Friday, February 6, 2015

The Mascot That Wasn't – Part 2

The front page of the Morning Journal on Thursday, May 27, 2010 was a big thrill for me. Unfortunately, it only lasted for the time it took for me to drive to work!

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
editorial cartoonist
Bob Lynch
One person said I'd merely copied the Little Caesars pizza mascot. Another commenter from Elyria – who had read in the article that I'd designed the mascot to be compatible with other local high school mascots, such Elyria High School's Petey the Pioneer (at left) – said my mascot was unfit to be compared with him.

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.


Ken said...


Anonymous said...

That had to have hurt......

Dan Brady said...

It was more embarrassing than anything else (since the reporter took the time to interview me and quote me for the article). At least the reporter was a big fan of the mascot, and told me at the time that the Journal was considering using the mascot in a coloring contest!

I wish the original online comments to the article were still available… some were truly hilarious.

loraine Ritchey said...

no good deed ..........

Randall Chet said...

Exactly, Loraine! Great job Dan. Haters gonna hate.