Studly Doright and I have lived in five different states, and have adopted a “bloom where you’re planted” mentality.
When we moved from Texas to North Dakota we learned to enjoy knoefla soup and rivel. In Kansas we learned to pronounce Arkansas incorrectly, and in Florida we learned to value SPF 90. In Illinois we learned the value of a college mascot.
We’re Texans, Studly and I. Having grown up near Lubbock, I was convinced that Texas Tech was the best university in the nation and that Raider Red and the Masked Rider were the absolute best mascots anywhere. They’re still close to the top of my list.
After Kansas we ended up in Melbourne, Florida, but didn’t form an attachment to any of the Florida college teams during that four year period. But when we moved to Mahomet, IL, just outside of Champaign, we quickly adopted Chief Illiniwek, proud mascot of The University of Illinois.
Unfortunately, the Chief’s reign as the Illini mascot ended shortly after we moved to Illinois. I promise we had nothing to do with his demise. Eight years after the end of the Chief the U of I still has no mascot. That makes me sad. I understand that Native American groups found the portrayal of the chief disrespectful, but shouldn’t we have had an alternative in place?
We currently live near Tallahassee, Florida, the home of two universities: Florida A&M and Florida State.
FAMU’s mascot is a rattlesnake.
Florida State has Chief Osceola and his faithful steed, Renegade.
I understand that the Seminole people have an agreement with Florida State University that allows FSU to use the likeness of one of the most famous Chiefs in history as their mascot. It’s sad that the University of Illinois couldn’t have worked out a similar agreement with the Illini.
At any rate, Studly and I are enjoying our new mascots. Soon I want to attend football games at both FAMU and FSU. I need to see what those mascots look like in action.