OSU Mascot - Pistol Pete - History...
".....Around 1923, when Oklahoma A & M College was searching for a new mascot to re place their tiger (copied along with orange and black colors, from Princeton), a group of students saw Frank Eaton leading the Armistice Day Parade. He was approached to see if he would be interested in being the model for the new mascot, and he agreed. A likeness was drawn and began to be used on sweatshirts, stickers, etc. and a tradition was born.
That caricature was the basis for what is used today as the official Oklahoma State University Mascot. For thirty-five years, the crusty old cowboy was a living symbol of OSU, representing the colorful past of the area. As such, he would attend OSU athletic events, building dedications, etc., and sign autographs, pose for photographs and reminisce about the Old West with anyone who would listen. In more recent years, the University of Wyoming and New Mexico State University began using variations of OSU's artwork as logos for their schools. To this day, his likeness is a visible reminder of the Old West to literally millions of people yearly as a symbol of colleges whose mascots pay homage to the cowboy.
Each year, 10 to 15 OSU students try out for Pistol Pete. A panel of former "Petes" judge the tryouts and select the two best candidates based on an interview, a mime, and posing as mascot in different "game situations". The two who are selected split the approximately 500 appearances annually. These appearances include all athletic events, pep rallys, business openings, weddings, birthday parties, and public school events....."
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Comments: Just to update the info about New Mexico State University using a variation of Pistol Pete as their mascot. It appears those days may be numbered as the University has taken on a new president who is in the process of making changes to some rather long-time traditions. These changes are not flying well with the older Alumni. One of the changes is to either get a new mascot, or give Pistol Pete a makeover as "his appearance scares some of the kids." A few years ago he was banned from carrying his six-shooter. I see him at football games, and he is usually surrounded by kids. Not having attended NMSU, I really don't care, but I find it amusing that the reasoning involved is so "politically correct!" ~Marvin Henry 2005-07-18 13:50:48
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