We love college pride, we love sports, and we especially love alliteration (sorry, nerd status!) so Mascot Monday is our attempt at combining all 3 things! Each week we will feature a different, random college mascot, just because. Maybe because we think it’s weird, maybe we think it’s hilarious, or maybe it’s just totally awesome (or some combination of all three!) Check back every Monday to see if we feature your school! Want us to feature your school’s mascot? Comment, email us, or tweet @SurvivinCollege with the tag #MascotMonday!
This week on Mascot Monday: The Michigan State University Spartans
Over the years, Michigan State has produced one of the most respected sports programs in the country. Year in and year out, East Lansing churns out some of the nation’s best teams, whether it’s football, basketball, or hockey. Some may attribute the Spartans’ success to their skill and athleticism. While that is most definitely true, we cannot ignore the Spartan in the room. It’s nearly impossible to have a poor sports program with a nickname like “Spartans”. Everyone knows that, it’s science! We all know you can’t argue with science. There are plenty of reasons to love the Michigan State Spartans. Whether it’s because of their iconic Spartan logo or Sparty himself, it’s clear why college sports fans have fallen head over heels for the Spartans and Michigan State. Now I know what you must be thinking, how did State get such an awesome mascot?
According to the Spartans’ Wikipedia page, in 1925, the university changed its name to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. Much like every other agricultural school in the country, its teams were referred to as the Aggies. Looking to branch out of its agricultural roots, Michigan State held a contest to find a new identity for the university. After receiving tons of applications, it was decided the teams would be called the “Michigan Staters”. Not entirely sold on the new name change, a group of local sports writers revisited the losing entries to find a shorter and more heroic nickname. They soon settled upon the “Spartans” and the new name sent shock waves through East Lansing. Fans and alumni soon fell in love with the new name and the rest is history.
In a world where college football teams change uniforms more times than one can remember, some of you may think the Michigan State Spartan logo is outdated. If you consider yourself a part of that minority, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The Spartan helmet logo has become an icon for Michigan State’s sports program as well as the university. The detail is impeccable and the color scheme, though yet simple, is flawless. There’s no way you can look at me with a straight face and say this logo isn’t badass. Though the Spartan logo has undergone minor reconstruction over the years, it’s clear as to why it remains largely intact even to this day.
While their Spartan logo is timeless, the main feature on campus is Sparty, Michigan State’s very own mascot costume and defender of justice. Sparty is by far our most muscular mascot to date. In fact, he was voted the “Buffest Mascot” by Muscle and Fitness magazine. I definitely have to give him credit on his gear. From his helmet to his chest plate, Sparty is ready at all times for any unexpected onslaught. Over the years, Sparty has developed a strong national prominence and widespread fan base across the country. Since the mid-90s, Sparty has appeared in a series of ESPN ads, graced the cover of top-selling video games, and was nominated for the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006–and yes, there is a Mascot Hall of Fame. If that doesn’t impress you, than I don’t know what will.