When I was growing up and a teacher wanted to make a point about offensive mascots, she'd always say, "How would you feel if a team was called the Fightin' Jews and the mascot had a hook nose and a bagel?" We were supposed to be deeply offended, but I wasn't. I wished that someone would think the Jews were tough and frightening enough to name their team after us. And not their legal defense team, their football team. The grass is always greener, I guess.
Anyway, I led with that anecdote since I didn't really have an organic place for it in the list. Because even after spending hours and hours combing the Internet for the craziest high school mascots of past and present I couldn't find any Fightin' Jews. The school from School Ties didn't even change to that after peace was restored because Matt Damon cheated on that test.
Here are 11 mind blowing (and often offensive) high school mascots. Represent.
Arkansas School For the Deaf Leopards.
This is, quite possibly, the best mascot selection IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. They are the Deaf Leopards. I just feel bad for their one-armed wide receiver.
Laurel Hill (Florida) Hoboes.
The mascot gets its name because of Laurel Hill, Florida's annual Hobo Festival every October. Every second Saturday in October. THE HOBO FESTIVAL IS IN TWO DAYS. I cannot believe I just found out about this year's Hobo Festival and now I'm missing this year's Hobo Festival.
Also, I spell the plural "hobos," not "hoboes" like Laurel Hall High School. I'm more offended by the high school throwing an "e" in there than I am at them naming their sports teams after stabbin' drifters.
Wahpeton (North Dakota) Wops.
They held out until the 1990s before they backed off the Wops and changed to the Huskies. It's like neither of the Italians in North Dakota noticed before then or something.
Orofino (Idaho) Maniacs.
Maniacs isn't a politically correct term anymore -- especially when the mascot is clearly based on an actual insane person and not some kind of wild creature. This is no coincidence. Orofino, Idaho is home to a state mental hospital. Apparently the high school and the mental hospital are right next to each other. Must make for some fascinating conversation at the fence dividing the two.
Pekin (Illinois) Chinks.
The name was changed in 1980 to the Pekin Dragons. Why a school in central Illinois is so determined to hang onto its (nonexistent) Chinese heritage is anyone's guess.
Freeburg (Illinois) Community High School Midgets.
They aren't just sticking with the now-antiquated term "midget"... their logo shows they they decided to go for the pissed-off angry stereotype. The guy who goes out of his way to date a woman who's like 5-foot-4 and sits around with his buddies cursing out Peter Dinklage's sellout success. Get with the times, FCHS. We're all on that guy's side.
Frisco (Texas) Fighting Coons.
In 2002, the school board decided that "Coons" was just too offensive so they changed it to the "Racoons." I'm pretty sure they didn't realize that move was a tacit admission that yes, they *were* being racist all of those years. By only slightly altering the name to Racoons, there's a subtle acknowledgment that there's a difference between "coon" and "raccoon."
Hoopeston (Illinois) Cornjerkers.
They were so busy jerking their corn they ended up doing all of the graphics for their flier in Microsoft Word '97.
Hereford (Texas) Whitefaces.
The team is named for a breed of cattle that has a white face. Good thing this is Texas. In the hippie states, people wouldn't even have time to complain about any potential Klanny overtones of "Whitefaces" because they'd be too upset over someone thinking their kids are cattle.
Butte (Idaho) Pirates.
I mean... they have to know. Right? They have to know.
Robstown (Texas) Cotton Pickers.
Interesting fact: Texas leads the U.S. in cotton production. Another interesting fact: "Cotton pickers" does not evoke images of the modern booming cotton industry. It's why this country doesn't call its subways "underground railroads."
This post was originally published on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Sports.