Editor’s Note: JR Oreskovich grew up in sunny California and then came East for college. He attended Stevens Institute of Technology where he tore it up on the field and in the classroom. JR was a three time All-American at Stevens, is the school’s all-time points leader and he can now be found on the fields of the LXM PRO.
For his first post on LAS, JR has put together his NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Top 20, and he’s done so based solely on the school’s mascots… this is going to be good.
What if mascots did battle to determine the outcome of a game instead of the players?
Much like the TV show, “The Ultimate Warrior”, we have put nearly 200 NCAA DIII mascots to the test in order to make a completely arbitrary decision on which schools have the best mascots. In order to compile this Top 20, I had to list out every mascot, and then do copious amounts of research on the more obscure ones.
From there, I came up with 3 extremely scientific criteria (Obscurity, Viciousness, and Geographic Confusion), as well as a number of rules with which to judge each entrant.
- No common duplicates (bears, eagles, etc) allowed.
- Color mascots would not be included due to the subjective nature of their pantone. The Green Terror of McDaniel almost squeaked in because of how unique (and frankly quite scary) it is.
- Monarchs, Royals, Lords, Knights, and other “noble” groups had to be left out in order to avoid an uprising by the proletariat (Presidents and Diplomats fall into the same category with their political elitism).
- Bishops, Monks, Saints and other religious types were omitted, as I did not see them having much interest in battling over the top spot, although OWU may disagree here.
- The same goes for the Pioneers, Quakers, and Pilgrims, but is only polite, considering how busy they probably are. I do recognize that they are probably some tough SOB’s though.
- Generals, Captains, Colonels, Majors, Bombers, and other highly trained military were deemed ineligible because of their obvious advantage due to experience in war.
- And finally the Britons, Scots and Dutchmen (both flying and standard issue) were axed because I am not British, Scotch, or Dutch. The Saxons were knocked out in order to keep a non-biased perspective, because I am of German heritage. Basically, let’s leave nationalism out of this.
The NCAA D3 Top 20… “By Mascot”
20. Roos (SUNY Canton) - The 1st team on the list has a kangaroo for a mascot… and it’s in the state of NY. Geographic confusion at its finest.
19. Thomcats (Thiel) – This male feline is known to womanize and get into brawls in the alley. Additionally, it has inspired a number of tools on the java platform.
18. Corsairs (UMass Dartmouth) - They were privateers, authorized to conduct raids on shipping of a nation at war with France. Quite abstract indeed, and not exactly professional military.
17. Thoroughbreds (Skidmore) – Not just any horse, or donkey, or mule, but a thoroughbred. These horses live hard and die young (frequently on the wrong end of a shooting) after a career of playing sports for money. Beat that
16. Poets (Whittier) – Sounds like a NESCAC or Liberty League mascot but this is actually a southern California school. There is not much to say about a poet… because they say it themselves usually, but we do know that they are a mysterious bunch, and are often tormented by society’s ills.
15. Beacons (UMass Boston) – This school chose a lighthouse lantern for a mascot. A lighthouse lantern! Low score on the location scale, but they certainly get points for obscurity.
14. Camels (Conn College) – I have been to Connecticut a couple of times in my day and I am yet to see a desert. There may be food deserts in New Haven, but there are definitely no camels. I like the pick for its ferocity and habit of spitting though.
13. Continentals (Hamilton) – Nothing to say here. US Continental soldier from the Revolution. Not highly trained, but dedicated. America.
12. Stormy Petrels (Oglethorpe) – A tiny bat-like seabird that feeds on plankton and small fish on the surface of the water and is highly endangered in many places in the world. These things only come to shore to breed and are near impossible to identify at sea. Big time obscurity and a cool name nonetheless.
11. Fords (Haverford) – Did you know that ford is a shallow place in a river or stream allowing one to walk or drive across? I didn’t. They get the last spot outside the top 10.
10. Marlins (Virginia Wesleyan) – I have heard of people fishing Mexico and other warm water places for these big fish, but Virginia? Never. Considering lacrosse is a field sport, I would suspect a fish might struggle. That’s a boost to the obscurity rating.
9. Yeomen (Oberlin) – Yeomen? Yah… I thought the same thing. Point for Obscurity. Turns out there are differing definitions of a Yeoman. 1. An attendant, servant, or lesser official in a royal or noble household. 2. A free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. How many farmers do you know? How many servants? Yeah, me neither.
8. White Mules (Colby) – The 3rd NESCAC school on this list but not the last. What is the significance of the white mule? Is this the working man’s white horse? I am not entirely sure but Colby earns respectable scores with Obscurity
and Viciousness, considering mules are supposed to be the toughest horses around.
7. Nor’easters (U. of New England) – When I moved to the east coast this was hyped up by teammates, parents, and university staff, like Armageddon was coming and to this day, I am still not 100% sure of the different between a Nor’easter and a regular storm.
6. Ospreys (Stockton) – A terrifying bird of prey of which I had the ability to play against while I was at Stevens. Our ducks would have had no chance in a battle of the birds, so luckily the fight took place on turf fields with sticks in our hands.
5. Polar Bears (Bowdoin) – This animal is so vicious that it eats its own young and lives in the North Pole. The fact that it drinks Coke every Super Bowl only makes me more suspicious of this beast and it lands in the top 5.
4. Garnet (Swarthemore) – The 2nd inanimate object (A precious stone consisting of a deep red vitreous silicate mineral) of the group and one of the top scorers in the obscurity category.
3. Bantams (Trinity) – The internet tells me that a Bantam is, “a chicken of a small breed, of which the cock is noted for its aggressiveness”. Big points for Viciousness and Obscuruity
2. Jumbos (Tufts) – The mammoth herbivores known as elephants rarely travel alone and tend to do as they please. Everybody loves them, but nobody messes with them. Also, Jumbo refers to ONE elephant, which was bought by PT Barnum for his circus. The term “jumbo”, meaning large, comes from this elephant’s name.
1. Mighty Macs (Immaculata) – When I first heard this name, I half expected to see some 40 something man dressed in teal suede and gator, swinging a cane around. After looking a bit more into it, the school uses a dog to get the crowd going, although I am still not convinced that this terrier isn’t working another gig after hours.
They garner the top spot because of this strange double life and the fact that they have a movie named after
them. It’s like the college version of the Farmingdale Dalers on Long Island. Classic.
Also receving votes:
Ephmen (Williams), Terriers (Thomas), Red Men (Cathdage), Rangers (Drew), Shoremen (WAC)
Thanks to JR for his wonderful Top 20 list. Got a D3 mascot you think JR missed? Want to change the criteria up next time? Have a Top 20 for the MCLA or the NCAA D1 or D2? We’d obviously love to hear it…