I'll admit it: I'm still fascinated by mascots. I have a huge amount of respect for the kids who willingly dress up in huge, stifling costumes -- complete with giant head covers that must really leave a crimp in the ol' neck -- especially when those costumes are more likely to frighten children than inspire school spirit. Stare into Pistol Pete's dead eyes. Behold the ghostly apparition of Friar Boy. Do your best to keep Willie the Wave from haunting your tired hours like a demonic, blue Jeff Spicoli. Creepy mascots manage to be both frightening and charming in equal measure; college hoops wouldn't quite feel the same without them.
Seton Hall's mascot -- "The Pirate," which is simple enough -- has never risen to the level of the aforementioned creep-show all-stars. But with its strange blue and white face and strange forced half-smile, it's never been the most attractive costume, either. It looks less like a Pirate than a bad set piece from a community theater production of "Alice In Wonderland."
Change appears to be afoot. The Pirates fans at South Orange Juice uncovered a photo of what appears to be an updated version of the Pirate mascot. It's a random Facebook picture, so it's not yet official, but it certainly appears to be a new look. The Pirate now looks ... well, like a Pirate. His face is a humanoid hue. His eye patch and bandana are recognizable signifiers. The SHU jersey remains.
If it's a new look, it's a good one. Courtside seats at Seton Hall games just became at least 30 percent more kid-friendly. If only we could say the same for Northwestern State.
(HT: Ballin' Is A Habit)