Ole Miss’ New Mascot: The Rebel…Black Bear

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<a href="http://mascot.olemiss.edu/?page_id=305">olemiss.edu</a>

Since it’s 2010, it was probably a good call to get rid of a mascot that recalls the Confederacy.

Meet the Rebel Black Bear, the softer, gentler mascot of the University of Mississippi. Their previous mascot was Colonel Reb, a Southern planter who was a little too reminiscent of the old South. (See how footballs are made for the Super Bowl.)

At first, some students delved through pop culture for a new mascot, proposing the addition of Star Wars “rebel” Admiral Ackbar. But a bear meant to recall Oxford, Miss. resident William Faulkner took the prize. (One of Faulkner’s works is “The Bear,” in which the animal symbolized strength.)  In a university poll, 62% of students supported the Rebel Black Bear, while 56% approved of the Rebel Land Shark and 42% liked Hotty Toddy, a muscular human who would serve as a symbol of their school’s pride. (See the effects of football on players’ brains.)

Ole Miss went seven years without an official mascot, though they’ve called themselves “the rebels,” which won’t change with the new bear. The mascot change represents the university’s attempt to portray a modern South — before Colonel Reb got the boot, the university banned Confederate flags.

NewsFeed understands the need to modernize, but how cool would it be to have a land shark as your mascot? You could make constant SNL references at every game.