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Charlie Hatton
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#74. My college mascot was the ‘Praying Colonel’.

Seriously, who’s in charge of this shit? What the hell kind of a mascot is that? Who’s gonna be afraid of a ‘Praying Colonel’?

We were a Presbyterian school, which I guess had something to do with the choice, but it still sucked ass. Even if you’re gonna cop out and go the ‘God route’, it’s still possible to come up with something with more balls. Look at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons. Pretty fuckin’ cool. Penn’s got the Quakers, which isn’t all that awe-inspiring, but at least they didn’t get cute about it. The school’s in Pennsylvania, the Quakers were in Pennsylvania — they just named the mascot and got it over with. I can respect that, I suppose.

But the ‘Praying Colonel’? Pfffftt. What’s your mental image of such a thing? Being that the school’s in Kentucky — and I had to hear that ‘South will rise again’ crap for four years while I was there — I think of a Confederate soldier huddled on his knees in a ditch, with hands clasped and muttering, ‘Oh God, oh God, oh God… please, please don’t make me go out there. Oh please, oh please, oh please…‘ But maybe that’s just me. I’ve been called bitter in the past.

It didn’t help, frankly, that the stupid mascot costume looked an awful lot like Colonel Sanders in uniform. I suppose that’s no coincidence, but was it really fucking necessary? Isn’t the name embarrassing enough, without giving people just one more reason to laugh and point?

And we never got picked in pools. (Well, okay, we were Division III, so there really weren’t any pools, because no one really gave a damn… but humor me here.) See, a lot of people pick teams to win based on which mascot would kick the other’s ass in a fight. Who the hell was our dude gonna beat? The Genuflecting Generals? No, he’s outranked. The Pissing-Their-Pants Privates? Maybe, but they don’t exist. So, no. How ahout the real teams we had to play? Eagles and Wildcats and Bears and Yeomen… well, okay, maybe he’d have a shot against the Yeomen. Anything can happen when you’ve got a musket in your hand, I suppose.

Actually, while I was there, the most successful team was womens’ hoops. So what was their name? The Lady Colonels. They didn’t pray, apparently, but it was important to let people know that these weren’t real military colonels; they were women. You see the problem here? Colonel’s just a rank; men can have it, women can have it, horses can probably have it if they suck their chests in and can shoot straight enough. There’s no need for the ‘Lady Colonels’. But it was just that kind of backwards-ass place, and that’s what they got. Colonel Sanders in drag. Fucking morons.

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