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Looks Like a Log: S.F. State's Mascot Claws for Its Life 

Wednesday, Mar 5 2014

For cold-blooded creatures, every winter is a winter of discontent. But for S.F. State's Gator, these are especially bitter times.

Last month, SF State President Les Wong dropped a reptilian bomb, stating he was "90 percent sure" the school would eliminate its 85-year-old mascot.

Wong now tells SF Weekly the Gator's days may not be done after all. The problem, he says, is that while "there wasn't a whimper of complaint" about the mascot, "people didn't get it."

Well, okay: It's derived from "Golden Gater," referencing a bridge of some renown. Wong retorts that would-be students ask why it's spelled "Gator."

Well, because "Gaters" confused people.

But an image of a Gator and a bridge — that would elucidate everything. "We could actually keep the Gator ... and tie it into the bridge better," says Wong. "I could live with that."

A reptilian reprieve, however, would require a cull. State has, per Wong, "about four different Gator images." Internet photos depict Wong sandwiched between two different googly-eyed pantomime gators (one purple, one green).

Gators move quickly but dumping one is a slow process. Myriad boards and commissions and designers must be consulted. Wong can't foresee any changes for at least two years.

Perhaps then he'll alter his Twitter handle: @GatorPres.

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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