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Weird Mascots in College Sports

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Keggy the Keg is the unofficial mascot of Dartmouth College.

A giant orange or an okra plant with legs is one thing, but an anthropomorphic keg … now that’s a weird mascot. Keggy the Keg is the unofficial, yet widely recognized, mascot of Dartmouth College. 

Up until 1971, Dartmouth’s mascot was the Indian, but it was abolished due to its offensive nature. The college continued to be known as “The Big Green,” but students wanted an actual mascot to represent the university. 

Finally, in 2003, a student poll was held to determine what the new mascot should be. The Moose won first place, but so many students were dissatisfied with it that the Moose lost a second poll to the option of “no mascot.” 

To fill the void left by the Indian, Chris Plehal and Nic Duquette decided to design their own. They were both writers for “Jack-O-Lantern,” the school’s humor magazine, and they wanted to create a mascot that “wasn’t racist, biased or sexist, yet [was] entirely unacceptable.” Plehal and Duquette felt that Keggy was the perfect representation of the Dartmouth stereotype of drinking too much. 

Keggy received mixed reactions from the student body, but the student body president endorsed him and the administration praised the ability of

the students to “come up with imaginative and creative ideas.” 

The mascot began to draw media attention as well. Keggy was featured in Playboy as part of the “Mascots Talk Back” series. In 2012, Yahoo Sports ranked it the No. 1 Most Unique Mascot in the country. 

Not long after Keggy’s unveiling in 2003, the costume was stolen from the Sigma Nu fraternity library. The students who stole it sent threatening letters to the creators, including photographs of Keggy with a black eye (his eye had been removed and replaced with a cartoon-styled drawing of a black eye). Eventually, Keggy was returned with only minor damages to the costume. 

Keggy made occasional appearances at Dartmouth sporting events, but was often denied entrance to them.

In 2008, the costume disappeared before the fall semester and has not been seen since. Students built a new costume in 2009, and Keggy is still recognized as an ingrained part of Dartmouth College culture. 

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