Athlete of the century: Wash. U. Bear

Former mascot

Leia Skywalker | Lightsaber Enthusiast

It’s the end of an era, folks. At the close of this season, the Bear will retire as the face of Washington University athletics. After over 150 years of spirited service, the Bear will hang up its fuzzy suit and make way for the newest mascot, the not-so-mighty DUC. As his duties to our sports teams come to a close, Student Life sat down with the Bear to honor him as our athlete of the century.

Student Life: So, you’re out of a job and Wash. U. is headed in a new direction with the DUC. How do you feel about that?

Bear: “It figures that in a recession economy Wash. U. would switch its mascot to be named after a big-time donor, just like the building. But it’s pretty upsetting that after all my loyalty I’m being replaced by a lame DUC. Come on, that’s not even spelled correctly.”

SL: We heard that back in the day you used to be a real bear. What happened there?

B: “There was this isolated incident. I may have eaten a few cheerleaders. But honestly, when only 20 people show up to the big games, who needs cheerleaders? I’m hoping this doesn’t have anything to do with why we have so few cheerleaders now…”

SL: What do you see your role as the mascot? What’s the purpose of the mascot at Wash. U.?

B: “I see it as a tangible form of school spirit. Some people say that Wash. U. doesn’t have a lot of school spirit. I like to think they’re wrong. But it helps to have something around which people can rally. Something people can cheer on and go with and say ‘Hey! I’m not the only one cheering like an idiot, that bear is doing it too!”

SL: Do you have to pump yourself up before the game?

B: My secret? Honeycomb. Lots and lots of honeycomb.