SF State May Give Gator Mascot the Boot

SFSU-Gator.jpg
Endangered species?
San Franciscans are a progressive lot, but we also hate change. It seems contradictory, but there you go. That's how we roll. 

In a town priding itself on innovation, the constituency for the status quo is almost always much more powerful than the constituency for change. SF State President Leslie Wong seems poised to find this out the hard way. 

In a recent interview with the school's paper, the Xpress, he stated he was "90 percent sure" SFSU would be dumping its 85-year-old mascot, the Gator. "It's overwhelming that people don't get the Gator thing at all." 

It doesn't seem all that complicated; an alligator isn't exactly an outlandish college mascot. We don't get that people don't get the Gator thing. At all. 

Wong also told the Xpress he'd like to re-make State into "a more sports-oriented university," plunking $2.1 million into remaking the gym and rebranding the school via a new mascot "that best fits us and the new future." 

Pumping money into athletics at an institution where, only recently, cutbacks forced students to pack classes like lifeboats on the Titanic and -- no joke -- put in 48 hours notice for books at the library seems to be an interesting take. 

Beware hoping for a mascot "that best fits us and the new future." You may get it. 

As recently as last year, by the way, Wong was talking up "the Gator brand." He must have talked to some interesting people in the interim; people who "don't get the Gator thing." 

While you don't find many gators in Northern California, it's hardly an objectionable nickname of the sort that spurred the most recent mascot-dumping at a local university. Sonoma State's teams are now known as the "Seawolves," a Jack London-influenced nickname. But, prior to 2002, they were the "Cossacks." 

Gators may, literally, be cold-blooded killers. But they aren't responsible for slaughtering entire villages of Jews throughout old Russia during a litany of pogroms (or, for that matter, horsewhipping Pussy Riot). 

Good luck to the future blue-ribbon panel charged with finding an SFSU mascot that pleases everybody -- and assuages the discomfort of doing away with an 85-year-old tradition. 

Midway through some of those meetings, "the Gator thing" may, suddenly, become a whole lot more understandable. 


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29 comments
rob035
rob035 topcommenter

SFSU Slime-Molds?

wally21
wally21

There are several potential mascot names being floated in campus circles.  The one that surprisingly seems to have the most traction is the SF State Hammetts.  Apparently, this is a duel reference to SF writer Dashiell Hammett and Metallica guitarist/SFSU alumn Kirk Hammett.  Makes me wonder if Metallica will answer the call to write us a new school anthem.

wally21
wally21

There are several potential mascot names being floated in campus circles.  The one that surprisingly seems to have the most traction is the SF State Hammetts.  Apparently, this is a duel reference to SF writer Dashiell Hammett and Metallica guitarist/SFSU alumn Kirk Hammett.  Makes me wonder if Metallica will answer the call to write us a new school anthem.

Shandy Malone
Shandy Malone

how about an elderly lady walking lake merced

sfdavidkaye3
sfdavidkaye3

ANSWER: The Gator refers to the Golden Gator, a play on Golden Gater, someone from the Golden Gate area, that is, San Francisco!  


Now really, was it THAT hard to understand?  

Olympia Zampathas
Olympia Zampathas

Used to be the Golden Gaters, spelled with an 'e' but still an alligator as sort of a punny thing. Gators are cool, man. No need to fix something that isn't broken.

Christopher Melgar
Christopher Melgar

A uni-panda. Basically a panda bear with rainbow colored fur and a unicorn.

Harry M Boyle
Harry M Boyle

The guy from the board game Monopoly , the one with the top hat .

Eric Sisneros
Eric Sisneros

Paul Varga, yeah because so many privileged 18 y.o. would prefer to go to a state school. And Paul Barbagelata, there aren't any ravens in SF. They're crows. And not only is Gauchos taken by UC Santa Barbara, virtually all of alta California was once land grants from the Spanish crown. I vote for SFSU Fog. Put that mascot on a helmet. Better yet, let me see somebody try to tackle fog. It can't be done.

Paul Barbagelata
Paul Barbagelata

Ravens - just look up at the trees on campus . Gaucho's- land their on is the old Rancho San Miguel

Paul Varga
Paul Varga

The Silver Spooned Brat! And, yes, I used to work there. So I know what I'm talking about.

Dred Scott
Dred Scott

How about the SF State Gigibytes? SF State Hipsters?

LANGUID
LANGUID

^ best suggestion yet

joe.eskenazi
joe.eskenazi

Per this excellent article in the Xpress: 


According to former SF State archivist, Helene Whitson, the gator was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1931. The Bay Leaf, the school’s paper at the time, asked readers to choose a mascot that would be worthy of the school’s reputation.


The person who chose the gator as a mascot is only attributed to “a reader” on the SF State Centennial History website. Their decision behind choosing the mascot was because “it is strong and we hope our teams have strength. It is well-built and is steadfast, steadily moving toward its goal.”


Originally, the word gator was spelled “Gater,” as a reference to the Golden Gate Bridge, but frequent misspellings caused it to eventually default back to gator. The gator beat out other candidates such as a seal, a panther, and a puma.


http://www.goldengatexpress.org/2014/02/19/sf-state-may-not-be-the-gators-for-long/

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