I’ve always been somewhat amused by schools that add a modifier to the name of their mascot. This could be be a result of my career as a Lawrence High Chesty Lion. For some reason, we felt a need to set ourselves apart from the less well-endowed lions, who no doubt had enough self-esteem problems without us pointing out their flat chests. Add to that the obvious gender confusion this designation brought to us males, and it was quite a mess.
Being a Marist Red Fox is not nearly so harrowing. Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, Marist is perhaps best known for tutoring Dunking Dutchman Rik Smits in the ways of American basketball. The basketball team and mascot were adopted in 1961, and were apparently inspired by the indigenous reynard, or red fox. Fortunately, the trustees went with the latter choice, as the Marist Reynards would have been one of the most effete names in the history of any sport, ever. Including Rhythmic Gymnastics.
Let’s meet the Reynards! (I feel like Richard Dawson on Family Feud)
- Still misses Maureen McCormick and Florence Henderson.
- While coaching at St. Joseph’s, was once forced to fill in for the hawk mascot, and boy are his arms tired.
- Feels the student newspaper is misguided in their attempt to characterize his team as “extremely foxy”.
- Once tried out for American Idol, but was derided as being “pitchy” before producers learned he was over the age limit for competition anyway.
- On a road trip to Vermont University during the ’04-’05 season, scored 12 points and 5 rebounds in just 16 minutes of play after downing a half-gallon of fresh maple syrup.
- Is considering a radical hair-grafting procedure in which part of his beard will be re-seeded into the gap between his eyebrows.
- In High School, he actually dated a girl named Marist.
- Started in Nyack before moving on to Poughkeepsie. Sounds like a sequence of events that would involve food poisoning.
- A seven-foot, 250-lb. center who steps back to shoot the three. Is the NBA ready for another Raef LaFrentz?
- Two-time winner of the Marist University Air Harpsichord Contest, sponsored by the music department.
- Must constantly deny rumors that he is related to Gary Busey.
- Averaged a quadruple-single during his freshman year, and was still able to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau in his senior year.
- Hobbies: Line dancing, hackey-sack, and snapping into a Slim Jim.
- Is Marist’s best scorer, and also racks up nearly 9 assists per game. Secretly wears John Stockton short-shorts under his uniform baggies.
- Does an eerie impression of Aaron Neville singing “The touch, the feel of cotton…. the fabric of our lives!”
- Only late for practice once, when Days of Our Lives was tape-delayed by breaking news coverage.
- Has been unable to open his eyes all the way since a lost weekend with Gonzaga’s Josh Heytvelt.
- Redshirted his freshman season. At Marist, this means you only get to play in road games.
- He ain’t never been to Spain, but he kinda likes the music.
The Red Foxes are cruising into the MAAC tournament with a 23-7 overall record (including wins over Old Dominion and Minnesota), and their 14-4 conference mark puts them one full game ahead of Niagara. The bad news is, some pundits don’t believe in them.
There’s only one place to settle this: on the basketball court.
I kid because I love here at Extrapolater. However, I do have a site dedicated to getting the straight dope about colleges across America, called College Rule Notebook. If you’d like to set me straight, take the quick survey. We’ll dig up links & photos to illustrate your answers.