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Posted on Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

Here we go again: Children's book publisher pitches Michigan two mascot designs

By Staff

Back in June, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon ruffled some feathers (figuratively) when he talked about being open to the idea of creating a mascot to promote the athletic department.

That talk simmered down a bit when Brandon said nobody in his department was actively working on the project, but that doesn't mean nobody has been.


Mascot Books has designed a pair of mascots for the Michigan athletic department's consideration.

Courtesy Mascot Books

Inspired by a Sugar Bowl matchup between mascot-less Michigan vs. "universally loved" HokieBird and Virginia Tech, children's book publisher Mascot Books has taken it upon itself to create two suggestions.

In an open letter to Brandon, Mascot Books CEO Naren Aryal even says the company will assign all intellectual property rights to the university of Michigan at no cost.

Aryal describes one option as a "cute blue monster," inspired by popular mascots like the Philly Phanatic. The other is a wolverine that is "fierce, yet approachable."

Neither option will strike fear into Michigan's opponents, for sure. But when Brandon discussed the possibility of a mascot with Michigan Today magazine, he indicated that its purpose would be to lure the next generation of Wolverines fans.

"You can't get your picture taken with a Block M," he told the magazine. "Mascots are really embraced by the youth demographic and we want to take advantage of that, for all the reasons that are obvious."



Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 1:23 a.m.

Both are horrifying. As a design graduate of U of M and a Wolverine fan since the days of Bump Elliot, I implore Dave Brandon to stop this mascot branding "exploration." We are a classic, academic school, not an illiterate, cutesy, disneyesque wannabee. Let others wear giant helmets and oversized nuts upon their shoulders. "This is Michigan for God's sake." The winged helmet speaks for itself.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

No thanks to any mascot, especially one like these. Mascots are for the programs that rely on gimmicks, not ours. Also, note to AD Brandon: Please stop using "legend" uniforms. The uniform we already have is a legend and widely considered as one of the best designs.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

No, No, NO! And by the way - NOOOOOO!!!


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

These are both great ideas as Mascots!!! for Mott Childrens Hospital! They are nice and cuddly and cute (minus the freddy kruger claws). The only mascot Michigan needs is an older brother with a Michigan jersey on, holding a little sisters hand with a ohio jersey on, and holding a little brothers hand with a msu jersey on!

Wally the Wolverine

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

We are noticeably absent during the intro on college game day when they're showing everybody else's mascots. Those outfits might be nice and toasty to wear in the latter part of the season, but during the early part of the schedule, you'd probably have the person wearing it keel over from heat exhaustion. Option B looks like the badger's poor, toothless redneck cousin wearing a "simulated" leather (vinyl) jacket.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

It's obvious this is an Ohio State lackey pulling a prank. Note the giant 'O' on each of these ugly monstrosities.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Are you sure the people that came up with these designs are not from other B1G schools? Are they trying to make us the laughing stock of the big 10? We have a great Engineering school here - once they can come up with a human sized real looking mechanical wolverine that would scare the heck out of little kids - then I go along with a mascot. Can you imagine the kudos we would get if we had the first college robotic mascot that moved and looked real? I am not talking Disney - it would have to make Disney look sick! This is Michigan!!!!!


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

Sesame Street!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dopey, dopey, dopey. . Look at the Georgia mascot - tough looking and iconic. Not a dopey Sesame Street Character

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

To play devils advocate, and take the position that Michigan needs a mascot (even though it doesn't), the only mascot that would be worth anything would be if the University came to a licensing arrangement with Marvel Comics to use Wolverine. Michigan does NOT need a mascot. But if we had to have one, he is the only one that makes sense.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

"The other is a wolverine that is 'fierce, yet approachable.'" The exact words my girlfriend used to describe me the day we met! J/K If I weren't laughing so hard at how terrible these mascot concepts are, I'd be dreading the thought of one of these becoming the official mascot of the University of Michigan. And isn't the blue guy a knock-off of Stitch from Disney's Lilo and Stitch? Why can't we just make Desmond Howard are mascot?

Elton in Atlanta

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 5:54 a.m.

Two perfect examples of why the answer on the mascot question is NO!


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

The Mascot thing makes me think or Florida State and the idiot with the hatchet, Sparty who seems very "odd", and all those teams in the South with the dogs on a chains. Please no. If Mr. Brandon want something for the little kids, I don't mind that blue fuzzy guy with the helmet, but he should be outside the stadium giving little kids hugs. Keep him out of the stadium. Keep him from doing stupid dances. America is dumbed down enough- no need to do it at Michigan stadium. That fake Wolverine is horrible. In the wild real Wolverines have been know to kill just for the sake of killing. Leave him alone.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 2:33 a.m.

"In the wild real Wolverines have been know to kill just for the sake of killing." Scott, you magnificent b*stard! :-) -- reference to movie "Patton" ... not violation of discussion guidelines.

Marcus Ray was Right!

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

Universally loved "Hokiebird"? Foghorn J. Leghorn and Hokiebird separated at birth?

Chaz H

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

To quote Charles Barkley... "Turrible."


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

Michigan does not need a mascot like ohio, or WI or Skirty-Sparty or any other school. The colors: Maize and Blue, the block M and the winged helmut are all we need. Sometimes it is too late to invent something. We also don't need alive animal like a bulldog or Longhorn, etc. I hope the Michigan Athletic Depatement team are reading these posts, they all make sense.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

If someone punched Sparty they would be arrested for a hate crime.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.

I agree with others that a mascot is not needed; those two are awful, IMO. There is so much U of M merchandise out there for babies and children. Michigan onesies, little tiny socks, hats, cheerleader outfits, helmets, books, bedroom linens, and the list goes on and on. As for photo moments, we've taken many photos in front of the stadium, in the stadium, and on fan day with football players and cheerleaders. Those have been some of my favorite photos of my chidlren. My son was a MI football player for Halloween for more years than I can remember. He had a MI themed room, as did many of the boys on the block, at one time. Please don't put your "pizza box" stamp fix on this one; it's not broken. Thanks.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

Thanks for the welcome, Don! :D


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

Wow ... do we actually have a ... a ... a ... *girl* on this site?! Quick! Someone tell me what to say! :-) Welcome, GirlNextDoor ... I believe this is your first post on football stuff.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

One word Mr. Brandon.....NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

Brandon: ""You can't get your picture taken with a Block M" Sure you could. I'm not a mascot designer, but I'll bet I could come up with a design of a block M that would be worlds better than those two shown above. And frankly, I think the kids would be more drawn to it than another cartoonish animal mascot. "Look Dad! It's the letter M! That stands for 'Michigan!'"


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Pizza Dave trips up every so often, and this is absolutely one of those times. His "obvious" comment is particularly hilarious - unless you consider it manipulative. We're putting 114,000 in the stadium from a variety of generations. How did the older generations get interested? Tradition. Quality. Winning with integrity. No clown uniforms. No mascots. If you win in a clown uniform, you're a winner. Lose and your just a clown. I'm 64 years old, but I'll be happy to aid any opponent's prank to steal or mock a mascot.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

"If you win in a clown uniform, you're a winner. Lose and your just a clown." +1 ... brilliant. Love it.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

You have got to be kidding. This has to be a joke prompted by some Michigan haters. The only place these renderings belong is in the trash.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

Note to Dave Brandon: You are the best Michigan AD since Don Canham, no doubt about that. BUT - as DonAZ indicates: it would be wiser for you to think first about the kind of "youth market" you want to attract to Michigan Football. So far, Michigan's image has done "just fine" with youths and adults who are attracted to: 132 years of Leaders- Best- Victors performance and character. Last summer, I wore my Michigan baseball cap with just the maize-colored Block M and no other decoration while on vacation in California. That's all it took (recognition-wise): I got "Go Blue!" salutes on the streets of Berkeley, in Yosemite Valley and in the Phoenix airport on the way back home. Just that Block M on a dark blue background is all one needs to be seen "with." Instead of using a cartoonish "muppet" as a photo-partner for youths, why not set up a "photo day" at Spring Practice and/or other times when kids can get their photos taken with: REAL Michigan football players (or players in the other sports)? I commend Dave Brandon for his thorough consideration of every possible promotional possibility, but Michigan is a standout NOT because it HAS a mascot but because IT DOESN'T. This is Michigan (as someone is reported to have said -LOL!): that, I truly believe, means Michigan doesn't need gimmicks of any kind. Re: "HokieBird" - When last seen, that mascot was dejectedly exiting the Sugar Bowl. What a fine photo op THAT was! LOL!

Robert Granville

Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

Both mascots are terrible. We do not want or need a mascot anyway. This is Michigan fergodsakes.

Robert Granville

Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

Dave Brandon: Michigan does not need to put any effort into advertising to the younger generation via a goofy mascot. Michigan has the largest alumni fan base in the world. Unless Michigan men and women decide to stop procreating, I think the fan base will be in great shape moving forward. GO BLUE!


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.


Matt Patercsak

Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.



Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

"He [Brandon] indicated that its purpose would be to lure the next generation of Wolverines fans." Memo to Mr. Brandon -- I admire what you've done. But in this case you're wrong. Want to know the best way to lure the next generation of Wolverine fan? Win football games. And do so with character and integrity.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

We took him when Phillip Brabbs kicked the field goal against Washington (while I was in school), but he was very young . And, we are not we don't go to any home games. But, you will inspire me to get him to a visit back! He roots for us's just that UT thing really stuck in his head for a while.. because they won!


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 10 p.m.

Has be been to a Michigan football game? I vividly recall the first time I ever entered that stadium. Walking up the hill, going through the portal ... and what unfolded before me was the most glorious site I'd ever seen. I was smitten before ... I was hooked then. 37 years later here I am, still hootin' and hollerin' over Meechigan football.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

My nephew is now 13... and he is from MD and roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers... and consider's going to University of Texas someday. Straight up because of that Rose Bowl we played Texas. Once I went to Austin for business, and he was much younger, but he he wanted me to stop in at football practice and tell the coach I said hello. That one game did it for him... But, this year helped the Michigan cause!


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

Quite possibly the stupidest concept rendering I've ever seen. Honestly. "Mascot Books" should take a good, long look at what they consider appropriate creative design. Even if Michigan were to opt for a mascot -- and I hope they don't -- there are many designs better that some silly Sesame Street knock-off approach. Michigan football means many things ... cute, cuddly, childish mascot renderings is *not* one of them.