(Published in the March 2010 issue)
Eagles, Tigers and Bulldogs are the most common nicknames in college sports. If ever there were an NCAA championship tournament for uncommon monikers, these real-life nicknames would make the Sweet 16.
UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs: No big surprise from a school that offers degrees in Munchies and Bongology. The best these guys can hope for is a win in the NCAA Hacky Sack championships.
Alabama Crimson Tide: Despite the Slang Dictionary’s reference to menstrual cycles, this nickname is really just a more lyrical description of toxic algal bloom, which doesn’t fit as well on the jerseys.
Vanderbilt Commodores : Founded by Lionel Richie in 1967, Vandy’s basketball arena is called “The Brick House.” (It’s mighty mighty.)
Whittier Poets: Richard Nixon’s alma mater, where he learned to rhyme “Tricky” with “Dicky" and “bitter” with “quitter."
North Carolina Tar Heels :
Not to be confused with taking a misstep at a dog park-those are the Shit Heels, which is where corporate middle managers matriculate.
South Carolina Gamecocks:
Here’s hoping the women’s team nickname doesn’t have the same number of letters.
Canisius Golden Griffins : Another reason nobody ever wanted to shower with Merv.
Tennessee Volunteers : The only volunteers in the world that get recruited, pampered and paid.
Wichita State Shockers : On the Shockers’ souvenir giant foam hands, the fingers are positioned a bit differently. USC Trojans. Protection in the pocket indeed. Always check the spread when they face the Oregon State Beavers. The Cougars at Washington State are much easier to tackle; that game is played during happy hour at the Ramada.
Utah Utes : “Did you say, Utes?” “No your honor, youtthhss." (Cousin Vinny’s favorite team.)
Southern Arkansas Muleriders: The state of Arkansas has banned same-sex marriage, but mixing species is perfectly fine. Donkeys copulating horses is required to keep this nickname going.
Evergreen State College Geoducks: Not a duck at all, but a giant clam. Paris Hilton studied under graduates there for two semesters.
Scottsdale College Fighting Artichokes: Last December, they double-dipped the Humbling Hummus of Sedona State in the Lay’s Potato Chip Bowl.
Long Beach State Dirtbags: At their last game, they gave away free Calvin-pissing-on-Hobbes window-stickers.
Rhode Island School of Design Nads: In 2001, the Nads created the unofficial mascot “Scrotie,” a man-sized phallus with a red cape (true story). Go Nads!
Who else? It all boils down to that anyway. As legendary comedian Jack Benny famously said to long-shlonged Mr. Television, Milton Berle, after Berle had turned down a length-of-manhood contest with actor Forrest Tucker:
“Ah, come on Miltie, just pull out enough to win."
Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph matriculated at Fresno State, where other Bulldog alumni include Trent Dilfer, Lorenzo Neal, Lane Kiffin, Sid Craig and the inexplicable Pauly Shore.
Federal University of Central Kentucky King Mutts
(Because none of the NCAA teams listed above would let us publish photos of their real mascots.)