When you think about it, the combination of plastic head and fleshy legs is a little disconcerting.
Purdue Pete, the 70-year-old icon of Purdue University, is getting a makeover. Partly because Purdue officials want to “soften” and “update” grumpy ol’ Pete. And party because, well, he’s scaring the bejeebies out of little kids. Says Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke in the Indianapolis Star: “Look, I'm the one who gets the phone calls from parents who say that big face scares their 3-year-old.” Hmmm.
Maybe Pete does need an update. But — and really, we mean no offense to the 3-year-olds of West Lafayette, Ind. — we think there’s a bunch of mascots out there WAY scarier than Purdue Pete. Enough to populate a Top 10 list, even. In fact, here it is: SportsCenter.com’s Official List of 10 Mascots That Are Way Scarier Than The Purdue Pete. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
For this first one, we don’t even have to take it outside the name Pete. Paydirt’s enormous glowering eyes say “I don’t care for you,” his mustache says, “I lack self-restraint not to hurt you,” and … he has no mouth. Which is extra creepy to us.
Pickles aren’t supposed to be quarrelsome and aggressive. They’re supposed to be happy. And friendly. And delicious with deli sandwiches. So the Fighting Pickle has us all kinds of confused. And some might think those crooked buckteeth and googly eyes present an air of happiness. We think they present an air of a kosher dill who’s one “I like bread and butter pickles better” comment away from snapping.
It looks like they've just taken Uga, Georgia’s real life bulldog mascot, and replaced all his cute parts, like droopy eyes and a slobbery tongue, with scary parts, like a menacing scowl and fangs.
Dude had to throw his HATCHET to the ground in order to pick up that … is that an ooozie? OK, no. It’s just a t-shirt gun. Phew. Still, in Louie’s hands it looks much more threatening. As anything would. Because he’s scary as all get out.
And we go from one kind of scary to another. Not so much in the “I’m a Threatening Warrior” way, but in the “You’re Not Sure If I’m Wearing Pants Under This Shield, And That’s A Scary Thought” kind of way. Either way, mission accomplished.
We don’t like that coy smirk. It might suggest “hey, I’m fun, I’m an anteater, I’m gonna eat some ants!” Or it might suggest “hey, I’m fun, I’m an anteater, I’m gonna steal your lunch money then give you a swirlie.” (Shudder).
That tiny hat. On that gigantic head. It’s just so … unnerving. Not to mention, what is a Buckeye?!? Always beware of the unknown.
As a rule, we don’t mess with anyone whose mustache is bigger than his wingspan. And Reb’s mustache is bigger than Kevin Garnett’s wingspan. So we’re just going to back away slowly.
He looks like he could be the brother of the Snow Miser. An evil brother. Who likes to wear dish gloves. Though, with one quick eyebrow wax, we imagine Stormy could look quite friendly.
When your official description of WuShock is a big, bad, muscle-bound bundle of wheat, that's your first clue that your mascot might be a little scary. When your mascot also looks like a blond-haired, demonic version of Sideshow Bob, that's also something to evaluate.