Team mascots have been in sports for over 100 years thanks to the 1908 Chicago Cubs. Since then we’ve seen the rise of costumed mascots, like Mr. Met and UConn’s own Jonathan the Husky. There are so many great ones out there, it would almost be easier to name the worst ones. So that’s what the DC Sports staff is here to do, figure out which mascot is the worst in sports.
Syracuse has affiliated themselves with the color orange since 1890, and they have had just as long to come up with a cooler mascot. Images of fierce tigers, cunning orioles or whatever the hell Gritty is come to mind, yet instead, the absolute best they could come up with is an anthropomorphic fruit. The orange part of Otto itself is less than three feet tall, making the six-foot tall person inside him look all the more awkward. The color scheme of dark blue and orange is anything but visually “appeeling” (literally any other color could look better), and his arms are positioned where his ears should be. His shape is not round, but rather flatter on the bottom, reminiscent of a pumpkin. Mascots have one job, to spark competitive energy at sporting events. With that task getting more difficult at Syracuse every year as the men’s basketball team continues to decline, how can you expect to hype up the crowd with a fuzzy (moldy?) orange blob?
Otto the Orange is just the worst. I cannot think of a dumber looking mascot than that orange blob they have at that school in upstate New York. For one, what school actually uses fruit as its mascot? That’s the most idiotic thing I have ever heard of. It’s like being named the Massachusetts Apple, the Vermont Strawberry or the Maine Lemon. Seriously, who’s bright idea was it to be the Syracuse Orange? On top of that, they somehow manage to make it even dumber in physical form. It’s a person in what looks like a blue tracksuit with an orange circle on from the waist up. When sitting down, he looks supremely dumb, as you can see in a tweet from former Daily Campus Sports Editor Dan Madigan (@dmad1433) in 2016. Otto is just sitting on the ground against the wall. The orange looks deflated to the point where the smile looks like a frown, and the person inside has pulled his arms inside the costume so Otto is armless. It, like the school it represents, is just the worst.
Let's check in with Otto the Orange… pic.twitter.com/kYgC1WrO61
— Dan Madigan (@dmad1433) April 6, 2016
Back in the 1980s Syracuse was in dire need of a new mascot, and somehow this misshapen orange goof broke out as a potential candidate. “A juiced up, bumbling citrus fruit from which two legs pertrude. It’s known on campus as the official embarrassment,” said Sports Illustrated in an article discussing possible new mascots for the university. In 1995, students and school officials agreed that this was the absolute perfect symbol to represent their school, and with that, Otto became the official mascot. Since then, Syracuse supporters have been repeatedly humiliated. Opposing fans start laughing at them before their teams even come out to play. This is a walking piece of fruit that we’re talking about here that they have made the face of their school and athletic programs. The demented face, misplaced limbs, clash of colors – it is all a horrifying sight. To really top it off, they went out and bought the ugliest, orange striped sweatpants you could find for this protrusion to walk around in. Otto, no question, is the worst mascot in all of sports.
Knock knock! Who's there?! ORANGE! Otto the Orange! 🍊💥 pic.twitter.com/AnVKzdCgvj
— Otto The Orange (@TheOttoOrange) August 25, 2016
There are plenty of bad mascots when it comes to both collegiate and professional sports. But if you had to narrow it down to just one, Otto the Orange has to take the cake. As if there weren’t already enough things to despise about Syracuse, they practically did this one to themselves. For what should be some kind of nod to the university’s history or the surrounding area, I’m not entirely sure an orange puffle from Club Penguin really fits the bill. Of course they claim that Otto is actually a fruit-like that makes it any better. For a city that is buried under several feet of snow for months on end, I don’t think making a citrus fruit the mascot is by an means better. Then again, you can’t really be sure if they mean the fruit or the color. Either way, saying that Otto is the personification of the color orange makes even less sense. Simply put, this mascot is an abomination.
This is Otto the Orange. He's been like this for most of the game. pic.twitter.com/DbzX1wHABj
— Collyn Taylor (@collyntaylor) March 23, 2015
Otto the Orange is the worst mascot in sports, and that’s saying something considering that Stanford’s mascot is a deranged-looking Christmas tree. The Syracuse Orange is already one of the all-time worst names for a team. If it’s the color orange, that’s just stupid and uncreative, and if it’s the fruit, that makes no sense considering Syracuse, New York, isn’t exactly known for its ability to grow oranges. But somehow the school made matters worse by making the mascot something that looks like it should be on an episode of “Barney and Friends.” Otto is so bad as a mascot, I’m pretty sure Syracuse fans would rather he not even show up to the games. Who I pity the most is the sorry people who have to wear that idiotic costume. Pour one out for them.
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