ADVANCED MASCOTOLOGY

Connecticut Huskies

FULL NAME:  University of Connecticut

LOCATION:  Storrs, CT 

CONFERENCE:

HISTORY:

  • 1881: Storrs Agricultural School was founded on land donated from the Storrs family farm.
  • 1899: Storrs became Connecticut Agricultural College. At some point this decade they adopted blue AND white to separate themselves from Yale, which only wore blue. It’s a big difference…I know. They also assumed the Aggie nickname that every Ag. school seemed to get stuck with.
  • 1920’s: Since most of their opponents were running around in blue and white, the football team dabbled in orange and black until 1929, when alumni shot the color scheme down.
  • 1934:  CAC became Connecticut State College a year earlier and thus, dropped the Aggies nickname. Lacking a mascot, they decided rival Rhode Island shouldn’t have one either, and nabbed their ram. Those not hardened by a life of crime no doubt experienced periods of introspection and remorse, so they gave the ram back and started a school-wide contest to adopt their own.
  • 1935:  And the winner waaaaaaaaaaaas…Jonathan the Husky. The name was a result of a separate campus-wide contest, chosen to honor the only colonial Governor to support the American Revolution, Johnathan Trumbull. So, why a husky? The reason isn’t entirely clear. What is clear, it can’t be because UConn sounds like Yukon, because the college didn’t become a university until 1939, and wasn’t referred to as UConn before then. Still waiting for that phone call, Mythbusters… 
  • 1936:  Jonathan I didn’t have a long run thanks to an unattentive handler and a car. So Jonathan II was introduced, and the UConn Husky has been a white Siberian ever since.
  • 1952:  Although Jonathan’s colors were set, UConn didn’t settle on National Flag Blue and White until it was decided by a committee the athletics department was donning too many different shades of blue.
  • 1964:  (Did this guy lose a bet?) It turned out Jonathan V was afraid of crowds and didn’t exactly inspire team pride while desperately seeking a place to hide, so a costumed Jonathan was thrown together until Jonathan VI was found. It’s a miracle the two-legged version still exists today judging by this guy’s craptacular attitude. This sad clown in a husky suit was originally known as “Homer the Husky.” That name was eventually dropped in favor of Jonathan as well.
  • 1970:  The student government voted to sell the dog because it “represented the establishment” maaaan.
  • 1970’s:   Fortunately the Alpha Phi Omega frat made themselves useful and took over care for the live mascot after students signed a petition to keep him. Common sense-1, hippies-0. The school did abandon the cartoonish logo of Jonathan in colonial garb, toting a musket, in favor of the more realistic, stoic depiction shown above.
  • 1983:  A local artist redid Jonathan to look even more like the real thing.
  • 1989: The Board of Trustees recognized the Husky as the official school mascot.  
  • 2002:   Jonathan was upgraded on paper and in person (although I’m not sure when that happened for the costumed version). Given the logo’s intense stare, one might assume there was a bowl of Snausages nearby.
  • 2008:  Jonathan XIII hit the scene. Somebody might want to put a leash on him though, considering three of his predecessors succumbed to the moving vehicle. There’s a lot of EZ-GOs flying around those sidelines…            

RIVALS: Traditionally, Jonathan scrapped with Rams and Bulldogs, but now gets in the pit with Orange and Hoyas. In the wild, he is threatened by blizzards, sub-zero temps and traffic.   

RATING:

  • Jonathan, the live version:
  • Originality- (2) There are other Husky mascots out there, but nobody else chose one with a majestic, all-white coat.
  • Presentation- (2) Jonathan rocks a blue and white coat with his name and the frat that saved him embroidered on it. It’s a vintage mascot look that still looks classy.
  • Authenticity- (0) Connecticut winters might feel like the arctic, but until they start a sled dog race from Bristol to Mohegan Sun…it isn’t.
  • Intimidation Factor- (1.5) The Siberian Husky is the dog breed most closely related to the wolf. Although they aren’t considered dangerous, I can’t imagine things will work out well if you cross this blue collar, working dog.
  • Political Incorrectness- (2) enemies of my enemies are my friends…SCREW YOU HIPPIES! Besides, he’s named after an American Revolutionary Hero, a fact sure to rattle your average bleeding heart. 
  • TOTAL- (7.5) A solid showing for a solid dog.
  • Jonathan, the costumed version:
  • Originality- (2) Once again, there might not be another white Siberian in the D-I college ranks.
  • Presentation- (1) If I didn’t know Jonathan was a dog, I might confuse him for a polar bear. Try putting some shag on that carpet and get back to me…
  • Authenticity- (0) Same as above…
  • Intimidation Factor- (1) Those jet-black voids for eyes are a bit creepy, but if you really want to scare the kids it’s time to make those eyes a little more authentic. Also, have you noticed the live and costumed Jonathan’s are never pictured together? I think that rug-wearing, biped is scurred. 
  • Political Incorrectness- (1) They were really on to something in the 60’s when they gave Jonathan a musket and a colonial, tri-corner hat. I can’t help but believe the move to a more docile Jonathan, on paper and in costume, was made to placate those frickin’ hippies!
  • TOTAL- (5) …just not as good as the real thing.
  • GRAND TOTAL- (6.25) …if you’re scoring at home.

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3 Responses

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  1. Randall A. Kent said, on October 2, 2012 at 13:17


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