Thu Oct 14 10:22am EDT
OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel Mascot Selection Committee is excited to announce the Rebel Black Bear as the new on-field mascot for the Ole Miss Rebels.
The committee made the recommendation to University of Mississippi leaders Wednesday night following a thorough analysis of the latest poll of Ole Miss students, faculty, staff, alumni and season ticket holders. The poll indicated that 62 percent of those polled support the Rebel Black Bear. The Rebel Land Shark drew 56 percent support, and Hotty Toddy drew 42 percent.
"We selected the Rebel Black Bear because it was supported through the entire process and was the lead runner in the final poll,” said Margaret Ann Morgan, committee co-chair. “It has a Mississippi connection, is timeless, appeals to children, is unique to the SEC and fits the other characteristics established in the initial focus groups."
[Rewind video: Mascot bungee jumps from top of stadium]
From the initial list of 11 mascot "concepts," the Rebel Black Bear was the obvious winner from the beginning. Next to a "pair of muppet-like characters," a "land shark" and the intangible concept of "mojo," only a relatively generic, inoffensive offering like a bear stood a chance of building a consensus as the least despised candidate. So it was written, so it has come to pass.
[Rewind video: Mascot tackles opposing mascot on the field]
Thus closes the epilogue of the rise and fall of Colonel Reb as cartoonish university ambassador, with one final postscript: What are they going to name the bear? In honor of the mascot that was too perfect to exist, might I suggest ... Ackbar?
It was Ackbar, not a bear, that drew national and international headlines. Everyone loved it. "Black Bear" is an anagram for "Able Ackbar." Even "Admiral Ackbear" would be acceptable. But a tribute is the only decent thing to do.
[Gallery: More sports mascots]
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.
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