Welcome to the first post of the offseason for the KCCGD Crew! We have a couple of ideas floating around and one of them bubbled up to reviewing the wacky tradition of mascots in college football. We’ll be talking about a new mascot every Monday in the offseason, pointing out likes and dislikes as well as funky things we found out about them. The inaugural post is, seeing as I’m a K-Stater, Willie the Wildcat.
Willie the Wildcat is the mascot for Kansas State University. He really didn’t show up until 1947, as there were some bobcats and a black Labrador that played a similar role for the Kansas State Wildcats/Aggies. Willie was first a high school cheerleader, decked out in a red-brown type outfit. This changed fast and Willie eventually went from full out costume to what we know him as today.
When Bill Snyder got a enough pull around Manhattan, he changed the university’s logo and revamped the Willie role. At the time, Willie was half man/half wildcat combination with brown fur covering the big noggin’. Snyder used the new logo for the team as inspiration for the current, Powercat Willie. Decked with silver fur and with mouth stripes, the new Willie was ready to rock. I was there in 1997 when the debuted the new Willie the Wildcat, I remember it was a definite upgrade to the dirty, gnappy head that was one him before.
Willie the Wildcat participates in games the usual way when it comes to football. He does pushups for points, crowd surfs, and throws merch at fans. The one he does do that’s different from the rest is the K-S-U chant. Basically he forms the ‘K’, the ‘S’, and ‘U’ for the fans to cheer the letters and follow up with a ‘Wildcats!’ I personally did a couple of times myself, one time on a trailer in Aggieville with the BCS National Championships trophy hanging around and another at Kite’s/Lucky Brewgrille in Overland Park while the whupped Texas two years ago.
Some people like the mascot. Some don’t. Krizzou for example, is perplexed the by the half man/half wildcat mascot setup. Now she’s used to the old torn up Truman, but she does have a point. Where’s the tail? I can forgive no fur, but a tail would be nice.
Some people really like the mascot. There was a time when Claydawg and I lived together on the ole 6th floor Goodnow. He had a computer so naturally I was in there every night downloading Mp3s. One time I came up to the computer only to discover that his wallpaper had pictures of bikini clad women with Willie the Wildcat heads photoshopped on them! I understand school spirit, but that’s a little creepy Claydawg.
So how good is Willie? He’s okay. Harley weeks are cool when he tools in on the motorcycle He doesn’t beat up fans or do the Soulja Boy dance. I enjoyed him thoroughly when I went to school there but I wouldn’t call him the absolute best mascot. If he did some major tumbling vault thing I would be impressed. Like maybe doing a trampoline jump over 20 bikini clad, Willie headed babes.