By that time, comments about my mascot were already being posted on the Morning Journal website. One thing was clear: everyone hated him!
(Here's a link to the article; unfortunately, when the Morning Journal redid their website a few years ago after being sold, all of the original comments were lost.)
Comments were surprisingly vicious: the mascot was awful; an embarrassment; unprofessional; a ripoff of cartoon characters ranging from George Jetson to Barney Rubble. One commenter hilariously observed that the city had better pass a levy to cover the lawsuits that Hanna Barbera was going to bring against Lorain City Schools!
|Petey the Pioneer was|
designed by longtime
A few people were supportive. But by midday, I couldn't bear to read any more insults. I figured, "At least I'll have the last laugh when he starts appearing all over the place."
But as the football season began, I noticed that my mascot artwork wasn't being used in the Morning Journal sports pages. Instead, the Titan sword and shield were used to represent the Lorain teams.
I contacted the Lorain City Schools athletic director to find out why, and was told that school districts use their logo to represent their school on the sports pages – not their mascots. He explained that the purpose of having the mascot created was so that a costume could be made for a student to wear on the sidelines and entertain the audience. I guess I misunderstood that.
Anyway, my Titan mascot has enjoyed a few moments in the spotlight since then. During the fall of 2010, I saw him on Willow Rental's electronic sign on Oberlin Avenue. He can be found on the internet on a few high school sports websites. I even saw him in this ad last fall in the Chronicle-Telegram (below).
I guess school mascots occupy a special place in people's hearts. To many people, the mascots symbolize tradition, as well as the carefree school days of their youth. That's why the ones that have been around for decades are so beloved – and why new ones are often rejected as upstarts.