I just had a brilliant idea for a series of blogs. It's called "True Big Ten Stories" and the purpose of this blog will be to talk about the stories behind the various Big Ten universities mascots. The idea came to me just now as I was finishing up another blog that I was writing. I'm not sure when I'll do these(weekly...daily etc). I'll make that decision based on reaction to this first blog. Why I decided to do this you ask? Well because I can and I'm bored..and I have down time. Anyways..I thought that this series could be moderately interesting. Something that could hopefully entertain you all. I'm getting pretty much all of my information from Wikipedia. Enough about my creative ideas though..let's get down to it. I decided to start off with the least popular of all the Big Ten Universities. That University is Northwestern.
Northwestern's mascot is Willie the Wildcat. But, before then Northwestern athletics had the nickname of the Purples and were often called the Fighting Methodists..however, the Fighting Methodists was an unofficial nickname. In 1924 the Wildcats nickname was handed to the University by Chicago Tribune writer Wallace Abbey. That name become so popular the University board decided to make that official. However, in 1972 the student body voted to change the schools nickname to the Purple Haze...which didn't have any real staying power. So, it stayed as Purple Haze.
As I said at the beginning their mascot is Willie the Wildcat. But, the mascot was not always Willie the Wildcat. As a matter of fact the first mascot was a lion from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The lions name was Furpaw. However, in 1923 the lion was scapegoated as the schools mascot..after one bad season. Then in 1933 came Willie the Wildcat. The wildcat was just a logo until 1933. When some students from one of Northwesterns fraternities dressed up as the cat during Northwesterns homecoming parade.
Looking for your thoughts on this series. If you have any suggestions to improve these leave them in either the comments or FanMail me. Thanks.