people that are weirdly compelled to use the word "furry" in every post....you might be telling on yourself!). Obviously, they had a name change first, but the Eagle has a relatively low profile in the overall brand - there are past and current versions of the "MU" lockup and they also use a lot of imagery of the state of Wisconsin. They also let just a color (powder blue, or what they call "Championship Blue") do a ton of work for them, not dissimilar to what we do with orange.

Conversely, look at Alabama, who has only had the current/official version of their elephant mascot since 1980, and Big Al is effing EVERYWHERE.

Anyway, another good moment to plug one of my other hobbyhorses: making script Illinois from the basketball jerseys a DIA/University-wide mark. It's unique and it looks fantastic - who says no? Why haven't we done it already?
I feel like the script kind of is already, at least with regards to DIA. Other sports have used it for their uniforms like softball and wrestling, the twitter and instagram pictures use it, backdrop for recruit pictures for all sports use it, Icon Collective logo uses it, etc. I feel like a matter of time until university as a whole adopts it more.
 
#414      
Just a few observations: Regarding no mention of Native Americans in the renaming of The Student, it's simply improbable that it was wholly made up. After all, the editorial explaining the origin of the name is merely the same as Illinois, the latter merely Frenchified. And as much as we know where Illini and Illinois came from, surely the students in the 1870's weren't ignorant. My suspicion is that the author of the editorial didn't want to bring up the Native American reference because it might just be impolitic when the Indian Wars were current events rather than history.

But Americans have always had a love/hate relationship with the pre-Columbian residents of the continent. I've said this before, and if you care, you can read it here.

That said, I've very much in favor of Florida State joining the B1G. I want to see heads explode when they're exposed to Florida State using the the War Chant (banner at Illinois) and the tomahawk chop (never used at Illinois), and a white kid in Native American garb throwing a flaming spear in the grass of a football stadium. I also wonder what the NCAA would have done about the optics of Chief Osceola at their premier event. And by the way, according to a professor at the University of Michigan, Native imagery causes Native youth to kill themselves. The Seminole tribe is as responsible as anyone else. All in or all out, simple as that. So please, FSU, come on up. I want to see Fishy the Kingfisher call FSU's Chief racist. For the record, Chief Illiniwek was Chief Illiniwek from the beginning, never
Chief Wampumstompum.
 
#415      
To me, an outsider, the most consistent identifying aspect of the Univ of Illinois without getting in trouble with some fraction of American society is "Orange". Just have fun with it, have something Orange as a mascot. Heck if Oregon can have a cartoon character and make it work why not just make something up?

If you choose something tied to one sport then it really doesn't work all that well for the other sports.
 
#416      
I am ok with just the Fighting Illini. I don’t understand the desire to have something else. It is probably one of the coolest nicknames in college sports.

You get rid of Illini think of everything you might need to change like a new fight song. We changed the name of Assembly Hall we might as well change Memorial Stadium name.
Is the proposal to change from the Fighting Illini to the Kingfishers? Or is it to keep the Fighting Illini name but have a Kingfisher as an in-game mascot? I was under the impression the proposal was for the latter, i.e., just as a mascot and not a full rebrand. If all of these proposals are for a full-on rebrand in all respects, including no longer being the Fighting Illini, then that changes things (imo).
 
#417      

mattcoldagelli

The Transfer Portal
Is the proposal to change from the Fighting Illini to the Kingfishers? Or is it to keep the Fighting Illini name but have a Kingfisher as an in-game mascot? I was under the impression the proposal was for the latter, i.e., just as a mascot and not a full rebrand. If all of these proposals are for a full-on rebrand in all respects, including no longer being the Fighting Illini, then that changes things (imo).
You are correct, it's the latter.
 
#418      

For those who want a mascot what is the purpose and what does the university gain from a mascot?

scUM does not have a mascot and they are more interested in Blue than wolverine. Their efforts to creat a Wolverine mascot failed in the 80s

IU doesn’t have a mascot

I don’t want to be like Stanford where you have a tree represent the university but their nickname is Cardinal not the pine trees


Dartmouth unofficial mascot is a keg
 
#419      
Is the proposal to change from the Fighting Illini to the Kingfishers? Or is it to keep the Fighting Illini name but have a Kingfisher as an in-game mascot? I was under the impression the proposal was for the latter, i.e., just as a mascot and not a full rebrand. If all of these proposals are for a full-on rebrand in all respects, including no longer being the Fighting Illini, then that changes things (imo).
There seems to be an unbridgeable gap between those here that believe the former and those that believe the latter.

Those that think this is step 2 (step 1 being the Chief gone) in a long-game, multi-step process to change everything are branded as conspiracy theorists by (some of) those that see no harm in a goofy sideline mascot.

I don't know who's right, each draws their own line in the sand and many have chosen to do so here (or just outright don't want a mascot, period). I mostly land here, I find silly mascots diminishing in the light of what the Chief stood for, but the generation(s) that lived the Chief are slowly dying away. Others lacking this context just see a fun diversion for kids, and I get that too.

And I sure hope we never change the name.
 
#421      
I wondered what it would be like when/if Florida State would join the B1G and it would be the Illini versus the Seminoles. Well, the Illini versus the Seminoles happened, but it was baseball on Saturday. What was like? Florida State fans singing the War Chant. Our War Chant. And Florida State fans doing the tomahawk chop...the tomahawk chop we never did. No doubt if the Greenville Drive baseball team would have allowed a horse on its field, Chief Osceola would be throwing a spear into it.

Sesame Street Reaction GIF by Muppet Wiki
 
#422      
Mrs. Battle89 just texted me this, came from the Chief Illiniwek FB page. Somebody tell me it's fake please.

1709666804652.png
 
#423      

For those who want a mascot what is the purpose and what does the university gain from a mascot?

scUM does not have a mascot and they are more interested in Blue than wolverine. Their efforts to creat a Wolverine mascot failed in the 80s

IU doesn’t have a mascot

I don’t want to be like Stanford where you have a tree represent the university but their nickname is Cardinal not the pine trees


Dartmouth unofficial mascot is a keg

I could totally get on board with a keg mascot.
 
#425      

altgeld88

Arlington, Virginia
I grew up with Brutus Buckeye. Please, in the name of all that is right and good in this world, do not venture anywhere near that quadrant. I can't tell you what a relief it was to attend a university that didn't have something like that roaming the sideline for four quarters on Saturday afternoons.

Michigan and Indiana live without mascots and suffer no diminished following. We can, too.

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