Mascot costumes, those awkward traditions of sporting events, schools, and intramural competitions, are often built in a traditional, tasteful manner. Rams, lions, dragons, bears – oh my! – these are the kind of creatures that run headlong onto the field, cheering and pumping fists into the air, trying to send the crowd into an ecstatic orgy of support for their respective teams. The sheer awkwardness of most mascot costumes makes it a difficult job, but for some reason it is a necessary one. However, rather than follow the conservative route for their mascot‘s costume, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) opted instead to design a uniquely artistic mascot: Scrotie, the superhero penis-man.
Architect lines the streets, fixies cruise along the sidewalks, and everyone seems to have walked right out of a fashion show. This is the life around the RISD campus. RISD is one of the most artistically-driven colleges in the country, and every one of its majors focus on the liberal arts. From pottery to painting, illustration to industrial design, everything drives students closer to their creative nirvana. Yet, even amongst the demanding pressures of creativity, the men within the school have found time to form two highly competitive hockey and basketball teams, respectively named “The Nads” and “The Balls.” Scrotie is the mascot for both teams.
Created in 2001, Scrotie is officially the school’s unofficial mascot. He appears at games, leads the crowd in cheers (“Go Nads” for the Nads, “When the heat is one, the balls stick together” for the Balls), and generally causes a large amount of social disturbances. Some onlookers laugh, some are shocked, and some find it absolutely offensive, but the school has shown no urge to drive the mascot away. On the contrary, Scrotie has been invited to numerous Freshman orientations, along with undergoing a recent visual overhaul.
With nearly 70% of the school’s population belonging to the female gender, it’s confusing as to why the school is so tolerant of a giant penis costume as its mascot. But numerous women have had their hand in creating the new visual representation of Scrotie, most likely using their firsthand experience with the male counterpart. The new Scrotie comes equipped with blue balls, engorged veins, hair, and a skin color that leaves it indistinguishable from one race to another, making Scrotie much more ethnic friendly. Quite honestly, Freud would have had a field day with this scenario: women cheering on the arrival of a masked penis-man superhero, who jumps and pumps his hands into the air, with a throbbing smile on his face.
Some of the student body has voiced that the new Scrotie has gone too far, especially with the shading and coloring. These students say that the original Scrotie was humorous because his costume was floppy, flimsy, and unprofessional. It made Scrotie seem “cute.” The new one focuses too much on representing the subtle details of the true male genitalia, and Scrotie has lost the humor of his once humble beginnings. Whether Scrotie sticks around or goes through another visual transformation, only time and the largely female student body of RISD can say for sure.