The Ole Miss Rebels never really embraced “Rebel,” the black bear that became their mascot in 2010. After the university decided it was best to get rid of the Colonel Rebel mascot for racial insensitivity reasons, they’ve decided that it’s time to revisit the issue again.
On Sept. 26, students at Ole Miss will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not the school should change their mascot to a shark.
Specifically, a “Landshark.”
The Clarion-Ledger is reporting that the mascot appears to have gained popularity since the committee originally to appoint a new mascot was formed in 2010.
For years, the Ole Miss defense has been known colloquially as “Landsharks,” and changing the name would make it official.
“The Landshark as we know it today has its origins in football, but has since expanded to symbolize Ole Miss’s fight spirit and athletic prowess,” Kevin Dion III, president of the Ole Miss Associated Student Body wrote. “On September 26th, we will all have the chance to leave a legacy of unity and excitement in a referendum vote in this year’s Fall Election.”
The name springs from a gesture made by linebacker Tony Fein in the upset over the Tim Tebow led Florida Gators in 2008.
Tebow ran an option to the left in the closing seconds of the game, a play he’d scored on earlier in the quarter, and Fein dropped him and helped the Rebels secure the victory. He rose up with his hand against his helmet and the “Landshark” was born.
There are currently no FBS teams that use a shark as their primary mascot. There are plenty that make use of the bear. The vote is expected to pass, though it could be some time before we see the actual change take place.
There will be some red tape to get through before the new mascot can be implemented.