Bye Bye Buggs & Ole

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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In the last few days, two well known institutions of higher learning in South Dakota have taken on a new look…a leaner, meaner appearance that, according to the image makers, will not only boost the pride factor at each respective school but also strike fear into the hearts of their rivals on the field of athletic competition.
 
South Dakota State University has been trying hard to gain respect in Division 1 sports and now it shall surely have it…thanks to the new Jackrabbit logo.
Gone is the grinning Bugs Bunny look-alike loping along on two feet like a guy in a bunny suit off to give Elmer Fudd a hard time.
He’s been replaced by a furrow-browed lightening-fast jackrabbit that seems to be saying “get the heck out of the way, bub, I’m about to run you over.”
                
Then Augustana College decided it was time to get rid of Ole.
 I suppose it was time since Ole, with his round shield and little sword looked a bit too much like Hagar the Horrible.  
His replacement, on the other hand is no cartoon. He’s a scary guy who appears as though he wouldn’t think twice about pillaging your neighborhood, having his way with your women and then chopping you up into little pieces with his mighty saber.
Unlike the old ole, this more realistic Viking, it seems to me, isn’t the type of guy you would invite over for a cup of coffee or find sitting next to you in the Lutheran church.                 
 
Most everybody seems to like the new..tougher looking images. Some have gone so far as to say they will inspire their teams to victory.
There actually is some evidence to back-up that kind of optimism.
 
Remember the early Tampa Bay Buccaneers? They were the laughing stock of the NFL until they changed their logo from a rather effeminate-looking buccaneer wearing an earring with the big feather in his hat, to a skull and crossbones pirate flag mounted on a rusty sword.
The new Bucs suddenly started to chalk-up victories. They were no longer the league doormat and went on to claim Super Bowl XXXVII.                            
 
Or how about the Denver Broncos? Usually a pretty good team but could never win the big one until they changed their logo from a big letter “D” with a sneezing horse in the middle, to a snorting stallion charging forward over anything in it’s path.
The new Broncos, with John Elway at the helm and that mighty steed on his helmet went on to win back to back Super Bowls.            
 
And, of course it wasn’t until after the New England Patriots dumped their silly logo of a minute man in a tricorn hat hiking the football, to the profile of a proud patriot in red, white and blue, that the team started winning..and winning and winning.              
 
I just hope that if Augie now starts racking up wins because of the new Viking logo, someone doesn’t get the bright idea to take a chisel to the statue of Ole on campus in an effort to make him look less loveable and more intimidating.
That would be pushing the limits of Lutheran alumni tolerism too far.

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