Tuesday, April 9, 2013

School nicknames, from Hot Dogs to Penguins (Oh, and about my running)

This is a little off the beaten path from my last two posts about being healthy. You know, there's more to me than just that!

Anyway, I've always been kind of intrigued by school nicknames, whether at the high school or college level. When I went to Frankfort High School a couple years ago, I took a picture of the Hot Dog paintings at Case Arena, primarily for my wife, who loves her dachshund. I love the unique nicknames. A former best friend once bragged that his school was the only school in the nation to use the Argylls. I believe that. And one of my all-time favorites, because I'm a dog lover and because of their clever play on their town's name: A small town in Wayne County named Boston, when it still had a high school, was the Boston Terriers.

So what's my point? Well, it's this poster of all college teams in the nation, from Division I to Division III, categorized by their nickname. I bet I spent 30 minutes pouring over this, and here are some of the things I learned:

-- There are 43 colleges that go by Tigers (and that doesn't count "colorful Tigers" such as the Lincoln Blue Tigers), including two schools both named the Trinity Tigers.
-- There are 60 Eagles, plus 15 more that go by Golden Eagles.
-- There are three schools the poster lists under "Birds," but that category has 20 sub-categories, including Penguins (Youngstown State, and Dominican) and Ducks (Oregon and Stevens Tech)
-- When a school has a one-of-a-kind nickname, the poster creator has grouped them by certain subjects. There is a "Colors" section. Under "Blue" is Illinois College Blueboys, John Carroll Blue Streaks and Millikan Big Blue.
-- There are four unique schools listed under "People," but a whole bunch of sub-categories branching out from that, including Professions, Warriors, Lakers and Quakers.
-- If you didn't know the separation between Division I and Division III and heard that the Cardinals and Wolverines were playing in Monday night's championship game, the matchup could have featured any of 16 Cardinals (including Ball State, of course) and 4 Wolverines.
-- Indiana University is among 8 schools that use their state nickname as their own, along with the Sooners, the Tar Heels, the Buckeyes and more.

What's your favorite school nickname?

Side note: I ran 3 miles outside again today, and I sort of feel like I'm having an affair on the Y, and the road is my mistress. When I'm ready to extend beyond 3 miles, I could pretty easily run right by the Y, and how awkward would that be, running past without stopping to even scan my pass? I felt like I ran a little faster than last time, but the clock said I was on the same pace. Today's strong winds probably played with my mind a bit.


  1. Enjoyed your blog post. Speedway High School's team is the Sparkplugs! I always thought that was kind of funny. :-)

  2. Sparkplugs! Yeah, that's definitely a good one!

  3. My son loves to make fun of our alma mater's name the Royals. "Your the Lions. What the heck is a 'Royal'?" Great post, Phil!

  4. Funny you mention that, Lori. Just last week someone asked me about my high school's nickname, and then questioned it. "That's not even an object!"