Mascot Monday: Charlie Choker

Charlie Choker

Okay so it isn’t Monday, but the excuse is worthy.  Let’s call it a double dose of food poisoning and checking out Ratatat in Columbia Tuesday night.  At any rate, this week we’re are offering up some advice to all of the teams (including 3 Big 12) teams some advice.  It’s getting down to the final whistle and we here at KCCGD think it’s time to remind the teams of what not to do.   So this week we are gonna look at the Grays Harbor Community College’s Charlie Choker.

Grays Harbor Community College established itself in 1930 as a premier Washington state college.  In 1958,the first wooden statue of Charlie Choker showed up.  It wasn’t until 1975, when Louis Benanto, Jr. carved the school’s mascot with a chainsaw which stands upright still today.  Grays Harbor only has six sports to offer, but with any school that plays sports you’re gonna need a mascot.  Not much else is known about Charlie Choker.  Seriously we checked.

So what is a Choker?  Apparently the full name is a choker-settler.  A choker-settler is the dude who locks the cable into place around logs when they are ready to be yanked out of the forest for processing.  The cabling system involved requires someone to super strong and super light on their feet. So when the time came to name Grays Harbor College mascot, it only seemed to natural to pull from the rich history of Northwestern deforestation and pick Choker Settler.


Taking a look at the clip art version of Charlie Choker (because there is no live mascot), other thoughts of what this guy does pops into mind. It’s a shirtless man with huge cable in his hand, looking a little too innocent.  The murdering-you-in-your-sleep type choker fits better than the lobbing logs type.  Plus if you look a little closer you can see some freckles on his mug.  Charlie Choker is a dead ringer for Rorschach from the Watchmen without the mask.

The other image Charlie Choker evokes relates a little better to athletics.  It’s pretty simple actually.  HE’S A CHOKER!  From Greg Norman to the Kansas City Chiefs choking is synonymous with blowing a big game or match.  So when a team dons this mascot as its emblem of power, are they really telegraphing what they will end up doing?  A choker really isn’t something that brings fear to opposing teams.  And we’re talking sports choker, not murder choker.

So when the teams lace up the sneakers this week and when the they strap it on later this year, let this be a tip.  Don’t choke out on the court or field.  Don’t choke your crazy significant other because they were up in your grill too much.  And most certainly don’t pick a dang mascot that makes no sense both on the evil and good side.  We still don’t believe that crud about loggers twisting cables and dragging wood.