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Why Your Mascot Sucks: Brigham Young University Cougars

Guys, I’m worried about Cosmo...

With Wisconsin’s sweep of Weber State, they will next face off with another school from Utah on Saturday night, Brigham Young. The Cougars, themselves, dispatched UCLA in three sets to keep dancing.

As you can see, BYU is mascoted by Cosmo, who has some pretty slick moves, but can it do a headstand with little to no effort?

I don’t think so...


In 1923 the cougar was named BYU’s mascot when Eugene L. Roberts, a coach and faculty member, made the suggestion. He recommended the cougar because it was native to the state of Utah and it exemplified the traits that he hoped the school’s athletes would have.

A few of the traits Roberts was considering were strength, quickness and most important, beauty...? Not exactly one of the more important traits I can think of when it comes to student athletes.

Shortly after the school adopted the nickname they, like most other universities, thought it would be a great idea to bring live versions of their mascot onto campus and the school acquired two cougar cubs named Cleo and Tarbo. Four years after they arrived on campus, the pair escaped the enclosure, which inspired the school’s fight song - “Rise and shout, the Cougars are out.”

In 1930, a year after their escape, Cleo was sent to a zoo in Salt Lake City and Tarbo died of natural causes. The school wised up and never owned live cougars again.

Cosmo made his first appearance Oct. 15, 1953, when he flew into the football stadium on a parachute. The costume was purchased for $73 by the school’s pep chairman, who convinced his roommate to wear the costume and attempt the parachuting stunt.

I can tell you one thing for sure, no roommate of mine is convincing me to put on a costume purchased second hand, for under $100 and then jump out of an airplane in it...

Cosmo, got his name from “cosmopolitan,” not the drink, remember they’re Mormons...but from the phrase “cosmopolitan school,” which BYU was considered at the time.


NCAA Football: Southern California at Brigham Young Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cosmo is an anthropomorphic cougar with a permanent smile on his face. This happy go lucky cat, typically wears a BYU football uniform or basketball uniform.

The detail in the costume is decent, with the same fur design covering the feet of the costume, but the cougar has human hands, with the wearer wearing gloves, which seems a bit off that they would go to the trouble of making it look like it has cougar-like feet, but not hands. Just use the same fabric used to design the rest of the costume and make gloves.

The detail in the face is good as well, but I would like to see the inclusion of some whiskers, possibly. While he certainly is no Pounce (Georgia State) or Pounce the Panther (Milwaukee), he is definitely better than the dumpster fire that is the Nittany Lion...

NCAA Basketball: Bucknell at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports


I mean, did they even try...?

Anyway, back to Cosmo. Like all others, Cosmo has gone through some changes in the last 60 odd years.

Most notably, Cosmo had a change is design back in 1997 and the school got creative with the reasoning. It was said that Cosmo was out hunting or Red Tail Hawks, which is Utah’s mascot, and he fell 100 feet. It was also said that some students saw him fall and they called Utah Valley Search and Rescue, who saved the cat and performed emergency plastic surgery.

The surgery allowed Cosmo’s head size to decrease, which allowed him to be more agile and opened up the door for him to perform more stunts. I already mentioned his penchant for dance, but Cosmo also walks on stilts, rides motorcycles and performs slam dunks.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, that is amazing, but it seems like someone is trying a bit too hard. Also, you still only get two points for a dunk, even if you jump from the 3-point-line.

I honestly worry about his self-esteem, someone with low self-esteem usually does a lot of attention seeking behavior and all of his antics, scream attention whore. Someone should check on Cosmo...

Overall, aside from the red flag that is his attention seeking antics, the Mormons got a solid mascot on their hands, with human hands and not cougar hands. Seriously...make him some dang gloves.