FULL NAME: Duke University
- 1841: Union Institute Academy received its charter from the state.
- 1851: The North Carolina Legislature changed the name to Normal College.
- 1859: The school’s name changed again to Trinity College after affiliating with the Methodist Church.
- 1888: “Les Diables Blues” are formed in France to protect her from attack through the Alps. Officially known as the “Chasseurs Alpins” the unit is still considered an elite mountain fighting force today. They earned the Blue Devil nickname because of their cape-like blue jackets.
- 1889: A college cheer, starting out “Rah! Rah! Rah! For the deep dark blue!…” was printed in The Trinity Archive for April. This is the earliest evidence of the adoption of a school color. Oral tradition long held the color chosen was Yale Blue in honor of President Crowell, a Yale graduate (Illuminati Alert!). However, Yale did not adopt blue as its official color until 1894.
- 1917: The Blue Devils toured the United States and rallied support as America entered World War I. In typical French fashion, they were apparently better at talking and looking good than fighting.
- 1922: Various student newspapers clamored for a sports nickname after the recently reinstated football took the field known as the Trinity Eleven, the Blue and White and/or the Methodists. After the 1921 mascot campaign gridlocked, the editors latched onto the blue theme. Dispensing with blue clad Eagles, Titans and Warriors along with Royal Blazes and even Polar Bears (I’m not sure the most stubborn global warming critics envision the next ice age reaching Raleigh-Durham) they began using the Blue Devil moniker.
- 1924: Trinity College became the undergrad for the newly founded Duke University, named in honor of the tobacco moguls who created an endowment funding Duke, among other institutions. The athletic department moved on to the university, and the pro-Blue Devil crowd was pleased to find no resistance to the mascot they had unilaterally slipped into the campus conscience. Sure a student body full of WWI vets understood and appreciated the nickname, but the lack of opposition from the administration of a Methodist university adopting the devil for its sports symbol was surprising.
- 1929: The Blue Devil sprang to life looking like he was kidnapped off a silent movie set, complete with guyliner and pale face paint. He must have been pissed off too, considering the crouching devil-(not) hidden pitchfork stance he displayed in several photos.
- 1940’s?: Perhaps inspired by his human counterpart, the logo took on a classier, Vincent Price-like appearance.
- 1952: A changing of the guard captured in the moment, the low budget Devil got a little more SUPER! Thanks for asking…
- 1963: The Devil morphed into Big Boy’s evil twin and judging by the flames, he too could grill up a mean double decker.
- 1966: Then we got the backlit Blue Devil who forgot to wash the teeth whitener off his hands before he rubbed his eyes and slicked down his brows.
- 1970’s: Somebody must have put a call in to DC Comics, giving Durham a little piece of Gotham. The logo finally incorporated the cape made famous by the original Blue Devils.
- 1975: Sadly, Duke scrapped their partnership with the local insane asylum shortly after this picture was taken.
- 1981: The Devil found the pitchfork, slapped on a foam head and some shoulder pads, but kept himself approachable with a playful smile.
- 1986-88: According to “Unclebill” on www.dukebasketballreport.com, the Blue Devil started sporting his signature “headband-with-a-message” in honor of Chicago Bears QB Jim McMahon. Jeff, the man inside the costume, was a Bears fan and loved McMahon’s symbolic defiance of NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle’s command not to wear unauthorized corporate logos. Every time the Blue Devil hits the floor he taunts opponents with a freshly written jab.
- 2008: Minus the Bono shades and a pearly grin, the current Blue Devil bears the closest resemblance to the icon we all love to hate.
- Originality- (2) So they didn’t know in the 1920’s the French military would soon be synonymous with surrender. They found a clever way to honor Duke’s colors and returning vets…very original.
- Presentation- (2) Adding the trademark cape of his namesake and morphing into almost an exact replica of the logo were solid upgrades.
- Authenticity- (0) Sorry Dukies, but the Appalachians ain’t the French Alps.
- Intimidation Factor- (2) He’s not just a devil, he’s a diabolical gym rat with a pitchfork taller than he is.
- Political Incorrectness- (2) The Blue Devil gets high marks for existing at all. He’s a walking contradiction who has lasted almost a century without being exorcised (Do Methodists even conduct exorcisms, or do they leave that up to Catholics?) Plus he talks trash Jim McMahon-style. Nice…
- TOTAL (8) Given the high score, I don’t expect much sympathy for this devil.