All hail, Cock Commander!

All hail, Cock Commander!


Sir Big Spur or Cock Commander?
Image: Getty Images

Rule 1 of naming anything college mascot related: never give the public any say on the matter.

Beth and Van Clark — the owners of the rooster formerly known as Sir Big Spur, the University of South Carolina’s live mascot — are learning this the hard way as they look to give their bird a new name. The rooster formerly known as Sir Big Spur will be debuting a new title in 2022 due to an argument between the bird’s original owners — Mary Snelling and Ron Albertelli.

According to The Post and Courier, the two were troubled when they handed their duties of taking care of Sir Big Spur VII to Beth and Van. Basically, with their first opportunity to care for South Carolina’s mascot, one of their first decisions was to allow Sir Big Spur VII to maintain his comb, the red crest above the rooster’s head. The comb acts as a way for the rooster to cool down, which is essential if the bird is to be present at several South Carolina sporting events, since the heat can get unbearable some months. Snelling and Albertelli didn’t appreciate the Clarks’ decision. The bird’s former owners claimed that clipping the comb was necessary in order for Sir Big Spur VII to more represent the University of South Carolina’s namesake — a fighting gamecock — since fighting chickens usually have their combs clipped off before the fight.

That’s a stupid reason though. For one, that’s basically animal cruelty given the conditions the bird will have to face at South Carolina home games throughout the year (and let’s be honest, it’s animal cruelty regardless), and I’m stunned this wasn’t more of a problem with Sir Big Spurs I through VI. Two, the large gamecock statue in front of Williams-Brice stadium depicts a gamecock…with its comb still intact. So, explain to me how cutting off the comb would misrepresent the university when the university itself proudly displays a rooster, with an unclipped comb, to everyone who visits their football stadium. The school’s mascot, Cocky, also depicts a gamecock with a comb.

This is all beside the point, though. Basically, due to the fight between the current and former owners, the rooster must be renamed. The Clarks don’t know how they’re going to do so though. They’ve floated a few names around, and have even considered a fan vote. Well, after a local newspaper ran a fan vote online, I can say with full confidence, the Clarks should probably not go that route.

The State, a newspaper based in Columbia, South Carolina, listed several potential new names for the bird on their website, ranging from ‘Cluck Norris’ to ‘Coop’ and ‘Brooster’. They probably thought the vote would be a close battle between two or three names. Obviously, this would have no bearing on what the Clarks (and the University of South Carolina, which is guiding the process of selecting a new name) would end up naming their bird in the long run, but at the very least, it would give some insight as to what Gamecock fans would like. Well, it appears the people have spoken, and ‘Cock Commander’ is the runaway favorite with a staggering 79 percent of the vote.

‘Cock Commander’ has received 12,373 total votes, while the runner-up, ‘Cluck Norris’, has received only 5 percent of the vote or 802 total tallies. We got a real nail biter on our hands it seems.

Now, obviously, ‘Cock Commander’ is an incredible name, but not for the reason’s the university wants. The university probably thought they were safe after naming their costumed mascot ‘Cocky’, but no. They were far from safe.

It just goes to show, when the opportunity to rename a beloved public figure is given to the public, the results will always be comical. Meme culture is too large nowadays. Remember in 1981, when UC Santa Cruz became a Division III school? The school’s athletic officials wanted their team name to be the Sea Lions, but the students ran a huge campaign to change the name to…the Banana Slugs. Why the school has maintained that mascot to this day, I have no idea. Basically, if you want a legitimate nickname or mascot, never give 18-23 year olds with a ton of school spirit the opportunity to make that decision for you. They will always, ALWAYS, choose the name that makes them laugh.



Original source here

#hail #Cock #Commander

About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.