ADVANCED MASCOTOLOGY

Kansas Jayhawks

FULL NAME:  University of Kansas.

LOCATION:  Lawrence, KS.

CONFERENCE: The Big 12 

HISTORY:

  • 1848: The “Jayhawk” was born, a hybrid of the stealthy sparrow hawk and the aggressive, nest robbing blue jay. Pro-abolitionist militants earned the nickname through similar tactics to keep Kansas Territory free soil (although the term was commonly used around the country to describe anyone who robbed, disrupted or damaged property without getting caught, regardless of the cause).
  • 1854-58:  The height of skirmishes between Jayhawkers and the pro-slavery Missouri Raiders before the Civil War, a period known as “Bleeding Kansas.”
  • 1861:  (Nice hat) Kansas joined the Union as a free state, sending the 7th Regiment Kansas Volunteer Cavalry to “The War Between the States.” Known as Jennison’s Jayhawks, this unit made the nickname stick.
  • 1886: “Rooooooock-Chaaaaaaaaalk, Jaaaaaaaaaay-Haaaaaaaawk, Kaaaaaaaaay-Uuuuuuuuuu…” KU chemistry professor EHS Bailey conjured up the “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” chant to protect his Jayhawk cult from their opponent’s evil spirits.
  • 1890: The brand new football team adopted the chant and thus the Jayhawk nickname.
  • 1896: Unable to form an original thought, the school dumped the maize and sky blue color scheme they ripped off from Michigan in favor of Harvard crimson and Yale blue (Illuminati Alert!) in order to please donors and faculty.
  • 1912:  A student newspaper cartoonist drew up a Jayhawk with shoes for “kicking opponents,” bearing an uncanny resemblance to modern basketball shoes. The irony doesn’t end there since KU’s first hoops coach, Dr. James Naismith, invented the game.
  • 1917:  Jay moonlighting at a football game after a tough week at the carnival duck shoot. 
  • 1920:  Apparently the above Jay just wasn’t doing it for the school letterhead or the yearbook committee. 
  • 1923:  Lookin’ a little top-heavy there, buddy
  • 1929:  Jay evolved into an angry, wingless, talon-bearing zombie. Try a massive economic collapse after a decade of prohibition and see how you react! 
  • 1941:  Jay returned from the world of the undead, but the journey only dampened his mood.
  • 1946:   Jay ushered in his modern era, still sporting the talons but dropping the Napoleonic complex.
  • 1953:  Not really sure what’s about to happen here, but Jay needs to quit working his chest and get that thing in his neck looked at.
  • 1971:  (Big) Jay did some gender bending and wound up with Baby Jay. It may or may not have happened in that order, but it led to a series of after school specials.
  • 1984:  The Jay’s got a facelift and a wardrobe update…apparently.
  • 1985:  Inspired by those mediocre outfits, the Jay’s moved to Minneapolis and started a mediocre adult alternative band.
  • 1988:  The Jays were lured back to Lawrence with new costumes and a free ride.
  • 2005:  Logo Jay touched up his KU tattoo with Trajan font. I would have gone with Old English to give the street cred a push.

                                                 

RIVALS: In competition Jay gets his kicks against Tigers and Wildcats. Off campus he is most often threatened by real hawks, ornithologists and buses blazing blue hairs to Branson.

RATING: 

  • Big Jay:
  • Originality- (1.5) It’s a mythical bird with a “Mini Me” sidekick. You don’t see that everyday… However, Big Jay lose half a point for copying another school’s colors TWICE!
  • Presentation- (1) Big Jay resembles a blue jay or a sparrow hawk like I resemble a Brad Pitt or a Johnny Depp. Those “opponent-kicking shoes” represent his human origins, but overall he look like Toucan Sam with pilgrim’s clogs.
  • Authenticity- (2) Jayhawker is synonymous with Kansan, even Kansans that went to KSU.
  • Intimidation Factor- (0) Big Jay would get a half point for his troublemaking tendencies, but in a straight up fight he’s only threatening to bugs, snakes, unattended eggs, various prairie rodents and whatever ends up under those shoes. Too bad all his time is consumed keeping track of Baby Jay. He probably wasn’t thinking about THAT when he was rufflin’ tail feathers with Baby Jay’s baby momma.  
  • Political Incorrectness- (.5) Even though Jay kept the talons, he lost his edge in ’46 once he cracked that smile. Then, he becomes a single parent during the height of the Sexual Revolution, but now they’re going around calling themselves “friends?”  That’s the kind of parenting that ends in providing alcohol to minors charges.
  • TOTAL- (5) An average score isn’t bad for a fantasy fowl that isn’t noted for much more than squawking and robbing nests.
  • Baby Jay:
  • Originality- (1) Can’t be as original as Big Jay, since he came first.
  • Presentation- (1) See above…
  • Authenticity- (2) That’s right K-Staters, if you’re from Kansas you KNOW you’re still a Jayhawk!
  • Intimidation Factor- (0) Any baby might be intimidating to 30-something males afraid of commitment, but even a dirty diaper phobia is easily overcome.
  • Political Incorrectness- (0) Baby Jay is the unapologetic child of a broken home. That’s one right out of the PC playbook.
  • TOTAL- (4) Can’t expect much more from a chick…
  • GRAND TOTAL- (4.5) Damn kid is dragging down the average!
  •      

5 Responses

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  5. July said, on May 24, 2012 at 18:27

    Margo Lowenstein – Candice-You did such a great job shoot Skip & me! It was so much fun and we LOVE the pictures. I can’t wait for the wenddig just a few weeks to go!THANK YOU!Margo


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