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Five Horrifying ‘80s Southwest Conference Mascots To Haunt Your Dreams

It was a simpler time.


Are we having a fun off-season yet? (No, we aren’t, because January is insufferably long and dull and only the first obstacle we must surmount in this journey.) Nonetheless, we must keep ourselves occupied. We’re talking about retro mascots, naturally. Did you actually expect us to write about recruiting?

Special thanks to Reddit for the treasure trove, and we suggest you hop on over there and peruse the entire thread for all sorts of mascot wizardry.

Ol’ Sarge


Everyone’s favorite garishly dehumanized military escort. You can find his story here, but suffice it to say that he was never long for the wider world of college football. What passed for haute couture in rural ‘80s College Station is no match for the highly modernized and sterilized corporate environment that restrains college football today. Rest your weary, giant head in peace, Ol’ Sarge, until a stir of echoes from the past awakens you from your slumber to grace us all with your presence once again.

Sammy The Owl

Rice Owl Mascot

Note the disheveled sneakers, the smooth and human calves that look remarkably like actual bird legs when juxtaposed against the “feathers” of the suit. Ask not why there is a bald patch in the groin region of the suit and receive no unwarranted explanations. This is something from a child’s book about a scientist drinking a potion and turning into a huge and grumpy bird of prey. The original Angry Bird whose superpower was trolling opponents through his musical minions in the band. If Reveille V appears to be sensing evil in this photograph, it’s only because the student wearing it likely reeks of cannabis and Drakkar Noir. God Bless the ‘80s.

TCU Horned Frog

Hey! Leave Rev alone! She wasn’t responsible for the Ol’ Sarge person suit, so there’s no need to keep scaring her, Other Unnverving SWC Mascots. Bonus points to TCU for not skimping on the legs of the costume <cough>RICE<cough>. He could probably waterski on those shoes. He’s got the cuddly, amorphous body of a cartoon creature and the head of an Anime carp/goldfish. This was the ‘80s, so in order to get Horned Frog to actually stand up at your event, you had to fork over another $500.

Raider Red

Oh, buddy. You know you’re at a Texas Tech basketball game when a middle-aged looking dude with muffin-tops sticking out from beneath his open-carry holster starts inciting the crowd. This sucker looks like Yosemite Sam got all cleaned up for a corporate interview and then changed his mind at the last minute and went to a costume party as Zorro instead. Like everyone else in Lubbock, he’s got garish belt buckles and wears wind pants to every sporting event. This guy is late for the discount buffet at Golden Corral and doesn’t care who gets in his way.


Yeah this picture isn’t from the ‘80s. Humour us. Sometime in the throes of the ‘70s it was determined that having a mascot that does nothing but lie down and chew 99% of the time wasn’t exactly firing up the crowd. Who knew? Hookem has the bulbous nose of a lifelong drinker and a hat that could double as a flotation device in case of crash landings on Town Lake. His hands are curiously unable to grasp anything larger than a drinking straw, and like any self-respecting Austinite, his chaps are made of 100% non-leather materials. When not attending Texas sporting events, Hookem spends the majority of his time riding around in Lincolns with Matthew McConaughey discussing the supernatural whims of the universe at large. Hookem is also the CEO of the Longhorn Network.


Who terrifies you the most?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Ol’ Sarge
    (533 votes)
  • 13%
    The Owl
    (126 votes)
  • 20%
    The Horned Frog
    (197 votes)
  • 3%
    Raider Red
    (29 votes)
  • 5%
    (56 votes)
941 votes total Vote Now