We Want Keggy!
Be honest now. How much do you really know about Dartmouth, Maryland's opponent in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend?
We suspect that, like most of us, your knowledge is on par with Kristi Toliver's. Here's what Kristi told the Washington Post about Dartmouth Monday night: "They're in the Ivy League, so I'm sure they're intelligent people, and that's about all I know." (Well, KT, they're definitely not as smart as Princeton students, but otherwise we don't disagree.)
We bet that, like many of her team's fans, Kristi didn't even know Dartmouth's nickname! In case you're wondering, for the record, Dartmouth is known as the "Big Green" . . . kinda like the Stanford "Cardinal." (Only green, not red, and not as good at basketball and definitely not as well known.)
Of course, with Big Green as a nickname, that begs the question: "What could their mascot possibly be?" A golf fairway?? Obviously, this was a task for the BasketCases' Research Department! And, thanks to our researchers, we now have an answer.
After many hours of intensive investigation, using every research tool at their disposal, our intrepid sleuths informed us that . . . Dartmouth has no offical school mascot! We repeat -- no official school mascot! How can that be? How can you play sports without a mascot? Even the Cardinal has a Tree, albeit an unofficial mascot and a sometimes tipsy one, but a Tree nonetheless! There had to be more to this story, so once again we sent the BasketCases' Research Department out in search of more answers . . .
Apparently, the Dartmouth mascot used to be "an Indian," until school officials fired him in 1971 (no doubt on grounds of political correctness). This left the Big Green without a mascot. And so they remained mascot-less for several decades. However, in 2003, the Student Assembly conducted a student survey to select a new mascot, and the winner was . . . "DartMoose"!! But in a second poll, DartMoose lost out to "No Mascot." That's sort of like when former Attorney General John Ashcroft lost his Senate race to a dead opponent. (Strange, but true.) But we disgress. So, no new mascot.
But not having one didn't sit well with the staff of Dartmouth's student humor magazine, Jack-O-Lantern, so they invented . . . Keggy the Keg -- an anthropomorphic keg of beer!! Well, why not? What better symbol of college life than a walking, performing beer keg! Brilliant!
Take a look at his picture. Keggy has a pretty cool costume, and don't you think he's kinda cute? Unfortunately, life hasn't been all happy hours for Keggy. Since he's not an official mascot, he's run into a bit of "institutional resistance." According to Wikipedia, school officials have banned him from some games. And there was that unfortunate keg-naping episode. Apparently not everyone at Dartmouth likes Keggy, but we do! And we certainly hope that he shows up at Comcast on Sunday to help his team get pumped for the Big Dance.
Keggy, please come this Sunday . . . beer kegs always receive a warm welcome in College Park! Last year at this time, we saw lots of great mascots at the first round games. It just wouldn't be the same this weekend if the Big Green came without a mascot of their own.
We Want Keggy!