Give a pug a bone, but let the griffin win

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April 13, 2010

2:38 AM

“Get me the Griffin,” President Taylor Reveley dramatically intoned. Now, as good of a choice as this was, I think it only right that we all pause for a moment and remember a gallant loser: ladies and gentlemen, please hold a moment of silence for the pug.

I know this is not going to be popular, as any suggestion I made that the pug should win — no matter how tongue in cheek — was met with paroxysms of rage by those who heard it. However, give credit where credit is due — the pug made it through to the final five amidst a field of over 800 suggestions, some of which were tactfully described as being “very unique” by this paper. Our pugnacious friend did well just by making it to the starting line.

You want distinctive? I guarantee that no other institution in the world has a pug for a mascot, unlike the Griffin, where our thunder has already been stolen by Seton Hill University, Canisius College and Sarah Lawrence College — that’s right: Sarah Lawrence. You want tough? The pug portrait on the College website looked mean as hell. You want cute? The thing gives birth to puglets. You want a pedigree? Pugs have been owned by King William III and Queen Mary II, Gerard Butler and Rob Zombie.

What of the Griffin? College propaganda may say otherwise, but it’s just a lousy half-breed, unable to make up its mind as to whether it’s an eagle or a lion — and no, you can’t be one-third amazing, because amazing is an adjective. Will it crack at crucial moments during games and suddenly start tearing itself asunder amid the immense psychological strain of harboring two enormous animal egos within one fluffy suit? Probably not. Will it try to workup the crowd with a combination of slow handclaps and dodgy dance moves? Probably.

Where was I when the pug needed me most, as the long and grueling search for a mascot approached its climax? Or when there were only five pro-pug comments from among the 22,000 submitted to the mascot committee? Alas, I was nowhere, as pug advocacy is so often honored more in the abstract than in the material.

In all seriousness, I like the pug because it’s kooky, but in truth it’s not a good mascot. Come to think of it, anything with congenital respiratory problems, flaps of facial skin that require regular cleaning, and an alarming propensity to overheat — not good for the sucker in the suit — is probably unsuitable for a mascot.

Congratulations to the Griffin then, which won fair and square. After all, anything’s better than an amorphous green blob.

E-mail Tim MacFarlan at [email protected]

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