When you’re a kid, mascots are cartoon characters come to life. Oversized, furry, and fun-loving, mascots are messengers of joy who can do no wrong.
So what is it like for a child when a mascot is beheaded and a human is revealed underneath? Horrific? Ghastly? Emotionally scarring? More like all of the above.
In a rite of passage that violates kids in all the wrong ways (Michael Jackson/R. Kelly kinds of ways), Washington State University has made it a tradition to decapitate their lovable mascot, Butch T. Cougar, in front of an audience full of adults and children alike.
Last Saturday, on Senior Night for the WSU men’s basketball team, the human responsible for penetrating T. Cougar and inhabiting his body for the past four years was revealed to a capacity crowd in a ceremony that brings to mind the agony of the ritual lower-abdomen-carving of that tribe that Kevin Bacon was a part of in The Air Up There.
In the second half of Washington State’s game against Washington, senior Byron Edelman walked onto the court with his parents (why he needed to involve them in this act of terrorism is beyond me) and committed mascot suicide. With a crowd of savages egging him on ruthlessly, Edelman performed a circumcision-of-sorts, peeling back the veritable foreskin of his costume and unveiling his crown.