Put your hands together for the NU Tornadoes

Mathias Muschal

Go Wildcats! Well, which ones? Upon hearing “Wildcats,” I conjure up images of Willie, purple and white, and sports teams hoisting trophies above their heads, er … winning at least half of their, er … always trying really hard.

But what if I were to travel far from Evanston and exclaim a hearty “Go Wildcats!” to the passersby? We can only assume that I would eventually come across someone well-informed on the subject of collegiate mascots.

This person would then say, “Lo, stranger! Before I resolve to either endorse or reject your clear partiality towards these Wildcats, I must know of which Wildcats you speak — the University of Arizona, the University of Kentucky, Kansas State or perhaps Northwestern?” You can rest assured that I would readily declare my pride for our Cats. Yet deep inside I wouldn’t be able to deny the glaring problem: We have an unoriginal mascot.

Now I’m not one to do away with tradition haphazardly. Tradition sticks around because it usually works, so most of the time it shouldn’t be changed. But I think it’s becoming obvious that “Wildcats” isn’t cutting the mustard these days. It’s downright boring. “Oh, look over there. It’s some Wildcats. Hold on a second while I piss my pants.” Yawn.

A whirl of a mascot

Then what is the grand solution to our feeble/hackneyed-mascot woes? What is there to knock tradition from its high horse and lead Northwestern to a brighter future? The answer is as resounding as a whirling funnel-cloud: the Northwestern Purple Tornado.

I think it’s clear why the “Purple Tornado” would make for a stellar mascot, but I’ll spell it out for you. Two problems I brought up with “Wildcats” were unoriginality and a lack of pizzazz. Quickly, try to think of as many college team mascots that are based on natural disasters. Okay, so you’ve got your Miami Hurricanes, but can you think of any else? And if there are any other meteorological-themed teams out there, how many have a color? We’d have to be the first.

We’d not only have an original mascot, but one that would cause terror in the eyes and hearts of our opponents. Have you ever seen “Twister?” Scary stuff, right? Well imagine that the tornados bearing down on Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton were purple! It’d automatically get an NC-17 rating for its likeliness to scare minors to the point of insanity, if not death. Or even insane death.

All together now

It wouldn’t be the mascot on its own that would overwhelm the competition but also the unification of the mascot with the student body. Just imagine the sight and sound of thousands of purple-clad NU supporters chanting, “Pur-ple, tor-na-do! We’re the pur-ple, tor-na-do. Whoooosh!” Have you ever heard a gym or stadium full of people imitating a tornado? I surely haven’t.

Think of how magnificent a victory dance we would have if a horde of purple-shirted NU fans were running in a giant circle in the parking lot, proudly creating the aforementioned “whoosh” sound and flailing their limbs in typical tornado-like fashion. The very thought shakes my frame: both with terror from such an intimidating vision, yet also with a profound excitement that such a display of NU pride and togetherness could one day exist on our campus. Community is something that leaders from nearly every group on campus have been longing to achieve. The answer isn’t bowling, Friday After Class or more acapella groups. The answer is something all of us can look up to and be proud of: a purple-colored tornado with limbs and a face.

“Go Wildcats?” Yes. Go far, far away. Be quick, too. A Purple Tornado is coming to Evanston.