Not pictured: scores of bear carcasses - Justin K. Aller
Sometimes, a mascot has to kill a bear with a school-supplied musket. Or at least, that's what we're taking away from this.
See that hirsute guy in the picture up there? That's the mascot of the West Virginia Mountaineers (I think he's a bandicoot or something). See that musket he's holding? That's part of the costume, of course. But it is also apparently an actual, working firearm, which the Mountaineers mascot used to literally shoot and kill a bear.
According to Graham Watson at Yahoo! Sports, this is a real thing that actually happened.
(warning: video is graphic) was placed online and seen by West Virginia officials, who asked him to stop using the weapon. Jonathan Kimble, the 24-year-old who plays West Virginia's mascot, said hunting with the gun is a mascot tradition.
WVU officials are apparently none too happy that this Fleet Foxes-lookin' dude used school property to kill a bear, but perhaps the school shouldn't be handing out massive, working firearms to their mascots. If schools are going to do this, they should all do it. Here's a short list of the college mascots that we want to see firing working guns immediately:
- Puddles the duck (Oregon)
- Smokey (Tennessee). Sure, it's an actual, literal dog, but how adorable would that be?
- The Michigan State Spartan. The only thing 300 was missing? GUNS
- Brutus Buckeye
- The Billiken (this is the only way to make the Billiken more terrifying)
I think what we will all ultimately take away from this is I bet Mike Leach is pissed he wasn't invited on this hunting trip.