Through the last couple of months, we’ve looked high and far to bring you many different types of mascots here for Mascot Monday. We emphasize diversity and welcome all types of mascots from every conference, even the Big 10. So when we stumbled across the Campbell University Fighting Camels, we knew that we had to include their mascot. There is only one type of mascot, as the university advertises, they employ. Campbell University takes great pride in employing this mascot. So we follow camel toe and step in introducing to this week’s mascot: Gaylord the Camel.
This pride fighter’s history was an awkward, timid journey. Right around the turn of the century, all but one of Campbell’s buildings burned down in a nasty fire. The president, Dr. James Archibald Campbell, didn’t know what else to do. A visiting doctor told him he was ‘a camel (or Campbell), get a hump on you.’ Now even though the athletic teams bounced between ‘Hornets’ and ‘Campbellites,’ the name of the Camels came about around 1933 or 1934. When the costume mascot showed up we’re not sure, but we do know he most certainly got his hump on.
Gaylord the Camel’s stepping out flaming hot and ready for some hot action. It was only this year that a fabulous wardrobe change led this former dumpy mascot to the ire of mascot fashionistas across the land. And what does he have to sport? Well its the fur that all the mascots studs are jealous over, a loose but conservative t-shirt combination, and the most ginchiest pair of sneakers a hot trotting mammal mover could ever hope for. Yes, we are ga-ga for Gaylord and we don’t care who knows.
The essence of mascotdom nestles gently in the camel back of Gaylord. When one wants to stand out, when one doesn’t want to be afraid of who they are, when they want to say, ‘this is me, this is who I am, love me or take a walk in the desert!’, you know that you are mascot. We applaud the courage it takes to have a complete makeover and still be over the top, heck even mounted on top, of the mixed up mascot world. Now Gaylord isn’t the complete lord of all mascots, he could use some frosted tips to bring out his smile. We still love him anyway.
In the dire of fire and torn down buildings, one tiny university stood up and claimed what was rightfully theirs. We like to believe that Gaylord was in the heart of the president back then. Come to think of it, the story of Gaylord and Campbell University might make a great kleenex jerker for us to view in a dark theater. A junior camel backer can dream can’t they? So remember to hit up Gaylord the next time you see him in action on the sidelines. He may be waving his flag high or tossing out pamplets to the childrens, but one thing is for sure, he will be fabulous doing it.