For much of 2010, the University of Mississippi has been in the process of replacing its mascot, Colonel Reb. This process started swimmingly: Students voted on the mascot they'd most like to see replace the old, potentially offensive standby, and their choice was minor "Star Wars" character and legendary Internet meme Admiral Ackbar.
Unfortunately, Ole Miss officials refused to fall into that trap. (Sorry.) So they commissioned a group of new mascots to be voted on by the school. A group of students winnowed the 1,000 or so ideas to 11, and now to three. And, no surprise, the three finalists make about as much sense as Mr. Ackbar ever did.
You can see the sketches here. There's Rebel Black Bear, Rebel Hoddy Toddy and, my personal favorite, Rebel Land Shark. Each are drawn wearing their various getups, with an outfit for The Grove, Ole Miss' football tailgating field, an outfit for football games, and an outfit for hoops events. You have to admit, they're looking pretty sharp.
Naturally, some Ole Miss fans are not amused by the selections. From the Clarion-Ledger:
"This needs to be killed," Davis said. "I can't imagine how embarrassing it will be if one of these creatures runs across the field."
Ha, creatures. That's one way to describe them.
Would it have been any more embarrassing to just let Admiral Ackbar be the selection? At least he was a Rebel, right? Sharks are not leading any sort of rebellion. Let's hope not, anyway. That would be terrifying.