As a former University of Texas at Dallas co-ed, I can safely say it was never clear exactly what we were. Allow me to clarify: For some sports, we were the Comets, local and proud. When it came to football and hard-core national branding, however, we tended to align ourselves with our mother school and Go Longhorns! Hell, even the school colors are burnt orange and white … and green.
Apparently, the university's lookin' to rectify that issue, as today I was forwarded a survey from a former classmate revealing that UTD’s Office of Student Affairs/UT Dallas Mascot Committee has released sketches of four mascot “concepts,” one of which might replace the ill-fitting, unoriginal and loser-ific Temoc (yeah, you’re seeing it correctly -- it's “comet” spelled backward). Much like Mavs Man, Temoc is sorta terrifying. I welcome his impending demise. Only, you're kidding, right, UT Dallas Mascot Committee? Right?
The four sketches aren’t the final efforts: UTD's media relations contact, Jenni Huffenberger, tells Unfair Park that while the school isn't taking outside submissions during this concept phase, they will allow folks to submit their designs once a concept is selected. But, seriously, a hawk, a coyote, a fox and what they refer to as an “abstract character” scream neither Comets nor Longhorns. Huffenberger says the sketches were initial renderings by artists on staff, who drew from suggestions and feedback from students, faculty and staff. She will let us know when outsiders with artistic flair and school spirit may submit renderings. "We're not to that point yet," she says. Unfair Park will update you, of course.
Perhaps one day I’ll return to UTD thanks to awesome continuing-ed classes, and I can say that it would feel good to have more pride in my university, not to mention a cool logo for office supplies and Father’s Day T-shirts. UTD, I say if you’re gonna be the Comets, be the Comets and don’t go with a “comet-like character.” Give me a dynamic fireball with a sweet flamejob and a non-scary Muppet mouth. Name him something like Cappie, Classy or Clever the Comet. You have dedicated professors and instructors and active students who deserve a mascot that isn’t thrown together. (Honestly, they prolly deserved fleshed-out mock-ups rather than sketches, but what’s done is done.) Don’t be just another half-assed satellite university with the expected lack of school spirit. Be the freakin’ Comets, man … or the Longhorns? You know, depending on the sport. --Merritt Martin