The state of Florida is stocked with horrifying and/or curious retired mascots. This is too predictable, since the state is generally stocked with the curious and horrifying, but the point stands. FSU has the furry Cimarron, who for all we know has been sold to a Furry somewhere and used in ungodly, unclean ways. UCF has the Citronaut—an astronaut, but also a piece of fruit, but also still an astronaut.
Even Sebastian the Ibis had an awkward adolescent period. Florida has only had Albert as a mascot. However, it’s been a struggle, and we should all admit that.
The Citronaut’s spot atop the malformed Sunshine State Mascot Totem Pole of Horror can’t really be disputed. The number two slot might not be a matter of dispute either, especially because he—um, it—is having a renaissance.
Behold: The Florida International University Sunblazer.
The Sunblazer looks like
- semi-beloved actor Gary Busey if Busey were playing a dreadlocked surfing guru in a direct-to-DVD film
- If the creatures from Slither infected you, but in a cute way?
- A muppet with cancer of the mouth and jaw
- Big Bird if you ripped his beak off, and also gave him teeth because birds do not have teeth, do you hear us Louisville BIRDS DO NOT HAVE TEETH
- Us when we’re clean shaven and haven’t gotten a haircut in a while
- A Pokemon that was either left in the oven too long, or taken out before it was done. (It’s unclear exactly which.)
The Sunblazer really shouldn’t act as the mascot, per se. He really should just hang out while heckling the official mascot, throwing popcorn around the stands, and serving as the daffy anti-hero to the official mascot. An unbridled, irrational, and sometimes baffling alternative to the normal concept we have of a mascot, a symbol of the university that says “yes” when others say “no”, especially when that “no” has been delivered in the name of common sense, safety, or the laws of the state.
The Florida Man of mascots, if you will. (Especially since, for the moment, Sebastian has stopped getting arrested.)