This is almost the end of my series on the Mascots of the SEC that I have featured on my blog page on my website – https://ruthiecurtis.com/ This post will feature a brief review of the mascots of South Carolina and Texas A&M.
The University of South Carolina is the only major college athletic program in the country that uses “Fighting Gamecocks” as its official nickname and mascot. At the turn of the century in 1900, after struggling for more than a decade under numerous nicknames, the school’s football team was first referred to unofficially as the Gamecocks. In 1903, Columbia’s morning newspaper, The State, first used the name in print and SC teams have been Gamecocks ever since. Cocky is the costumed mascot and represents a cartoon version of a gamecock – a fighting rooster. He made his debut in 1980 replacing Big Spur who was seen as too large and unwieldy with limited mobility. Cocky is a fan favorite, chosen by many young fans as who they dress up as on Halloween. I wonder if Cocky has a visor that he throws down after a bad South Carolina play to copy head coach, Steve Spurrier.
Reveille is the official mascot of Texas A&M University. In January of 1931, several members of the Fightin’Texas Aggie Band hit a small black and white stray mutt. They smuggled her into Legett Hall, fully intending to take her to the vet school the next day. The next morning, her presence was made apparent when “Reveille” was blown by a bugler and the dog began barking, hence Reveille became her name. During the opening football season, Reveille was named official mascot when she led the band onto Kyle Field for a half-time performance. She would wear a jacket with A&M colors and pace the sidelines during games. Due to the quantity of officers and soldiers Texas A&M contributed to the US Armed Forces in WWII, Reveille was given the honorary title of Cadet General by the U.S. Army, a rank she has worn ever sense. Upon her death in 1944, she received a formal military funeral on the fifty-yard line in Kyle Field and then was buried at the north entrance facing the scoreboard so that she can always watch the Aggies play. Reveille II, a Shetland Sheepdog, was the second Aggie mascot and was donated by a graduate of the Class of 1900 to the students in 1952. Reveille III was the first of the Texas A&M mascots to be a pure-bred Rough Collie, serving until 1975. All of the following mascots have been female Rough Collies. Reveille IX assumed her duties in 2015 and is officially cared for by the Corps of Cadets Company E-2 known as the “mascot company.” A sophomore in the unit is designated the “mascot corporal” and has ultimate responsibility for her care. Reveille accompanies the mascot corporal everywhere, including to class and on dates! When they die, the Reveilles are buried in a special cemetery located outside the north end of Kyle Field The bodies are laid facing the south end zone and the scoreboard. After the addition to Kyle Field was built at the north end, blocking the view of the scoreboard, a small scoreboard was placed outside the stadium named the Reveille Scoreboard, so the tradition could live on.
The last post will be the mascots of Mississippi State and the University of Missouri. Go to my website ruthiecurtis.com to catch up on the MASCOTS OF THE SEC.