We have solutions to Missouri's mascot situation

Thu, Feb 11

According to reports, a University of Missouri student leader is campaigning to replace the school's mascot with an actual live tiger -- at an estimated cost of $2 million -- the better to increase school spirit and draw attention to Mizzou's athletic programs.

Terrible idea.

The problem with adding a real tiger isn't that it's both unsafe and expensive; it's that it isn't unsafe and expensive enough. Not if Missouri truly wants to attract attention in our fractured, distracted, overstimulated media age. The first student who gets mauled by the mascot? Big news. But Tiger bite victims No. 2-20? Yawn.

With that in mind, Page 2 presents the following plans to help Mizzou athletics bump Tiger Woods from the headlines:

White tiger mascot, trained by Siegfried and Roy;

• Exploding football triggered by delay-of-game violations, a la the arcade classic "Cyberball";

• Sideline turnbuckles;

• Rancor pits behind end zones;

• "Old School"-style mascot fire ring during pregame warmups;

• Coin flip replaced by kai-if-fee fight to the death with Lirpa spears and "Amok Time" theme music;

• CO2-propelled T-shirts replaced by white phosphorus flares;

• Florida, UCLA and the University of Pittsburgh following suit with similar real-life mascots.