Jacko mascot 'Keggy' wins many Dartmouth fans

by Steven Orbuch | 11/4/03 6:00am

When Nic Duquette '04 and Chris Plehal '04 of the Dartmouth Jack-o-Lantern humor magazine conceived of Keggy the Keg, they did not expect him to become an overnight sensation.

However, Keggy is now possibly the most talked about and well-received "mascot" on campus.

Duquette, the Jacko's editor emeritus, and Plehal, who is also a member of The Dartmouth staff, said that they thought up Keggy as a lighthearted, fun poke at the SA mascot search.

"We tried to come up with a mascot that wasn't racist, biased or sexist, yet entirely unacceptable," Duquette said. "The intent was never to derail the mascot search."

Duquette and Plehal said that they initially assumed that Keggy would make his first and only appearance at the Homecoming football game.

They have strongly considered bringing him out at a wide variety of additional sports events because of the positive response that he received in the stands.

"If enough people seem to want Keggy back, we'll entertain it," Plehal said.

"We're not sure, though, if the reaction he got was from the novelty of it being a keg, or from people being psyched to have a mascot come back more than once."

Keggy the Keg made his debut as mascot this past Saturday at the Dartmouth Homecoming football game againt Columbia.

Duquette and Plehal said that they thought that the keg might well appear again at home football and hockey games.

"Our guess was that he'd be ejected from the [football] stadium," Plehal, the Jacko's managing editor, said.

Keggy, however, was not ejected.

In fact, he was invited by the Dartmouth College Marching Band onto the field during its halftime show and was helped onto the field by Safety and Security.

The keg made yet another appearance at the men's hockey home game this past Saturday.

Duquette and Plehal said that they expected the keg to come to more home football and hockey games this season.

Andrew Argeski '06, the student dressed in the keg costume, said that he felt the crowd's enthusiasm for Keggy first-hand.

Argeski said that the students and alumni received him warmly, that in the second quarter, people in his section began a 'Keggy' cheer, and that two eight-year-old kids even asked him to sign his baseball hat."I think everyone I met at the game enjoyed Keggy," Argeski said.

A variety of students enjoyed Keggy's appearance at the game.

For instance, James Baehr '05, a prominent member of the Buzzflood, a student group devoted to promoting a positive image of Dartmouth, attended the football game and said he enjoyed watching Keggy in action.

"It was obviously successful in rallying school spirit," he said.

"It was a lighthearted attempt to poke some fun at the Dartmouth stereotype, but I still think students can enjoy it even if they are not heavy drinkers."

Both Duquette and Plehal expressed doubts as to whether Keggy could become a contender for official Dartmouth mascot even after his showing this week.

"The odds of it being institutionalized are pretty slim, but there's nothing saying that it can't be a rogue mascot forever," Duquette said.

Baehr, however, said that Keggy could continue to have a concrete impact on Dartmouth, even if the keg never officially enters the formal mascot search.

"If Keggy continues to rally the troops, he serves the same purpose as a mascot," Baehr said. Some Dartmouth students are not quite as enthusiastic about Keggy, however.

"I don't know if Keggy is the best choice," said Kabir Sehgal '05, a founding member of Buzzflood who is also a staff columnist at The Dartmouth. "Some, however, will say that it is better than the moose."

Although he did not comment on whether the administration approved of Keggy, Dean of the College James Larimore told The Dartmouth that he approved of the creativity of Keggy's inventors.

"One of the things I love most about Dartmouth students is that they can always be counted on to come up with imaginative and creative ideas," Larimore said.