The ancient tale of Siddhartha is about a man who sacrifices materialistic pursuits in order to find a more sustainable spiritually, and he ends up succeeding by finding peace in nothingness.
Long Beach State needs to apply that lesson to its search for a new mascot.
After years of phasing out the 49ers mascot, and the Cal State University system telling their schools to stop using individuals as mascots, university president Jane Close Conoley agreed with an Associated Students Inc. Referendum in September when Prospector Pete was officially retired.
The university then opened the search for a new mascot in February by accepting community nominations, and announced the six finalists earlier this month. Kraken, Pelicans, Sharks, Stingrays and Giraffes are the five animal suggestions, and then there’s the sixth choice which is no mascot.
That should be the only choice. No mascot. Long Beach State doesn’t need a mascot. It has enough names as it is.
Think of it as an SAT question. Cal State University Long Beach is to Long Beach State like Cal State University is to San Diego State. LBSU is to Long Beach State like UCLA is to University California Los Angeles. Go Beach is Long Beach State like Roll Tide is to the Alabama Crimson Tide. These other universities have made a name for themselves without relying on Aztecs, Bruins or an elephant.
‘The Beach’ is a fine moniker that will fulfill any national media request, and mascots are antiquated anyway.
Take the new Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, as an example. He’s a 7-foot orange creature that looks like a character from a demented version of Sesame Street, but he’s original and fun. That’s what mascots are supposed to be.
The most famous mascot in professional sports is the San Diego Chicken, and the professional baseball team is not called the Chickens. The most famous college mascot is probably the Stanford Cardinal tree, and that’s a tradition of its own.
Two years ago, I wrote that the university should just stick to Long Beach State 49ers, but if 49ers is no longer an option, it should just be Long Beach State. Anything else would be redundant.
The only thing well-qualified to represent LBC is Long Beach itself.