By Nate Sanchez
Last week, I wrote a top three list of mascots from all over Bakersfield in two categories out of my initial four. This week, I’m ranking the top three people and animal mascots. These two categories were the biggest, each with eight representatives.
People: This was tricky, especially in the case of schools like Highland and West since their mascots are people of a certain ethnicity or national identity like the Scots and Vikings respectively. I wasn’t sure how to approach this with care, so I didn’t.
Here we go!
1. Vikings, West High School: Vikings are cool, even though research and practicality tell us that their helmets were not adorned with horns. Not only did they conquer and thrive in the icy tundra of Scandinavia, they were masters of nautical engineering and had legit funerals. For the record, I want to be put into a boat and set on fire with all my stuff when I kick the bucket.
Heck, put me in an actual bucket and call it a boat. I won’t know the difference, I’ll be dead. As for sports, the Vikings threw spears and stones, wrestled, fist-fought, lifted stones and climbed mountains. Basically, they’re better than all of us.
2. Titans, Frontier High School: I don’t live in the year 450 BC and I’m not a member of a creepy cult, so I don’t care about the goings on of the ancient Greek pantheon of gods and goddesses. The Titans, however, were a primeval race of super strong giants descended from earth and sky. Awesome.
3. Drillers, Bakersfield High School: Once a Driller, Always a Driller. You all should be grateful I didn’t put them at number one, since I could’ve easily cranked the bias up to 11 on this one. But you can’t seriously discount what oil is to this town.
The Trojans (Foothill High School) just missed the cut because they got played by a few guys in a wooden horse. Bakersfield College’s Renegades missed out because their mascot is a knight. Don’t get me wrong, knights are awesome, but they abided by a chivalrous code. A renegade is someone who does the opposite.
Animals: This category applies to beasts of the land, our four-legged friends. It helped to imagine each entry as how they were as a baby.
1. Wolf Pack, Ridgeview High School: Puppies! Carnivorous, ruthless puppies, at that! Wolves are easily the coolest critters in the forest, and it helped their case immensely that there’s more than one of them. Go on, try telling a pack of ravenous wolves that they’re not number one. You will fail. Additionally, wolves live anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, from North America to the Middle East and northern Africa. There is no escape.
2. Heater, Bakersfield Blaze: Heater is the adorable cartoon-like lizard mascot of the Bakersfield Blaze, the local High-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Big dragons, monsters and kaiju are in right now, so it only makes sense to add Heater to this list. He’s one of three mascots for the Blaze, as he’s accompanied by Torch, a nightmarish black dragon reminiscent of Maleficent in Disney’s 1959 version of Sleeping Beauty, if Maleficent was a steroidal baseball fiend. Pat D. Panda is there because sponsorships.
My one protest: none of them wear pants or any sort of genital covering, and that disturbs me.
3. Bulldogs, Golden Valley High School: Puppies! Skateboards! Puppies on skateboards!