Choose Popeye as UP's new mascot

By The Beacon | March 6, 2013 9:00pm


Hannah Kirtner (The Beacon)

By Hannah Kintner, Staff Commentary

I think it's time for someone to address the elephant in the room - the unappealing elephant named Wally Pilot.

In 2009, Wally Pilot was given to the UP community as a gift from the graduating class. UP went five years without a mascot before the reinstatement of Wally, and while I appreciate their gift, I believe that much more thought and creativity should have gone into his design. A mascot needs to be appealing and endearing, and it needs to pump you up for a game. Furthermore, if our mascot is going to be a human, he should look like a cartoon, not like a plush doll body with a large shiny face and giant human eyes.

Personally I find Wally's plasticky, spray-tan orange face to be kind of creepy, and I've heard stories of children crying at the sight of him. I wouldn't like Wally to represent me, so why should we let him represent our athletic teams?

Now is the time to reevaluate our options, before our mascot costume gets dingy and the University orders another one. There may be an opportunity here to adopt a sea-faring mascot that everyone loves, and I know just the guy: Popeye the Sailor.

Popeye is classic, loyal, spirited and a fighter. It's clear from Wally's current design that the University wants a mascot to exhibit strength. Popeye's superhuman strength could outshine Wally's cotton-filled biceps any day. Besides all of this, Popeye has sentimental appeal. He would be the ideal mascot for the University of Portland, and I believe that we could make it happen.

If the University of Oregon can manage to get permission from the Walt Disney Company to use the cartoon image of Donald Duck as their mascot, it's possible for us to get Popeye the Sailor to be the new face of Wally Pilot.

While Popeye is currently trademarked by King Features, he has already been public domain in Europe for four years now due to different European trademark laws. Getting permission to use his image may be easier than we'd expect. Think about it, UP. Let's get a mascot we can all be proud of!

Hannah Kintner is a senior communications major. She can be reached at

(Ann Truong | THE BEACON)