In Ole Miss' ongoing efforts to be more "inclusive" and shed its image as a relic of the Confederate South, Colonel Rebel was banned from football games this year.
Colonel Rebel is the 25-year-old school mascot, who resembles a disgruntled Colonel Sanders with horrible fashion sense.
It's worth noting that the university still licenses the Colonel Rebel image for sale on all sorts of Ole Miss merchandise. Political correctness is fine as long as it doesn't impact licensed product sales, I suppose.
In any case, the Colonel is no longer welcome at football games. I think each entry gate at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium has a photo of the Colonel with "DO NOT ADMIT!" written under it now.
In his place, university officials came up with two potential new mascot designs and asked students, season ticket holders and other Ole Miss VIPs to pick the winner by online vote.
The contenders were:
"Rebel Bruiser" - He looks kind of like the Colonel's bastard son. He's gone prematurely grey, is apparently pumped up on steroids and wears football pants, a fashionable Britney-cut bare-midriff shirt and a pimp hat. The Bruiser, I suppose, represents Ole Miss' traditions translated to the modern age; he's your typical Mississippi redneck wearing the pimp hat and goatee in a desperate attempt to cling to the glorious past of the Old South. In other words, he's a member of Kappa Alpha.
"Rowdy Rebel" - Yep, he's rowdy alright. And he's damn sure pissed off at something. He's clinging to a football, but is also lunging toward us and is ready to clock somebody with a left hook. The look on his face tells me perhaps he was just gang-raped by a bunch of KAs or something. Maybe he's a pledge.
Over the past two decades, Ole Miss have been told they can't wave the Stars and Bars (hence the ridiculous "Battle M" flag - which the school appears to have retired now) at football games. The school took Colonel Rebel off the helmets some years back, and has banned him from games altogether now.
So when the interested Ole Miss fans were asked to vote for either the redneck KA member of the anally-raped KA pledge as their new mascot, they ignored the request in overwhelming numbers. Of the 40,000 people qualified to vote, only 2,400 bothered, prompting the embarassed athletic department to cancel the vote and put off any decision on a new mascot.
And, thus, the Rebels will remain mascot-less.