Pac-12 Has Range of Mascots From Feathery to Furry


(Photo by Chris Samuels)

(Photo by Chris Samuels)
(Photo by Chris Samuels)

From a duck named Puddles to Benny the Beaver, mascots in the Pac-12 are just as much in the game as the players.
These mascots are charged with upping the ante of school spirit. They jump around the field, greet children and lead school songs, all while wearing a cumbersome costume.
Jamie Plott, the U’s spirit squad coordinator, said being the U’s mascot, Swoop, is a tough job.
“He has to be very athletic and have different strengths,” Plott said. “It takes a really well-rounded, physically fit and outgoing personality.”
Plott said there are three separate Swoops. Each of the Swoops has a role to play. One rides a motorcycle at sporting events and has to participate in motorcycle trainings. Another Swoop poses for pictures and promotes a sense of sportsmanship.
“He is a red tail hawk, which are found on campus all over the place, so I think that mascots represent the athletic department and the school,” Plott said.
Washington’s mascot lacks Swoop’s feathers, but makes up for it in bark. He is Harry the husky dog. Then there’s Oregon, whose mascot is a duck with a special license from Disney to use the likeness of Donald Duck. USC is the Trojans, and their rival, Stanford, has a mascot who roams around the football field dressed as a tree.
Erik Nilsson, a business and finance major, enjoys being a part of the Pac-12 and particularly likes Swoop.
“Our mascot differentiates us,” Nilsson said.
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