Santa Cruz Honors the Lowly Banana Slug Tuesday

UCSC's mascot of 25 years gets his day with a city proclamation and a campus celebration.

It's been a quarter of a century since the lowly Banana Slug beat its more cantankerous rival, the fighting Sea Lion, to be the herald for the University of California at Santa Cruz's sports teams.

Maybe it was a post-ironic joke for a school that doesn't even have a football team and, frankly, was more interested in Ultimate Frisbee than the NCAA.

But the Slug has survived. It's been a character of sorts in the classic 1994 Quentin Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction, worn by John Travolta.

Tuesday, at 2:30 p.m., the Santa Cruz City Council will declare the day in celebration of the "mollusk mascot," and Sammy the Slug will appear in full-blown yellow regalia.

"I believe every slug should have its day," said Mayor Ryan Coonerty, in a UCSC press release.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sammy will be handing out banana slug-shaped cookies in front of the Bay Tree Bookstore on the UCSC campus, where there will also be a slug appreciation booth.

UCSC points out that the slug isn't the weirdest mascot.

The campus press office lists these:

• The Fighting
 Kangaroos at the University of Missouri

• The Anteaters of the University of California, Irvine

• The
 Boll Weevils at the University of Arkansas at Monticello

• The Fighting Camels at North Carolina's Campbell University.

• New York University has 
dubbed its men's teams the Violets. Women are Violettes.

• The Rhode Island School of Design's mascot is so salacious that we can't even print it here, though you're free to Google it if you wish.

• The New College of Florida has an invisible mascot called the "Empty Set," delineated by a pair of parenthesis.

• And let's not forget the Dirtbags of California State University, Long Beach.


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