Ole Miss chooses Rebel Black Bear for new mascot - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Ole Miss chooses Rebel Black Bear for new mascot

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - It came down to three mascots the "Rebel Black Bear," "Hotty Toddy" and the "Land Shark."  University of Mississippi students, faculty and alumni voted online for their favorite and the "Rebel Black Bear "won with 62% of the ballots.

Although the bear took the majority vote he certainly was not everyone's first choice.  "I think it should have been Hotty toddy.  My mom was going for land shark," said Courtney Weatherholt who once attended Ole Miss.

"I had much rather see Hotty toddy because I think that's more of a southern tradition," said Ole Miss graduate Charlotte Gosa.

Others don't mind the furry animal sporting Harvard crimson and Yale blue.  "The bear's a very strong symbol," said WLBT's Bert Case.  He graduated from Ole Miss in 1962. "We have black bear in Mississippi. They came across the Mississippi River from Louisiana."

The "Rebel Black Bear" had only appeared as a cartoon.  What about the transition from sketches to the sideline?

"I think the drawings are some what generic.  I think they're just rough sketches.  I'll look for something more to come out," said Rebel Club President Bob Box.

Maybe it was a Jackson author who first predicted Colonel Reb's replacement in his fictional tale about his beloved alma mater.

"I created a spoof if you will of what will happen if ole miss finally got rid of Colonel. Reb and got a new mascot," said author Quintin Whitwell.

In If By Whiskey Whitwell wrote three pages about a black bear as a contender for the spot.  Of course in the book the students don't take it seriously.

"Many people love Colonel Rebel so finding an embrace, finding the warmth in your heart for a new mascot is going to be very hard for a lot of people," said Whitwell.

Some were already signing petitions against the "Rebel Bear" while others were wondering if this will even matter to Ole Miss fans a decade or two from now.

"We'll still be Ole Miss and Rebels and they'll still be trees in the Grove and columns in the Lyceum," said Box.

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