If it seems to you that every time we mention a college or university’s school mascot, it’s a Bulldog, it’s not your imagination. The most popular dog breed mascot used in college sports is the Bulldog, and, in fact, it’s the most represented mascot among Division I schools in the United States, according to a study conducted by Grand Canyon University (thirty nine colleges and universities use the Bulldog for their sports teams including Alabama A&M, Bryant, Butler, The Citadel, Drake, Fresno State, Gardner-Webb, Georgia, Gonzaga, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, UNC-Asheville, Samford, South Carolina State and Yale). Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it is fifth in the list of mascots with the most winning titles, coming after tigers, trojans, cardinals and bruins in ascending order.
The ranks of Division II schools also like Bulldogs, and those include basketball and hockey powerhouses in Barton, Bowie State, Ferris State, Minnesota-Duluth, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Truman State, Union University and Wingate.
Guess who else likes Bulldogs? High schools. According to USA Today, the most second common high school mascot as of 2014 was the Bulldog, following the Eagles, but before Tigers, Vikings and Lions. Others listed by USA Today were the Wildcats, Cougars, Panthers and Warriors, while Knights and Falcons tied for 10th place.
As an aside, you’ve got to respect a school that feels comfortable enough to call their athletes, “Gobblers,” as Cuero High School in Texas has, but it does make sense since Cuero claims to be the “Turkey Capital of the World.” It’s a claim they might want to discuss with Worthington, Minnesota which has claimed that title for decades. Evidently, since each city found out about the other’s claims, they’ve been battling it out with the annual “Great Gobbler Gallop” – a turkey race through the streets of each town.
But we digress.
As long as we’ve strayed afield from Bulldogs, did you know that the word mascot comes from the French word “mascotte” which stands for a lucky charm?
Image: Logo for the Gardner–Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs, the athletic teams of Gardner–Webb University located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina