In college football, your mascot is key. You want a strong symbol to represent your school, like a bruin (a ferocious, yet lovable giant brown bear). Who wants to rally under a banana slug (sorry UC Santa Cruz) or a condom (not so sorry USC)?
The poor students at the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss haven’t had a mascot since Colonel Reb was given the boot about seven years ago. See, the Ole Miss students are the Rebels, and Colonel Reb brought back too many memories of the Civil War. They decided that being a rebel wasn’t a bad thing, however: Star Wars taught us all that sometimes being the underdog can be a good thing. So, who better to lead the rebel alliance than Admiral Ackbar? 1.5 million people were interested enough to find out more.
ESPN chronicled the rise and fall of Admiral Ackbar in their latest commercial. In the end, Lucasfilms declined to give the school the rights, saying the Admiral was too busy fighting evil forces in another galaxy. Plus, the cheerleaders seemed to be raising a fuss, although one student had a good point that the IQ of the school would probably go up since having Ackbar on their side would attract nerds from all across the galaxy to the university.
As one student said, “Maybe it was just too perfect?” It probably was, but you can still dream.