After a tough Thanksgiving week for University of Kentucky sports, I can’t be the only member of Big Blue nation hungry for a drubbing of a completely inferior opponent. Enter the Boston University Terriers, the homecoming cupcake for our wildly talented Kentucky basketball team. The Terriers of the America East Conference pose about as much a threat to Kentucky as an East Asia tidal wave. The only people threatened by their vicious ankle bitin’ mascot are leprechauns and Smurfs and I am not sure even the Smurfs are scared.
Boston’s costumed mascot is named Rhett the Boston Terrier. I have no way of knowing if a Boston Terrier Is any more vicious than any other terriers. They only get about 10 to 20 pounds and normally stand no higher than a foot or so off the ground. Most of the ones I have seen in person have that black and white pattern and are a little testy. One part of their history that does not shoot a chill up your back if you are going to play basketball against one is their nickname, “American Gentleman”. That name, “American Gentleman”, reminds me of a man wearing a tuxedo and shiny black shoes. It does not remind me of anything basketball or athletics related what so ever. Maybe BU should change their nickname to the Boston University American Gentleman. Teams and schools are constantly trying to be as original as they can when choosing a nickname, I don’t see anyone wanting to copy your style when you are running around calling yourself an “American Gentleman”. Not only would you be a target for middle eastern terrorists, you might be a target for good ‘Ol fashioned American hate crimes too.
Rhett has been the BU mascot since 1922, the last year Kentucky beat Tennessee and Florida on the football field. You might have seen Rhett in some of the ESPN “This is SportsCenter” commercials or the Universal Cheerleading Association’s mascot nationals, where he placed as high as fourth in 2002. you might think I am getting this information from an outside source, but in fact, I have every Universal Cheerleading Association competition ever to air on ESPN recorded on VHS.
Let’s put it this way, I enjoyed doing my research for this post. Saying all of that, the only extraordinary trait I found Rhett to possess compared to any other mascots or regular terriers was his name. in the last 10 months I have read a lot about how different schools developed their traditions or rituals. Traditions in college sports and the stories of how they came about are plentiful within the NCAA and it’s institutions. The way in which Rhett the Boston Terrier got his name, may be the best reasoning for giving a mascot a name that I have come across. I had to check a few different sources because I did not believe it at first, but it seems to be true.
Boston’s school colors are Scarlet and White, which is a fancy way of saying red and white normally, but this time it fits. Rhett the Boston Terrier was named after the lead male actor in one of the most well-known movies of all time, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. You may have caught on by now or you may still be clueless as I was on why a little dog from Boston would be named after Rhett Butler. Sure, Rhett Butler was a stone cold stud, but what did he have in common with the Boston University athletic department? It comes down to this, “No one loves Scarlett more than Rhett”. Referring to the leading lady of the film, Scarlett O’Hara, and Boston’s main color, scarlet. I totally feel like Paul Harvey right now. C! A! T! S!