What follows is the dramatic conclusion to my proposal for a new mascot: The Vanderbilt Vampires. As The Tennessean recently wrote, Vanderbilt’s “pride is on the line.” What better way to bolster team pride, than with a new, improved, supernatural, blood-sucking, alliterative mascot?
The tombstone, placed conspicuously at midcourt, reads:
Here lies Mr. Commodore, faithful mascot, father, lover, and poet. He shall be mourned by all who love Vanderbilt sports and the sweet, gentle sounds of his midnight mandolin-picking.
Things are different without Mr. C. Big C tries to take over the mascot duties, but it’s too much for the poor guy, even with the help of his new best friend, Cheerleader-who-looks-like-Rick-Moranis. Have you seen Big C’s arms? He might as well be a T-Rex.
But things are hardly back to normal. Ted Skuchas, who is known to wander around Memorial Gym, stroking the walls and muttering to himself, swears he hears noises at night—a scratching sound from beneath the floor. People ignore him.
Then, without warning or explanation, the court is torn up, the grave exhumed, the casket gone, all without clues as to what has happened. The university acts quickly to cover things up.
And then it happens.
The Volunteers are in town for a little game of basketball. It’s nearly the end of the first half. Vols are up, 41-33. A Tennessee player is whistled for a foul, his third. Bruce Pearl, predictably, begins to bluster and complain, red face atop bright orange torso.
Suddenly, the lights go out.
Stay in your seats, please. The lights will be on in just a—
And they’re back on. But Bruce Pearl is nowhere to be found. A woman’s scream pierces the confusion.
It’s Pearl, and he’s stripped to his underwear, which is interesting, because he happens to be wearing a garter. He stands atop the jumbotron, looking terrified. His face is scratched. He has soiled himself, numbers one and two.
An enormous winged creature, with a wingspan to rival Dawid Przybyszewski’s, swoops from its perch in the rafters. He is wearing a tuxedo, with the blaze of a golden silk handkerchief perfectly folded into a pocket square. It dives low, buzzes the student section, and picks up That Asshole That Always Wears A Kentucky Shirt Into The Student Section For The UK Game, bringing him to join Pearl atop the Jumbotron.
The winged creature perches behind them. It’s then clear that it’s not just any tuxedoed man, but the reanimated corpse of Mr. Commodore, now equipped with enormous bat wings.
Fear not, friends. I am to be your mascot now. Mister Commodore is dead, left at the gates of Hell from which I have returned.
A shout from somewhere in the student section. What is your name?
Call me what you wish. I thirst.
And with that, the beast sinks his fangs into the neck of That Asshole That Always Wears A Kentucky Shirt Into The Student Section For The UK Game. TATAWAKSITSSFTUKG screams like a stupid little girl. The beast leaves no blood, tossing TATAWAKSITSSFTUKG’s lifeless body to the ground. The administration, always prepared for a vampire emergency, immediately zips the lifeless body into a bag and carries it to the giant smokestack by Sarratt for burning, vampire eradication its original purpose.
The game goes into halftime, and Bruce Pearl, terrified and nearly naked, is ordered by the beast to finish the game. Vanderbilt wins by a score of 116-43. Tennessee’s only points were from thundering Lance Goulbourne dunk, a taunting own-goal.
The students come up with a name for their new mascot, a cold, frightening beast, nothing at all like the Twilight vampires, who are weak and stupid and don’t even needto drink blood. They call him, “Count Commodore,” or “Count C” for short.
And the administration accordingly changes the mascot to the Vanderbilt Vampires.
Here are some of the new traditions:
- With a special exception from both the SEC and the NCAA, the Vanderbilt Vampires play only night games.
- A.J. Ogilvy, a known fan of any emo/pop-punk band with black fingernails, can now harness his deep, brooding sadness, evident previously only in his facebook status updates and occasional weakness in the paint, for good.
- Before every sporting event Count Commodore attends, he releases three hundred bats into the air, which hover around the stadium/gymnasium for the duration of the competition, occasionally attacking humans.
- The administration selects one freshman girl per semester, based on looks alone, who must sacrifice herself to the Count, satisfying his bloodlust for the time being. These girls, pale and weak from blood loss, blankly follow Count Commodore into and out of every game, but never respond anyone but the Count. Each girl, in life, wore pink and green sundresses to games. Now they wear only black.
- If an opponent’s blood is ever spilt on the court or field, a priest must join the trainers and coaches, armed with crucifixes and garlic to hold Count Commodore at a safe distance. The count typically shrieks and hisses and lunges while the team respectfully kneels.