The Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks mascot, Willy Warhawk, is NCAA Division III pixel art mascot #4 of 449. UW-Whitewater has won six of the last eight NCAA Division III Football Championships (Stagg Bowls) and has appeared in the national championship game in nine of the last 10 years. The Warhawks played the perennially dominant Mount Union Purple Raiders in all nine championships. (View reference images.)
The Mount Union Purple Raiders mascot, MUCaw, is NCAA Division III pixel art mascot #3 of 449. Mount Union has appeared in 10 consecutive NCAA Division III Football Championships (Stagg Bowls), winning four. Since 1993, Mount Union has appeared in the national championship game a record 18 times, winning 11. The football team has won 94 consecutive regular season games and has posted a 204-1 regular season record since 1994. (View reference images.)
Opus the Penguin is a fictional character created by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. First introduced in 1981, Opus is a large-nosed penguin (occasionally mistaken for a puffin) with a herring addiction who lost track of his mother during the Falklands War. Opus has appeared in many of Breathed’s works, most notably his 1980s comic strip Bloom County. Breathed has described him as an “existentialist penguin” and the favorite of his many characters. Opus’ hopeless naïveté and optimism was at the center of Bloom Country, and he’s also the subject of two “sequel” strips (Outland and Opus), three children’s books and the 1991 television special A Wish for Wings That Work.
Note: As of this week, Berkeley Breathed is creating new Bloom County comics, after over 25 years. I was a 10-year-old when the strip ended.
Note: This is NCAA Division I mascot #4 of 5 in celebration of the first week of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Niall Ó Glacáin, or Nellanus Glacanus (c. 1563-1653) was an Irish physician during the time of the Bubonic plague. Of all documented plague doctors, Ó Glacáin was the most notable. He treated victims throughout France, Spain and Italy. Bubonic plague is commonly believed to be the cause of the Black Death that swept through Europe. Sometime before 1600, Ó Glacáin made his way to Spain, possibly to treat victims of an outbreak of the plague, which was rampant from 1595 to 1602. The beak doctor costume was invented around 1619 (during the second plague pandemic); the beak-like mask was filled with aromatic items for air purification. In 1627, Ó Glacáin moved to France to assist during another plague outbreak. In 1629, as a respected authority on plague treatment, Ó Glacáin published his most famous work, Tractatus de Peste, which contained his concise descriptions of the plague, its various effects on patients, and treatment and prevention recommendations.
I’ve been saving this 8-bit plague doctor character for a long time. I wanted Ó Glacáin to be No. 800, which meant waiting until this year’s All Hallows’ Eve. On that note, I have now drawn 800 of these primitive pixel art characters over the past four years. Here are seven other individuals that I chose to honor numerically: No. 100 (Benjamin Franklin), No. 200 (Johnny Cash), No. 300 (Leonidas I), No. 400 (Charles Darwin), No. 500 (William Gibson), No. 600 (Jeff Mangum), No. 700 (J. D. Salinger). Happy Halloween! Also, Ebola. As previously tweeted, the following is the plot of Absolute Zero, a book published in 1999: “A man with Ebola flew to Dallas and began the Ebola pandemic in America.” Creepy.
Note: Last year, the Eagles opened their football season with an impressive 49-46 victory over the No. 25 Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis. Dynamic Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more, including one with 18 seconds left that sealed the game for the Eagles. Four months later, Eastern Washington (12-2) made its third trip to the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals in four seasons. The Eagles nearly advanced to the national title game against two-time defending champion North Dakota State, but were upset in the closing seconds of their 2013 FCS semifinal game. Three years prior, Eastern Washington won the school’s first national championship in football following the 2010 installation of red turf in Roos Field. Eastern Washington is now known for its intense red playing surface, nicknamed “The Inferno.”
Carson-Newman University, in Jefferson City, Tennessee, is where my cousin Adam Cavalier works as Director of Athletic Communications/Voice of the Eagles. He is getting married today in West Virginia. I will be attending Adam’s wedding with my wife Heidi and daughter, my dad and stepmom, my sister and her family, and almost all of my dad’s side of the family. I’ve been looking forward to this reunion for months. The following mascot matchup is for Adam, who is a Marshall alum: Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Carson-Newman Eagle.
Woodsy Owl is an owl icon for the United States Forest Service most famous for his motto, “Give a hoot! Don’t pollute.” Woodsy was designed to be seen as a mentor to children, providing them with information and advice to help them appreciate nature. Harold Bell of Western Publishing (and producer of Smokey Bear public service announcements), along with Glen Kovar and Chuck Williams, originally created the mascot in 1970 as part of a U.S. Forest Service campaign to raise awareness of protecting the environment. In 1997, Woodsy Owl’s design was overhauled.
Mr. Owl is a character first introduced in an animated Tootsie Pops commercial which debuted on U.S. television in 1969. Tootsie Pops are hard candy lollipops filled with chocolate-flavored chewy Tootsie Roll. After the commercial, Mr. Owl became the mascot for Tootsie Pops, appearing in marketing campaigns and on the packaging. How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
The William Penn Statesmen mascot, Willy P., is NAIA pixel art mascot #2. William Penn University, located in Oskaloosa, Iowa, used Statesmen as both the nickname and mascot for its athletic teams from 1959-2000. In 2000, then-University President Thomas Boyd (1998-2003) donated a 400-pound bronze eagle sculpture and mandated a controversial transition to an eagle as the school’s mascot. Curiously, the Statesmen nickname was retained despite the eagle mascot. In 2011, eight years after Boyd’s departure, Elvis the eagle mascot was retired and a more traditional statesman mascot was reintroduced. (View reference images.)
My mom and stepdad have worked for William Penn University for many years. Being from Pennsylvania, I always found it strange that my mom managed to find the one school in Iowa that was named after the same wealthy Quaker guy who founded Pennsylvania. I took art classes at William Penn during high school and later remotely served as their webmaster from 2000-2003 (partly while attending Penn State University, oddly enough). So many Penns!
The San Diego Chicken, also known as the Famous Chicken, is an advertising mascot played by Ted Giannoulas. The character, created by writer-cartoonist Brian Narelle, originated as an animated TV commercial for KGB-FM in San Diego. In March 1974, Giannoulas was hired to wear the first suit for a promotion to distribute Easter eggs to children at the San Diego Zoo. The Famous Chicken then moved on to features at concerts and sporting events, including appearing at more than 520 San Diego Padres games in a row. The success of the Famous Chicken helped lead to mascots becoming widespread throughout professional sports, particularly Major League Baseball (MLB).
Björk Guðmundsdóttir is an Icelandic singer-songwriter with an eclectic musical style and seven acclaimed studio albums. Three of her 1990s singles from Post charted in the UK Top 10. Björk wore her celebrated “swan dress” to the 2001 Oscars for her Selmasongs duet with Thom Yorke of Radiohead, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
The cartoon bird mascot of Cocoa Puffs, a brand of chocolate-flavored puffed grain breakfast cereal manufactured by General Mills. Introduced in 1958, the cereal consists of small orbs of corn, oats and rice that have been flavored with cocoa. Sonny the Cuckoo Bird is a desperate addict whose catchphrase is “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”
The cartoon toucan mascot of Froot Loops breakfast cereal produced by Kellogg’s. It first appeared in stores in 1966. The fruit-flavored cereal consists of brightly colored ring-shaped pieces. Toucan Sam’s catchphrase is “just follow your nose!” With his English accent and penchant for jungle conquest, I suspect him of British imperialism.
The Air Force Falcons mascot is NCAA Division I pixel art mascot #52 of 347. Air Force Academy is one of the three NCAA Division I military academies (with Army and Navy). This is Mountain West mascot #3 of 8. (View reference images.)