OK, let’s get something straight from the very beginning.
It didn’t matter what leaders at Ole Miss did in regard to selecting an on-field mascot for the athletics teams, a lot of people weren’t going to be happy.
That the black bear is the choice is of no consequence.
Did y’all really want the on-field mascot to be Hotty Toddy or a Land Shark?
Yeah, Ackbar from Star Wars would have been funny and cool, though.
Still and yet, the real issue is the term “on-field”.
Ole Miss’ moniker isn’t changing. It is the Rebels.
The Ole Miss Rebels, not the Black Bears.
It’s no different than the Philadelphia Phillies having the Phillie Phanatic as their on-field mascot. When the Phanatic was introduced in 1978 as the official mascot of the team, there was no freaking out and running naked through the streets … at least about that issue.
The Phanatic — like Wally the Green Monster for the Boston Red Sox — is a fun, loveable creature to hang around and entertain fans at games, much like the original San Diego Chicken.
The bear (notice the lower case ‘b’) is the same.
It’s there for your kids to love and have their picture taken with in The Grove before the game.
It’s there to hang out with the cherleaders and do goofy stuff on the field.
It’s there to jump off a mini-tramp and perform nasty slam dunks at basketball games or play silly tricks on umpires at baseball games.
The bear is named Rebel, which doesn’t make the bear a Rebel. Obviously the Phantatic is not a Phillie and Wally is not a Red Sox.
Get a grip people!