Have you ever felt like you were made for a job? If you have, you know how emotionally connected you get to the job. You define your own identity to the name of the job that you hold. Who would President Norton be if she wasn’t a president? I don’t even want to think about it.
But that’s the situation in which we find our old faithful friend, Rocky the Rock. He was literally made to be the mascot of Slippery Rock. Slippery Rock loved him and he loved Slippery Rock. And one day SGA just decided to replace him. Imagine how he must have felt when he heard that he was replaced at the job that he was literally created for.
The worst part is that the new lion mascot didn’t just steal his job, that lion stole his name too. Although Rocky the Lion may have a friendly exterior, he put the physical representation of our university through a fate worse than death. Having your identity completely stolen.
The entire notion of Rock Pride representing a lion doesn’t even make sense. Rock Pride was created to represent how much school spirit the students hold in the university. A group of lions is completely different pride then the sense of being proud of something. You can’t just use a single word to represent several different meanings at once. If that were true, the Washington State Cougars would be much more interesting team.
Some may argue that having a rock as a mascot is just silly. You go to a school called Slippery Rock University. That’s going to be on your diploma. If you go to another state and try to get a job, you’re probably going to be talking about the name of the school. If you’re the type of person who gets embarrassed about talking about silly school traditions, you probably should have gone to a university with a more serious name.
The original Rocky the Rock costume is missing. If Rocky was a complicated character that would be a huge problem for the university. It’s hard to be excited about a mascot that’s never around. The beauty of Rocky is that he’s so simple. If you draw eye balls on a grey sack and put that sack over your head, then you’ve pretty much became Rocky.
Anybody can become Rocky, so anybody can become a living symbol of Slippery Rock University. That’s something people from outside of SRU may not understand.
See the other side: http://www.theonlinerocket.com/opinion/2014/04/24/rocky-the-lion-embodies-srus-pride-tradition/