Goodbye Dons. Hello Pink Fairy Armadillos.
In response to a new system set in place by the West Coast Conference that requires all teams to be named after animals, USF has made the bold decision to represent itself in the form a small, burrowing Argentine mammal. The school’s name, logo, and mascot was approved by the Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J. on Sunday, March 23, and the change will be put into effect at the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year.
“I could not think of a better way to end my tenure as president of the University of San Francisco,” Privett said. “This is a day that will be etched in the books of history for years to come.”
Last month, as part of its Animal Awareness Among Athletes campaign, the WCC released an initiative stating that all schools in the conference must have names that are “free of human influence.” All teams with human-centric names were given 30 days to select a new name and design a new logo. On March 20, Portland became the first team to declare a brand new school title, changing from the Pilots to the White-faced Saki Monkeys. This move opened the floodgates for other schools, and by the next day San Diego and Pepperdine had become the Blobfish and the Dumbo Octopi, respectively. The St. Mary’s Gaels were slow to catch on, however, and failed to meet the March 23 deadline, resulting in the termination of their athletic program.
Although the USF soon-to-be Pink Fairy Armadillos will not complete the transition until August of 2014, the campus is already supporting the choice to discard “Dons,” and is brimming with excitement at the prospect of a new school signifier.
“I’ve never really lived the life of a Don,” said a USF student who requested to remain anonymous. “I think my life is much more similar to that of a miniscule, worm-eating creature. I must say I’m proud to be a Pink Fairy Armadillo.”
While students are showing enthusiasm, USF’s Name Selection Committee is taking a much-needed week off after enduring the painstaking process of deciding upon a new title. The committee, headed by Athletic Director Scott Sidwell, spent many sleepless nights in a dark-lit room in War Memorial Gym attempting to settle on the right animal, an experience Sidwell compared to “discovering the meaning of life.”
In the end though, the committee, along with the rest of the school, seems to be happy with the final result.
“The Pink Fairy Armadillo truly embodies everything that our athletics program stands for,” Sidwell said. “It is a very small animal, which characterizes USF’s position as an underdog-type school. Also, the Pink Fairy Armadillo’s strong protective armor is representative of the attitude that these student athletes have. They’re tough as nails, they never give up, and they compete every day.”
Another factor that contributed to the selection of the Pink Fairy Armadillo is the animal’s Argentina location, which will undoubtedly help USF in its quest for cultural diversity.
“I fully expect that this will increase our presence in South America,” Privett said. “There is lots of untapped academic potential in Argentina, and it would be great if we could bring some of that to the Best City Ever.”
According to an unnamed source, a USF advertisement reading “Our Pink Fairy Armadillos Are Better Than Yours” was spotted on the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina just three hours after the name change was approved.
On top of the cultural incentive, USF also capitalized on a new trend in modern sports. Just last year, the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA became the New Orleans Pelicans, going from a fairly normal insect to an awkward-looking, large-beaked water bird. However, as evidenced by decisions at USF and other WCC schools, this sort of transformation has become quite popular.
“Changing your name to an obscure animal that should never be associated with sports is definitely a cool thing to do right now, so I’m glad we could be a part of that,” USF men’s basketball head coach Rex Walters said on Sunday. “It’s important to move forward as a program, and we definitely did that today.”
Along with the name change, the all-new USF Pink Fairy Armadillo logo has been designed, and the school’s pink and brown uniforms will be unveiled in just 20 days. As the school prepares for this momentous occasion, mascot tryouts were held at Negoesco Stadium on Monday, March 24. However, the tryout session ended unresolved, and was called off when a student fainted from exhaustion after walking on all fours in a pink fairy armadillo costume for two hours. Other students also reported experiences of severe nausea, prompting the athletic program to turn to four-legged creatures as the primary mascot candidates. A tryout consisting of cats, dogs, and several meandering deer found wandering in Golden Gate Park is scheduled for this Saturday.
DISCLAIMER: This piece was printed as part of The Foghorn’s April Fool’s Day issue on April 1st, 2014. This article is intended to be satirical.