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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SLU's New Billiken Mascot Is Still Really Weird

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 10:03 AM

click to enlarge Even H.P. Lovecraft is like, "Nope. I'm out." - VIA TWITTER
  • via Twitter
  • Even H.P. Lovecraft is like, "Nope. I'm out."

Saint Louis University unveiled its redesigned Billiken mascot yesterday, and things did not go especially well for the ostensible good luck charm and "symbol of things as they ought to be." 

This is the first update to the mascot in about two decades, but is the new Billiken really as it ought to be? Its prior incarnation looked kind of like a queasy marshmallow bat-creature, but this new Billiken is something else entirely. On Twitter, people made glib references to Muppets and "nightmare fuel." Someone has already launched a change.org petition asking SLU to change it back.

To his credit, SLU President Fred Pestello tried his best to deliver a positive spin on the new mascot, telling the St. Louis Post Dispatch that this new Billiken was "a little more contemporary" and "more aggressive looking." 

But on the internet, and especially on Twitter, the first reactions were shock and revulsion, tinged with more than a little horror. 


As images of the new Billiken spread over Twitter, the internet mob cranked up the heat on their takes. Because it is a truth universally acknowledged that once Twitter has found a target, it's only a matter of time before things start getting weird. 



Weighing in from Reddit, TBone_Filthy_McNasty made the astute observation that the new Billiken looks like "Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes mixed with a South Park Canadian and a bit of gargoyle thrown in for fierceness sakes." 

But after careful analysis, it's clear that no one had more fun mocking the new Billiken than Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger and photographer David Carson, who got into a discussion about the Billiken's hypothetical Tinder tryst with Hickman High School mascot Kewpie. 


Granted, while it is certainly fun to mock the open-mouthed puppet monster that is the new Billiken, it actually could be worse. With few exceptions, sports team mascots are always terrible. Have you heard of the Phillie Phanatic? Bolt Man?

SLU fans should count their blessings. 

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com 

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