The Non-Expert


Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we dig into some heavy research to tell you what your school mascot really says about you.

Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is updated on Fridays, and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.


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Question: My high-school mascot is the wildcat. Does this mean that our sports teams (or students, for that matter) were supposed to be like wildcats, personified? That is, were we supposed to be as fierce as wildcats? And, if so, what would happen if our school played another school whose mascot was the bobcat? Who would be more fierce?

Answer: Based on a (very, very) little bit of research, I can tell you that the wildcat and the bobcat are about the same size, so it’s hard to determine which would win in a fight. In fact, trying to figure out which animal would come out on top is a little like arguing with your friend about who’d win if Frankenstein and Dracula had a fight, or if Rambo and whoever Arnold Schwarzenegger played in Predator got in a duel, or if Ward Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver and Fred MacMurray’s guy in My Three Sons had a punch-up. In other words, you’d need mobile Internet access to really figure it out.

But enough about that, because after the tussle’s over, when it’s time to pick up your teeth and go home, the real statement is not whether you won or lost, but what make-believe animal you chose in the first place (I mean, a ‘wildcat??’ You obviously made that one up.) Here’s a bunch of real school mascots (found here:, and what they say about you, your school, and our nation’s fondness for plush:

All-Stars: You’re superstars, all of you. Whether you win or lose it really doesn’t matter. Which is great, since you never win, you bunch of los—all-stars.

Armadillos: Rough and tough, that’s you! And hardy even! But please don’t play in the street! DON’T PLAY IN THE STREET!! DON’T…oh no…

Athenas: You have the best women’s field-hockey team in the entire division, I’m telling you. The way you guys rend your hair and gnash your teeth may just send you to States this year.

Battlin’ Beavers: A name that no college or high-school kids would ever make fun of. Which is good, because of your tendency toward battlin.’

Blackbirds: Though you are a melancholy bunch, you nevertheless kicked ass at last year’s all-state iambic pentameter dash.

Chanticleers: You are…wait, what are you again?

Commodores: Hearing ‘Just to be Close to You’ every time you score a touchdown is still fresh and exciting.

Continentals: Though your team is gin-drunk during every game, they still manage to look great in those jersey tuxedos.

Engineers: Forget the MIT/Harvard hi-jinks, last year you guys whipped the pants off Braymore High—with magnets!—and no one’s ever going to forget that.

Golden Seals: Congratulations—you passed! Looks like we were wrong after all, so you’ll get to play this semester. Sorry about the foul-up back there, heh.

Gorloks: You were named by Patrick, the coach’s nine-year-old son.

Greyhounds: You are a noble, spirited canine. But your friends at other schools think you’re named after a bus company. Your friends at other schools are complete weedheads.

Hawkeyes: You are sensitive and caring. You are thoughtful, but still have a fantastic, wicked sense of humor. Donald Sutherland could never have handled the pressures of television. Hold me.

Huskies: I know it’s embarrassing when I shop with you, but this is the only stuff that will fit. There! That looks fabulous! You’re such a little gentleman.

Indians/Braves/Tribe/Chieftains: You really need to change your fucking name, as if you hadn’t gotten the picture by now from the four-million 60 Minutes spots on this stuff.

Mavericks: Just be yourself. There’s no need for all this overacting. Okay, wait, nevermind, why can’t you be more like that Iceman?

Missionaries: You guys are impressive on the diamond, but from here it looks like you all want to play the same position.

Red Foxes: Despite all your best efforts, Mr. Sanford, you shall never get the respect you deserve from your denim-suited children.

Trojans: You know, nothing immediately jumps to mind.

Wolverines: Yes, we saw X-Men, yes, it was pretty cool. Yeah, we know who he is. Yeah [sigh], he was the coolest one. Hey, do you really go to school here, you look kind of old…


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack