By now, you've probably heard about or seen the drawings/designs that will potentially represent whatever mascot Ole Miss chooses. If not, I'll save you the Google search and give them to you here:
So if you're scoring at home, that's a souvenir from an Alvin's Island found in the Alabama/Florida/Mississippi area of the Gulf Coast, Strother Martin from Cool Hand Luke (if he were a bear)
...and the love child between the Human Being mascot from the NBC show Community
and Duffman from The Simpsons
"I am not thrusting in the general direction of the problem."
So while it certainly could have been a total disaster, it was only a 652% disaster. All that was really discovered through this process that just won't die is that Ole Miss is certainly better off without a mascot, which I'm still confused as to why we're even searching for one.
In February of this year, Ole Miss students voted to begin the search for a new mascot to replace Colonel Rebel, who was cast off the sidelines and out of school in 2003 (though, thankfully, so that we may continue to remain a joke, a jackass bought his own suit and appears at Ole Miss events dressed as the Colonel). According to some overachieving student government type (the only type of person who gives a rat's ass about something this, which helps justify their existence), the vote was "about deciding that we need a new personification of what a Rebel is." And clearly, the souvenir, Strother Martin and the lovechild reflect that.
Other than the fact that this whole process is total horseshit and a waste of time and money, what really grinds my gears is how such a small group within the Ole Miss community managed to shove this thing down the throats of a large majority. According to the Alumni Association website, there are 23,434 registered members (obviously there are more alumni than that, but those members will be allowed to vote on one of the designs above). None of these alumni were allowed to take part in the vote. Ole Miss has about 18,000 students. Of those students, 3,366 voted. 3,366. 3,366 or 18.7% students gave a shit about whether or not we had a new mascot, indicating that 81.3% of the students don't care or assumed the idea was stupid. About 75% of those (2,525) voted to pursue a new mascot, or about 14% of the students. So 14% of the ENTIRE STUDENT BODY wants to see this happen. And it is because of these assholes we are looking at the designs above, and will have one of those representing the University of Mississippi.
God forbid the students and administrators at this school devote this much time and energy to something that, you know, MATTERS. Let's see, and off the top of my head, our fan base sucks. Our fan base is fractured. Our basketball arena is a leaky hellhole. Our administration is out of touch with the common fan, or as athletic director Pete Boone once said, "the t-shirt and crap crowd." (To be fair to Boone, he has made strides to get more in touch with the fans. He now has a Twitter account, which he updates fairly regularly, has sent out a survey to season ticket holders to gather information on the gameday experience and is seemingly being more open about what goes on in the athletic department.) And we still have no major and well-publicized fund raising drive (this is a nice start, but it needs more noise), academic or athletic.
Yet, here we sit. Eight months of mascot crap and it's still not over. And with the release of these three designs, we've made the majority of our fans angry and outraged, plus we've managed to catch the eye of national media types who, predictably, assume we're out of our damn minds (and more than normal) for considering any of these and will justly skewer us (then we'll get round two when the damn thing actually gets on the field). So let me be the first to pass out a hearty BURN IN A FIRE to those 14% and the weasely student government types who thought this was a great idea. We're already up to our elbows in much more significant problems that we're probably not going to solve well and these good people decided to go out and make another one, which will eventually splinter into a handful of more problems (just wait until the lovechild of Human Being and Duffman wins). If possible, I'd like to propose a resolution that states we're going to stop getting in our own damn way, while at the same time promises we're never going to do something like this again.