Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rocketman in Toledo

Game Day: September 1, 2007

Opponent: The University of Toledo Rockets

Mascot: Rocky the Rocketman, and his sidekick, Rocky the Rocket

Resembles: A Rocket Man, who carries a plunger-looking thing, and hangs out with an inflatable, baseball cap-wearing rocket.

Known for: Pretending to eat things through the visor of his helmet?

Mascot Rating: 4 out of 10

Rocky the Rocket, The University of Toledo's "powerful" mascot, was created in the 1966-67. The costume originally consisted of a wastepaper basket with a pointed rocket top made of papier-mâché. Makes me think of a crude R2-D2 Halloween costume.

Rocky can always be seen battling other mascots and rocketing around the games cheering UT men and women onto VICTORY!

Over the years Rocky's costume has changed many times:
In the early 70s, Rocky wore a tall metal rocket helmet with many different jumpsuit type outfits, including such items as bellbottom pants. In 1977, an authentic spacesuit, helmet, and boots were donated to the university by the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas with the help of former Ohio astronaut and Senator, John Glenn. The space suit was used for football games, but because of its mass, a lightweight replica was used for the basketball season. Both suits were used until 1980 when Rocky took on a more futuristic look in a costume that was designed to present more of a space rocket image. Another Rocky costume, which was plush with huge feet, was introduced in 1983, but was only used until 1986 when a big blue plush Rocky with smaller feet was unveiled. Throughout the late 80s and most of the 90s only minor changes were made to Rocky's costume. In 1998, at the Bowling Green football game, the old Rocky got into a limousine and the new Rocky stepped out and displayed the new blue and gold rocket man Rocky costume, complete with jetpack, to everyone in attendance. In 2002, an inflatable Rocky the Rocket was unveiled as an addition to the Rocket man Rocky.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 10
Rocky the Rocketman is pretty lame, and thus ranks low on the mascot scale. No fur, no over-sized head, and you can’t even see his eyes! All you have to do is buy a racing suit and motorcycle helmet and viola – Rocky! And what the heck is Rocky the Rocketman holding? A plunger? A shuffle-board stick-thing? A magic wand? I’m pretty sure NASA doesn’t issue those things to their astronauts (just diapers and alcohol, apparently.) His sidekick, Rocky the Rocket, a.k.a. phallic symbol, is ridiculous. Couldn’t they have given him his own name? I will give props to Rocky the Rocket’s hula skirt of flames permanently shooting out from below, however. And, it's pretty cool that Rocky encourages you to send him a message to his own email address:

Source (please don’t sue me): University of Toledo’s Web site