We’re getting close to some March Madness around here (even though we don’t cover basketball yet) and we hear at the KCCGD figured it would be a good time to check up on the Tourney perennials from the Missouri Valley Conference. After inadvertently chuggin some Pabst’s Blue Ribbon, rocking out to some Slayer, and working on an ’85 Camaro, we felt the Saluki from Southern Illinois was the way to go for this week’s mascot. A Saluki is a dog, but not just any ole dog. This one has bite and will bark about it on his way to the biker bar, brother.
Them dogs weren’t the dogs we know today, dude. From 1913 all the way to 1951 they were known as a bunch of Maroons. Welp a couple of compadres from the athletic department banged heads and figured that the name blew and put the vote the students on campus. Ever since, they’ve been known as the Salukis. Now most people from around those parts know what a Saluki is, but for those who don’t a Saluki is the oldest known breed of dog, dating back to the pyramid time in Egypt. Coincidentally, the are where Southern Illinois plays their games happens to be known as ‘Little Egypt’ to the locals. It has something to do with rain and crops and it reminding people of Egypt, brother.
Nothing else is much known for the history of the mascots, dude. Since they’ve been known as Salukis, they’ve rotated through different live versions of the mascot. Usually they take the name of the Saluki in the form of something Egyptian, like King Tut for example. Salukis are know to be ultra fast and vicious on the hunt, reaching up to 40 MPH on the run. Very rocking indeed, dude.
So sometime between the live mascot and today, Southern Illinois also introduced costumed mascots. They stand as two with a grayed version and brown version. This here brother will assume that one is the male version whilst the other is female. Again we have the standard fuzz and school uniform combination for the mascot make up. We dig the bearing of teeth too as not many schools seem to do that anymore.
But what really knocked us out was the unifying feature for the Saluki. The endearing feature for a Saluki is the long hair look on the dog’s ears. This translates fantastically as a mullet for the Southern Illinois mascots. When we take the hair with the combo of the teeth mentioned above, we get one fearsome creature. Who isn’t afraid of mullets, really? These mascots rock out brother.
Now the totally rad mascot from Southern Illinois has us all up in arms about stingy mascots. The Salukis are Illinois in heart but Egyptian in spirit and the University did a great job in presenting a better moniker than Maroons. The Southern Illinois Salukis rank pretty high on our hit list of mascots here at the KCCGD. One day we can hope that Salukis can make the jump and help out some other dogs on the hunt.