Mascot Monday: Sparky


It’s College World Series time and while we aren’t too hip on college baseball yet we do want to congratulate the Big 12 on getting EIGHT teams into the College World Series.  On a more local note, Kansas State is still alive as they play Rice tonight for a chance to move on to the super regionals.  Feeling inspired by that and  the scorching weather, this week’s Mascot Monday will take a look at an advancing, number one seeded, Arizona State’s Sparky the Sun Devil.  From the iterations of mascots before to the family friendly inspiration of the current Sparky, we can see that this top party school has one spicy meatball of a mascot.  So while we are waiting for the football season to start, under 100 days to go by the way, and while we endure the massive ting of the aluminum baseball bat, let’s numb the senses with Sparky.


The progression of mascots to the current Sparky was a bumpy one.  Usually schools start out with a name and maybe change it once.  Back in 1897 the Tempe Normal School first trotted onto the field as the Normals.  The name didn’t stick and in 1899 they became the Owls (not unlike the Temple Owls).  Later on when the school renamed themselves to the Arizona State Teachers College, they became the not so unique Bulldogs.  The Bulldogs hung around until some boosters, deemed the Sun Angels, lobbied for a new name.  Later that year, the student body voted on the Sun Devils we know of today.

The design of the mascot came from a place not usually known for devilish behavior.  Two years after the Sun Devil debut, Arizona State hired Berk Anthony to design the playful mascot.   Anthony was a former illustrator for the Walt Disney Corporation.  Rumor has it that the design was, in part, inspired by the guy who fired Anthony, Walt Disney.  The curly mustaches seem to be a dead give away to the comparison.  Really, we already know that the Devil runs Disney anyway, so it’s good that Anthony came out way back then to announce it.  He’s right up there with Nostradomus.

Sparky Digs

As for the actual costume, what you see is the standard mascot setup.  We see the masive devil head, adorned with the official Walt Disney looking mustace and all.  We also see some football attire in gloves and a jersey.  The threads Sparky is sporting different from what you would expect.  There’s padding there, but for what we don’t know.  The flames at the end look pretty cool and reminds us of some kind of Elvis impersonator banished to the depths of hell.  All in all a tight get up.

There’s not much else to say about Sparky.  The supposed inside dig to Walt Disney is great as we here at KCCGD enjoy irony and Easter Eggs alike.  The outfit is pretty cool but there’s nothing that jumps out and sticks us in the butt.  Maybe if Sparky sported the pitchfork more often, he would score more points.  Right now he’s trading in the pitchfork for the baseball bat but let’s hope later on this year when the real sport comes around, he goes back to the pointy staff and jab a couple of footballs.