Page 2


1. Stanford University: The Tree
How popular is the Stanford Tree? Many people don't even know the school's nickname is actually the Cardinal. Well, that will happen when your mascot makes more headlines in the sports pages than the teams do. In February 2006, the Tree was fired when her breathalizer test came up a 0.157. (FYI: that's nearly twice the legal limit in Cali). That Arbor Day party must have been pretty insane.

2. St. John's University: Thunder and Lightning
Many a New Yorker was less than pleased when the St. John's Redmen, the pride of Queens, changed their name to the Red Storm. There's no word on what they think of the accompanying mascot, Thunder (and his sidekick Lightning). According to the Q&A page for St. John's alumni, Thunder has been "discontinued," while their official athletic Web site speaks proudly of Thunder. It's a tragedy that there hasn't been an episode of "Outside The Lines" on this.

3. The Ohio State University: Brutus the Buckeye
In case you're wondering why Brutus is in this category: a Buckeye is a tree. That's right. So when you see the proud Brutus cheering on Troy Smith and Co., remember, he's glorified foliage. Not only that, but Brutus isn't really the tree, he's only the partially poisonous nut of the Buckeye tree -- not sure if that makes him dangerous. It's probably best to keep your distance.

4. Wichita State University: WuShock
Nothing quite gives the psychological edge to a team like knowing a guy dressed up as a shock of wheat has their back. Still, he still has enough "Children of the Corn" creepy vibe to fear him, but he also looks enough like Kent Brockman's son to balance it out.

5. University of Louisiana at Lafayette: Cayenne
The presence of mascots like Florida State's Seminole seem to say "Come near me, and I will kill you," while Cayenne, the Ragin' Cajuns' chili pepper, seems to say, "Come near me and I swear to God I'm going to give you heartburn and diarrhea." And let's be honest, if you've ever suffered any digestive issues at the hands of Cajun food, you pretty much pray for death anyway.

Photo credits: Getty Images, AP