Sunday, September 21, 2008

Notre Dame Leprechaun

University of Notre Dame

Mascot: The Fighting Irish - an unnamed, fiercely annoying leprechaun

Known for: Being magically delicious! And super annoying at football games.

Honestly, I don’t know how much I can emphasize the high annoyance factor of the Notre Dame leprechaun. I’ve always hated him. According to the Notre Dame web site, the Leprechaun brandishes a shillelagh (some kind of hammer thingy - but not as cool as Purdue Pete's hammer) and aggressively leads cheers and interacts with the crowd, supposedly bringing magical powers and good luck to the Notre Dame team. (Not so much in the past few years, however.)

Originally, the team was represented by a series of Irish terrier dogs. Then in 1965, the Leprechaun was named the official mascot of Notre Dame. Erin go braugh! (Does anyone know what that means, anyway?)

The Notre Dame logo features a side view of the figure with his dukes up, ready to battle anyone that comes his way. (Does anyone else think he looks like the Grinch here? Why is he so pointy?) And what's with the Amish beard? Does anyone get that?

Why don't they use these logos? I think they better express the school.

Aspiring leprechauns attend three weeks of cheerleading workshops - call it leprechaun boot camp- before a rigorous one-day tryout. On selection day, each prospective leprechaun performs a mock-up pep rally, and is challenged to execute a number of push-ups. The final test is a 15-minute individual interview, in which judges look to see "if the candidate has the right heart to be the person who represents Notre Dame." Gag. Here's a brief look of little leps trying to impress the judges:

OMG- I'm so embarrassed for this guy. Give up the Million Dollar Baby pose already. Does this guy even clear 5 feet?

These elevated push-ups impressed the judges - until the male cheerleader's hand slipped and grabbed his "pot o' gold".

This leprechaun wanna-be's talents weren't cutting it in try-outs, so he decided to just flash his gold coins, to the horror of the judges. There ain't nothin lucky about that.

But after blood, sweat and leprechaun tears, two leprechauns are chosen each year. Don't we all remember this one lucky winner? How many of you looked at this guy and said, "Uh. Yeah - an Irish Leprechaun. Straight from the old country."

Overall rating: 2 out of 10
The Leprechaun is original, I suppose. But, he loses points for not having a name (How about “Leper the Leprechaun”? or “Annoying-guy-in-a-green-suit the Leprechaun?”) Also, he loses points for being abrasive, inflammatory and way too tempting for me to smack. In fact, how much of America would like to smack this guy?

He does get his two points, however, from the following video on You Tube. Watch the leprechaun as he clumsily smacks a cheerleader with the ND flag. Good stuff.

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