Democracy wins; CHAMP IS BACK!

Everything Else Football Hockey NCAA

One week ago, a new Bulldogs mascot was revealed by the University of Minnesota Duluth. It was a development that was shocking for many reasons. First, absolutely nobody that’s in, around, or familiar with the University asked for it or even thought it should happen. More importantly though, the new mascot SSSSSUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKSSSSSS.

In all my time on the internet, I’ve never seen anything more unanimously agreed upon and hated by everyone. Whether you were a fan of the Bulldogs, or a rival it didn’t matter. The reaction was identical for all. The disdain for such a horrid abomination could be felt immediately when the transition hit in the release video. Obviously this was an April Fools joke aired five months too late.

A Long List of Design Flaws

Don’t get me wrong, the GOLD (not yellow) Bulldog logos referenced in their follow-up tweet are FIRE. Unfortunately, this mascot doesn’t resemble them in ANY WAY. He’s the wrong color. The mouth is cartoonish and not in the fun way.

His sweater is such low quality it looks like it was rejected from Goodwill, Savers, AND the Salvation Army donation piles. The jowls that make bulldogs what they are were completely stiff and all-around awful. Not a single thing about this mascot design had been done correctly. It looks like a cheap off-brand stuffed animal you’d get in a claw-machine from the fair.

Criticized with Vitriol

A popular response to the post compared this version of Champ to Winnie the Pooh. While a chubby bear with a learning disorder is cute for children, it’s not exactly what you want out of a University mascot. Others decided that the new Bulldogs mascot reminded them of “Scooby Doo-luth”. (editor’s note: fantastic chirp)

When you’re not even looking like the right breed of dog, you know your mascot design is bad. The worst comparisons of all pointed out that the new scheme and incorrect colors had him looking like Ferris State’s logo, Brutus. Gross.

Soon after the release, a petition to bring back the real Champ gained thousands of signatures nearly instantly where the hashtag #NotMyChamp was prominently displayed. Motions had been put in place to boo the new design out of the arena on the first home game.

While I’ve always loved UMD, I’ve never been more proud of my alma mater than I was following the unified reaction to this criminal change. Some inferior universities allow their mascots and logos to be swapped and just accept a terrible design. Not UMD. Not the Bulldogs.

A Happy Ending for the Bulldogs Mascot

THANKFULLY, the university came to their senses and listened to the masses, for once. After just five short days of life, Bizzaro Champ was sent to the farm forever. Soon, he’ll be a distant memory of a horrible nightmare that will fade away.

In a press release, UMD announced that the current iteration of Champ will remain for the 2022/2023 school year. Another item noted is that they should have previously, and will now involve students, alumni, and fans of UMD in the process to create a new mascot for the future.

With so many different quality mascots to take inspiration from, the committee should have a pretty easy go of things. While nobody from UMD wants to admit it, the Gophers, Badgers, and Buckeyes mascots are some of the best in the nation.

The Oregon Duck and Aubie the Tiger are often crowned the best college mascot too; evidence that a no-pants option CAN work, if it’s done correctly. UMD has always made improvements to the Bulldogs mascot, so taking a step back like the one presented was never an option.

Recently UMD has transitioned away from using the gray bulldogs logo at all. The skating Bulldog (colored gold) is a crowd favorite, and looks to be incorporated a lot more in the near future. While I’ve always loved having the gray iteration of the logo, since that’s the one I grew up with, I understand the university’s desire to have a more “cohesive brand”. This means that there WILL eventually be big changes to Champ, and I’ve accepted that. The good news is that nothing can be any worse than what was already released.

UMD Jersey Concept: A Design Done Right

Go Dogs!

UMD: Kings of the Maroon & Gold