The University of Illinois had to get rid of its old symbol featuring Chief Illiniwek, on account of it being a racist-ish depiction of a Native American guy. But their plan isn't to be permanently symbolless: a student organization is having a contest to pick a new symbol.
Illinois students are allowed to vote on it - here, sadly, it doesn't work if you're not an Illinois student - and the five best vote-getters will be presented to the university administration, at which point it'll decide if they want to use one.
Want to see what they're selecting from? Hint: YOU DEFINITELY WANT TO SEE WHAT THEY'RE SELECTING FROM, HOLY CRAP IT'S THE BEST. They range from silly to inappropriate all the way on down to possibly-made-by-third-graders, and they're all spectacular.
The 46 options are available at the Facebook page of the student group, Campus Spirit Revival. These are our seven favorite (Oh, and before you ask: they're all real. And we're just skimming the top.):
Not a chief. A chef. FEAR HIS SPATULA AND... is that a wooden spoon? At least give him a sharp-ass knife or something. The awesome thing about this is that it almost perfectly mirrors the original Chief Illiniwek logo, just swapping out the feather headdress for an especially puffy chef hat.
No better way to honor the legacy of one of America's greatest presidents, whose life was tragically cut short by an assassination, than by depicting him SURROUNDED BY GUNS.
"I'm not sure my demurely cowering large feline is going to catch people's attention. I'll have my eight-year-old cousin scribble what it's supposed to be, just so everybody knows what it is. Here, Kevin... WAIT KEVIN ARE YOU KIDDING IT'S OBVIOUSLY A LEOPARD, NOT A PANTHER. LOOK AT THE SPOTS. Ugh. Don't cross it out. Just put a slash and write 'leopards' after it."
I also like that this person didn't know that they're just looking for a new symbol, not an entirely new mascot. They're chill with "Illini," bro.
I also also like that the first comment on this picture on facebook is just, "no," which has nine likes.
It's an anthropomorphic piece of corn. Have you ever driven to Champaign? Or anyplace in the Midwest, for that matter? Somewhere, a University of Iowa official is just repeatedly slamming his or her head into a desk in frustration at not thinking of this first. Wait - it's Greg Davis.
Five dollars to the first person who can read the backwards letters and tell us what piece of paper this person submitted this design on the back of.
Luckily, this isn't the only logo this student submitted:
Rabid. Rabid the Squirrel. This, sirs, is the definition of giving zero craps.
Put up your dukes! If you don't step off, you'll find out that slavery's not the only thing this 6'4 lean, mean, punching machine fights.
He's got a friggin axe. RAILSPLITTERS, BABY.
That's just seven. Out of 46. I also like OCTOPUS EATING THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LOGO, and many of the other variants on Abe Lincoln and/or hastily drawn cats - check them all out here. And if you do attend the University of Illinois, please, please vote for one of these.
Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.