BU’s beloved mascot, Baxter the Bearcat, was unveiled in 1999 as part of the athletic department’s revamping of its image. The real question here is…is he even a real bearcat? We at The Black Sheep have our theories, but we also asked around to see what the general student body thinks.
“Even just looking at Baxter makes one raise their eyebrows at him,” sophomore Jana Antov started off. “Honestly, he looks like a Sonic the Hedgehog character with his cartoonishly big eyes, his bipedal mobility, and the fact that he wears clothes and shoes.”
Other students had mixed emotions.
“Who even cares? I haven’t seen that guy since I had to go to freshman orientation. He only hangs around the sports people, so only the sports people care,” shrugged senior Cilan Cremaschi.
“Oh, Baxter? Baxter’s amazing! He gives such big hugs and always cheers us BU athletes at our games,” junior Joyce Blomgrem gave Baxter high praise, “but I’ve got no clue what a Bearcat is even supposed to be, so I wouldn’t know how true to the name he is.”
Some students, like junior Sasha Chung, were completely clueless. “Uh, I never really thought about it.”
“I did read his interview on the SUNY blog for the Mascot Madness competition. It was pretty one-dimensional and unconditional support for BU and the general Binghamton area. Considering that bearcats come from woody areas in Southeast Asia, he might not be an accurate character at all,” commented freshman Peter Chambers.
A few others had their own theories about Baxter.
Junior Percy Fonda stared at us for a few minutes, and then clapped his hands together with a sudden realization. “Oh, oh, I’ve thought super hard and long about this over a can of Red Bull and negative hours of sleep! And then something struck me; he’s more like a human, right? How did he get like that? Maybe he was taken and experimented on by some mad scientists…or aliens! We’ll never know.”
Others just raised eyebrows at us, seemingly missing the point.
“Obviously he’s not real. Baxter is just a mascot, people. There’s some undergraduate kid who prances around the Events Center and sweats a ton inside the costume…It’s the life of every mascot and it’s nothing special,” said senior Olena Kostelecky sternly.
Freshman Chinweike Zeni shook her head at our inquiry after we gave her some context. “All of you need to calm the hell down and leave that poor Baxter alone. He’s only supposed to parade around and be cute.”
Like booze before noon? So do these guys…