Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Arkansas State's New Mascot Near




A-Train? You're kidding right? It doesn't make sense. If it's the Arkansas State A-Train, then what does the "A" stand for? Is it the Arkansas State Arkansas-Train? Engines and Express also suck. My advice: send railroad idea packing.

Ridge Raiders? Again, this makes no sense. The ridge in question is Crowley's Ridge. So, if you call yourself the Ridge Raiders, then the question must be asked: Why would raid your own ridge? For clarity, they should use the name Raiders From The Ridge. Ridge Runners? Ridge Riders? Ruffles have ridges. How about Arkansas State Potato Chips? My advice: bag the whole ridge thing.

Red Wolves? Yeah, that one works pretty well. At least it's better than the other two options. My advice to A-State fans: start howling.


The trains that chug through the Arkansas State University campus, things that blow across Crowley’s Ridge and a red animal are three themes selected to provide the institution’s new mascot, a search committee decided Friday.

After meeting for three hours Friday morning, the committee gave a New York brand and logo designer the three ideas to convert into the university’s new team mascot.

“One of these three is going to be our choice,” said committee chairman Jim Pickens of Little Rock.

Members liked the train theme, expressing interest in the potential names of “A-Train,” “ Express” and “Engines.” They also favored “Ridge Runners” and “Ridge Raiders,” referring to the wind-blown silt formation of Crowley’s Ridge that runs through Jonesboro and northeast Arkansas.

Red Wolves, a selection mentioned three years ago when ASU first discussed changing its mascot, was the third choice.

The committee dropped the names, “Stampede,” “ Red Hawks ” and “Archers,” a reference to the concrete arch used as a symbol for the university.

The selected themes were given to Jamie Skiles, the director of Phoenix Design Works, a sports design and marketing firm in New York. Skiles will design three or four images for each theme and present them to the committee on Jan. 30.

“It’s not a logo we’re talking about,” Skiles said. “This is the future of the institution.” The committee gave Skiles a list of 700 suggested names last month; he categorized the list into workable names, nonworking suggestions and ridiculous ones.

He said the last category included names such as “Clintons,” “ Rednecks” and “Red Dragons.” “As far as I know, there’s never been dragons in this area,” Skiles joked. “You have a university with a 100-year history, and there’s no redeeming qualities that you have to invent a dragon ?

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