The website terrificpets.com says Siberian huskies "are known for their sweet, good nature … friendly and energetic, playful, and eager to have fun … a good dog to have with children." We wonder what the writer would think of the University of Connecticut's mascot makeover.
The puppyish, playful Jonathan Husky that served as the school's mascot for the past decade has been replaced by a wolf-like, more assertive version described by head women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma as "powerful, aggressive, determined … a streamlined fighting dog."
The new Jonathan, designed by the sports apparel firm Nike in a marketing deal with the university, is indeed more in-your-face than his predecessor, a poufy-haired chap who joyously stuck his tongue out while grinning broadly, inviting a friendly pat. But is the 2013 version really all that fierce?
Compare him, for example, with the husky in many of Northeastern University's logos — a snarling, angry cur menacingly baring a full set of pointed teeth. The new Jonathan looks gentle by comparison.
Yes, he does show a small bottom row of teeth, though they could hardly be called fangs. The eyes do have a more fixed stare than has been customary in UConn logos, and it's true that for dogs, staring like that is a challenge. But all in all, he's more Fido than Fang.
Perhaps the most unsettling change in the new logo is Jonathan's coloring: Unlike his graphic predecessors, he has dark fur around the ears and on the sides of the nose. Jonathan XIII, UConn's living version of the mascot, is pure white — as has been every real-life Jonathan since the 1940s.
The new logo may better represent the fighting spirit of UConn athletes and fans — but recheck the color, please.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun