If you follow me on Twitter (and I don’t know why you would), you might have seen me post this:
...during college football’s first week of play. Those teams lost.
And you might be wondering what the hell is up with this weird dog and his “ugh, I shouldn’t have eaten all that turkey bacon in the kitchen garbage” grimace. That dog is Jonathan Husky, the mascot of UConn athletics, as he was depicted in 1959. How do I know this?
Because UConn told the world about him when it unveiled a new logo in 2013.
Let me be clear: The use of Ennui Husky is not a shot at UConn.
(Though it did open the season by barely beating Holy Cross.)
Nor is Connecticut the only school to previously feature a head-scratcher of a logo. I am partial to this old LSU tiger that wants you to know that laws prohibiting the sale of PCP are unconstitutional, and he’s not going back to prison. He’s just not.
But Ennui Husky is the perfect meme for college football because he has one look that contains so many emotions.
Look at him again:
There’s sadness, yes, but it’s more than that. This is not the sadness of someone who wanted to see his team win, but it didn’t. This is the sadness of someone who wonders why his team even exists in the first place. Is it only to torture you; to taunt you with the promise of success before snatching it away? If that’s true, aren’t you complicit in that torture by signing up as a fan with hope in the first place?
And what does that say about your other choices? See, this is the sadness of someone who retires as regional manager and realizes he could have spent all this time pursuing his true passion: landscape painting. You had talent, if a sometimes unfocused technique! Why did you take the safe route?
Shock? Sort of. It’s more accurately a perfect blend of shock and non-shock. Every day, Ennui Husky watches the bus speed by him and splash him with gutter water. It’s a shock because your body’s never really accustomed to getting splashed with gutter water. It’s not a shock because it happens every day.
Acceptance is written on his face, though it’s deeply conflicted. Ennui Husky comprehends the tragedy that’s taken place and accepts it as reality. Simultaneously, he cannot accept his own acceptance. How can he stand there and do nothing but stare into the distance? Why doesn’t he demand more from his team? From himself? And that’s where you get the deepest layer of acceptance. He does nothing because nothing he does matters. He is an inconsequential speck in this universe, incapable of changing future events in even the smallest way.
Combine that sadness, shock, acceptance, and existential dread in one old dog logo.
That’s Ennui Husky.
Oh, and here he is in Alabama format, since the Tide probably won’t ever lose this year: