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  • QUIZ: How well do you know college mascot history?

QUIZ: How well do you know college mascot history?

Probably pretty well, but maybe you'll learn something new here.

:Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.

Few quick housekeeping notes:

First, I am still happily accepting freelance pitches. I am happy to publish freelance stories that either add reporting, or provide a unique perspective, to an off-the-field story in college athletics. I’ve mostly worked my way through the last batch of freelance pitches, and am happy to consider others. I pay $350 a story, plus bonuses for new paid subscriptions generated. Please send me your pitch to Matt @ Extrapointsmb.com. Please do NOT send me an email that says ‘I’d love to write for you!!” and then not include any ideas or pitches. I won’t be able to help you. I do not have the staff or spare brainpower to be an effective assignment editor.

I will also be in New Haven early next week to give a lecture at the University of New Haven about the potential implications of college athletes being directly compensated by universities. I’m not 100% sure if this will be open to the public or not yet, but I will share more specific info as soon as I get it. I’ll also try to share a recording. But if you’re in the neighborhood, I’d be happy to come say hi!

When I was in Pullman last week, I found myself with a little free time before interviews. I decided to duck into a delightful little used bookstore called Brused Books. It was the kind of place I could have spent hours in, because it was filled floor to ceiling with paperbacks, but in the short time I had, I managed to find something perfectly in my wheelhouse…a 1989 copy of The Names of the Games: The Stories Behind the Nicknames of 293 College Sports Teams”.

Trivia about old timey college sports? What could be more Extra Points than that?

I thought about tweeting a few of the more outlandish things I found in the book, but I have a better idea. How about a little quiz?

All of these questions come directly from the information in this book. I have not independently verified any of this research, so if some SID or historian is reading this and wants to WELL ACTUALLY me, by all means, send me an email.

The answers to the quiz are at the bottom of the email. Feel free to leave some of your favorite nickname stories in the comments.

1) Syracuse, of course, goes by the Orange nowadays. But when the school originally opened in 1872, what were the school colors?

a) Red and White

b) Rose Pink and Pea Green

c) Silver and Black

d) Pink and Black

2) Before selecting their current nickname, this school also considered going by the Golden Falcons, Senators, Statesmen, Indians, and my personal favorite, the Crackers:

a) Georgia Tech

b) New Mexico State

c) Florida State

d) Georgia State

3) Nowadays, the athletic teams at Lehigh University go by the Mountain Hawks. But until the 1990s, they went by what other name?

a) The Indians

b) The Redskins

c) The Professors

d) The Engineers

4) Which school, before adopting its current nickname, went by the Hoosieroons?

a) Ball State

b) Indiana State

c) Evansville

d) Purdue Fort Wayne

5) Before adopting the Ducks moniker, the University of Oregon went by what nickname?

a) The Emeralds

b) The Wildcats

c) The Patriots

d) The Webfoots

6) Which university claims their mascot’s history from the First Intercollegiate Elephant Race…something that occurred in the 1960s, well after you’d think people would have figured out this would be a bad idea?

a) Alabama

b) Purdue Fort Wayne

c) Cal State Fullerton

d) Tufts

7) Before selecting their current nickname, this school and its supporters considered several other unique options, like the Jeeps, the Bancroft Highwaymen, the Turtles, the Commodores, and the Toreadors. Which school is it?

a) Toledo

b) Akron

c) Cal State Northridge

d) USF

8 ) This Big 12 institution voted their current mascot from a list of five finalists: The Frogs, the Ferrets, the Antelopes, the Buffalos, and their actual mascot. What school is it?

a) BYU

b) Texas Tech

c) Houston

d) Baylor

9) VCU, which goes by the Rams, was created when the Medical College of Virginia merged with what was called the Richmond Professional Institute. RPI’s school colors were Yellow and Green. What was its mascot?

a) The Rams

b) The Green Devils

c) The Yellow Hurricanes

d) The Flying Squirrels

10) Before adopting the Bulldogs mascot they use today, back in the 1910s, Gonzaga went by what?

a) The Fighting Irish

b) The Normals

c) The Big Red

d) The Spokes


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Okay here are the answers:

1) According to the book, the original colors were B), pink and green

2) That would be c), Florida State.

3) Probably an easy one, right? Before becoming the Mountain Hawks, Lehigh was the d), Engineers

4) a) Ball State

5) The answer is d), webfoots, although apparently that has absolutely nothing to do with ducks or even animals at all. A webfoot is either a nickname for early Oregonians or a reference to fishermen off the coast of Massachusetts who helped George Washington in the Revolutionary War.

6) The elephant from the races is the mascot for the C) Cal State Fullerton Titans. Remind me to write a 2,000-word newsletter on intercollegiate elephant races once football season is over because boy howdy do I have QUESTIONS.

7) That would be a) Toledo. Rockets is a great name, but I have to admit, I’d own a Toledo Jeeps Homefield Apparel shirt if that was a thing.

8 ) According to the book, the correct answer is d) Baylor

9) The answer is b) the Green Devils. The Flying Squirrels is the nickname for Richmond’s minor league baseball team.

10) I swear I am not making this up, the answer is a) The Fighting Irish.

Anyway, we’ll have more reporting this week on the class action House v NCAA case, conference realignment’s impact on Pullman, and maybe an update or two about the Michigan Sign Stealing investigation. Be sure to subscribe to Extra Points so you don’t miss a beat.

Thanks for reading. I’ll see you again in your inbox soon.

If you’d like to buy ads on Extra Points OR in ADS3000, good news! They’re affordable, and we still have openings for this year. Drop me a line at [email protected]. If you have news tips or FOIAs you want to share, I’m at [email protected]. Otherwise, I’m at [email protected], @MattBrownEP on Twitter, @ExtraPointsMB on Instagram, and @MattBrown on Bluesky

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