Some high school mascots are still stuck in the Stone Age, and they really need to update them to get with the times.
When I was growing up and a teacher wanted to make a point about offensive mascots, she’d always say, “How would you feel if a team was called the Fightin’ Jews and the mascot had a hook nose and a bagel?”
We were supposed to be deeply offended, but I wasn’t. I wished that someone would think the Jews were tough and frightening enough to name their team after us. And not their legal defense team, their football team. The grass is always greener, I guess.
Anyway, I led with that anecdote since I didn’t really have an organic place for it in the list. Because even after spending hours and hours combing the Internet for the craziest high school mascots of past and present, I couldn’t find any Fightin’ Jews.
The school from School Ties didn’t even change to that after peace was restored because Matt Damon cheated on that test.
You ready for the high school mascots in this list?
Here are 11 mind-blowing (and often offensive) high school mascots. Represent.
1 | Arkansas School For the Deaf Leopards
This is, quite possibly, the best mascot selection IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. They are the Deaf Leopards. I just feel bad for their one-armed wide receiver.
In May 2016, Def Leppard met with the Deaf Leopards of the Arkansas School for the Deaf during their North American tour, and it was a match made in heaven.
2 | Laurel Hill (Florida) Hoboes
The mascot gets its name because of Laurel Hill, Florida’s annual Hobo Festival every October. Every second Saturday in October. THE HOBO FESTIVAL IS IN TWO DAYS. I cannot believe I just found out about this year’s Hobo Festival, and now I’m missing this year’s Hobo Festival.
Also, I spell the plural “hobos,” not “hoboes” like Laurel Hall High School. I’m more offended by the high school throwing an “e” in there than I am at them naming their sports teams after stabbin’ drifters.
3 | Wahpeton (North Dakota) Wops
They held out until the 1990s before they backed off the Wops and changed to the Huskies. It’s like neither of the Italians in North Dakota noticed before then, or something.
The decision was met with mixed reactions, as some felt it was long overdue, while others were upset about losing a piece of their school’s history.
One has to wonder what kind of conversations led to the change. Did the school administration receive complaints from offended individuals, or did they come to the realization on their own? Regardless, it’s good to see that they eventually recognized the need for a more appropriate mascot.
But let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to wear a shirt that says “Wahpeton Wops” on it? It’s definitely a conversation starter.
4 | Orofino (Idaho) Maniacs
Maniacs isn’t a politically correct term anymore — especially when the mascot is clearly based on an actual insane person and not some kind of wild creature. This is no coincidence. Orofino, Idaho is home to a state mental hospital.
Apparently, the high school and the mental hospital are right next to each other. Who knows, maybe the Maniacs even have a friendly rivalry with the hospital’s own sports teams. Must make for some fascinating conversation at the fence dividing the two.
5 | Pekin (Illinois) Chinks
The name was changed in 1980 to the Pekin Dragons. Why a school in central Illinois is so determined to hang onto its (nonexistent) Chinese heritage is anyone’s guess.
Perhaps the school board thought it would add an air of exoticism to their small town. Or maybe they just really liked the look of dragons on their sports uniforms.
Either way, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher why they didn’t choose a mascot that’s more representative of their community, like the Pekin Cornhuskers or the Pekin Coal Miners. But who needs cultural sensitivity when you have a fire-breathing mythical creature on your side?
6 | Freeburg (Illinois) Community High School Midgets
They aren’t just sticking with the now-antiquated term “midget”… their logo shows they decided to go for the pissed-off, angry stereotype.
The guy who goes out of his way to date a woman who’s like 5-foot-4 and sits around with his buddies cursing out Peter Dinklage’s sellout success. Get with the times, FCHS. We’re all on that guy’s side.
7 | Frisco (Texas) Fighting Coons
In 2002, the school board decided that “Coons” was just too offensive, so they changed it to the “Racoons.” I’m pretty sure they didn’t realize that move was a tacit admission that, yes, they *were* being racist all of those years.
By only slightly altering the name to Racoons, there’s a subtle acknowledgment that there’s a difference between “coon” and “raccoon.”
8 | Hoopeston (Illinois) Cornjerkers
They were so busy jerking their corn, they ended up doing all of the graphics for their flier in Microsoft Word ’97.
As you might expect, their mascot is a corncob with a face, arms, and legs. The Hoopeston Cornjerkers have embraced their unique name and even have a Cornjerker Festival every year.
9 | Hereford (Texas) Whitefaces
The team is named for a breed of cattle that has a white face. Good thing this is Texas.
In the hippie states, people wouldn’t even have time to complain about any potential Klanny overtones of “Whitefaces” because they’d be too upset over someone thinking their kids are cattle.
Still, one has to wonder if the team’s mascot is just a bunch of guys with painted white faces or if they actually have a costume. And if they do have a costume, does it involve horns?
10 | Butte (Idaho) Pirates
I mean… they have to know. Right? They have to know.
11 | Robstown (Texas) Cotton Pickers
Interesting fact: Texas leads the U.S. in cotton production.
Another interesting fact: “Cotton pickers” does not evoke images of the modern, booming cotton industry. It’s why this country doesn’t call its subways “underground railroads.”