Straight from the Tap: the men behind the mascot
Why did you decide to create a new Dartmouth mascot?
CP: The whole thing started out as a joke. In the fall of 2003, there was a lot of concern over how Dartmouth was perceived by the outside world. The Student Assembly was trying very seriously to choose a new mascot, as if that would give Dartmouth some kind of visual identity. They proposed all the standard choices: moose, penguin, yeti, etc., but nobody seemed really psyched about any of them.
ND: They had a lot of online runoff polls between some lame options, and in the last runoff the Dartmoose lost out to "no mascot." We were hiking Mount Tripyramid and somehow we started talking about what the real mascot ought to be. I don't really remember how the idea came up, just that we started talking about it near the base of the north slide. We were with Peter Bohler '03, and this crazy old man started talking to Pete about avalanche safety. We probably should have rescued Pete, but instead we left him to his conversational fate and kept talking about mascots. At first it was just a joke, but somehow it turned from something that would be funny if somebody did it, to something that would be funny if we did it, to a thing that we were going to do.
How did you decide on Keggy the Keg?
CP: All we did was latch onto the most obvious Dartmouth stereotype: the beer-swilling Animal House fraternity culture. We sent out a fake message from the Student Assembly, stating that because the student body couldn't choose a mascot, one had been chosen for them. It looked very official, and we enclosed a drawing of Keggy on the football field. People figured out it was fake pretty quickly, so our plan was to build a real life Keggy and bring him out at the Homecoming game. Sort of like a punchline. We figured we'd be thrown out in five minutes, and that would be the end it it.
?Have you had any negative reaction to Keggy?
CP: Shortly after Keggy was created, I went to an alumni event and met the guy who first came up with the idea of the moose. He didn't like me too much. I've also received some harsh words from a mom who brought her children to a Dartmouth hockey game.
ND: There was also a guy who wrote an op-ed for his student newspaper at some college in the Plains States denouncing Keggy for encouraging binge drinking. I don't know how he heard about it. I don't remember the name of the college, but it was in Kansas, I think. Definitely not North Dakota, unfortunately. That would have been funny.
How did most students react to Keggy? The administration?
CP: The first time we brought him onto the field, people went crazy. They loved him. One minute he was a joke, the next he was a real honest-to-God mascot.
ND: The administration never said anything to us. I suspect that means the trustees thought it was funny.
Why do you think Keggy is better than the Big Green? Than the Indian?
ND: The Big Green and the Indian do not have googly eyes, which are necessary for a great mascot. The Philly Phanatic, Mister Met, the Sycracuse Orange Ball Thing -- googly eyes. Keggy has googly eyes.
CP: The Big Green is too politically correct, so it's not fun, and the Indian is a relic. Keggy sort of celebrates and makes fun of Dartmouth at the same time. Plus, he's beer.
If Keggy had to battle The Dartmoose, who would win?
ND: Well, a full keg on top of those spindly legs is really top-heavy. So in a fight Keggy would be pretty easy to topple.
CP: No way. Keggy would dominate.
ND: But he's smiling all the damn time. I don't think Keggy would have the heart to hurt a wild animal. He just wants to make people happy and love each other, then the next morning, hungover.
CP: Have you ever tried to lift a full keg? Those things weigh a ton. You roll Keggy down a hill, he'll crush everything in his path.
What tactics would Keggy employ in the fight?
ND: I'm not so sure they need to fight. Beer and moose steaks is a winning combination. I think there's room for compromise.
CP: Sure. And you can honor the Indian by using every part of the moose.