Boston’s not-so-strong mascots

If you know me at all, you know I am one of Boston’s biggest fans. But I am beginning to see a hilarious pattern in that city. Their mascots are just a little bit lame.

The first thought I ever gave to a Boston mascot was upon my son enrolling at Boston University. Incredible college. Ridiculous mascot. A Boston terrier.  A small, odd-looking dog with kind of bulging eyes. For four years, I tried to warm up to it, but all I could see was it weeing on the rug.

Then today I got a look at the Boston Athletic Association’s symbol. The BAA is certainly a hallowed organization with great history, and does many wonderful things including the Boston Marathon.

But what is emblazoned on its emblem? A unicorn.

Perhaps in days past, unicorns held some sort of sophistication, but the arrival of the Barbie Princess Unicorn means there is no going back.

And then there is Wally the Green Monster. I love that the green monster wall in the hallowed Fenway Park is a symbol of how tough the Boston Red Sox are (Go, Sox!) but somebody really could have come up with a less silly mascot.

Which brings us to the name of the baseball team. Not giants, not rattlesnakes, but socks. Hmmmmmm.

Now I can’t get too hateful about the Celtics’ leprechaun, being Irish and all. But he hardly strikes fear in my heart. The M.I.T. mascot is a beaver (although it surprises me they have one at all or that it’s not a mathematical formula that equals combustion). Tufts is an elephant and Harvard, well, it’s just a color. Boston College sports an eagle, but they named him Baldwin. Ouch.

I suppose my favorite city get points for the Bruins, and, with a salute to our history, who can fault their choices of the Patriots for football, the Breakers and the Revolution (soccer) and the Cannons and the Blazers (lacrosse) and the Boston Massacre (roller derby)?

OK, fine. Should I choose to research it, I might find some slightly odd, not-very-threatening team mascots in any major city. Go Padres.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who thinks team mascots should terrorize your opponent, or at least make them uneasy. Contact her at 



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