College athletics mascots come in different shapes, sizes and personalities. Some are ferocious, like the Nittany Lion of Penn State. The University of Oregon's Fighting Ducks are downright lovable. Still others defy explanation, like the Fighting Pickles of the North Carolina School of the Arts. But a few colleges have chosen to stand out from the crowd because they selected a most unconventional mascot---the hog.
University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas Razorback fans take great pride in their hogs. No sporting event is complete without the time-honored tradition of calling the hogs with "Woo pig! Sooey!" Led by the cheer team, the official U of A hog call includes hand motions and invites crowd participation.
Arkansas athletes have proudly sported the Razorback name since 1909, when then football coach Hugo Bezdek compared his players to "a wild band of razorback hogs." The name stuck and, for 100-plus years , Arkansas fans have proudly cheered on "the hogs."
Though they are nicknamed "the Hoggies," Texas A&M-Kingsville's mascot is technically a javelina, which is a distant relative to the hog. This particular animal was chosen by A&M-Kingsville's first students because the javelina is known for being ferocious. Its 2-inch long canine teeth inflict major damage to prey and are used to cut and slash when defending against a predator's attack.
At sporting events, Texas A & M--Kingsville students rally behind a costumed mascot named "Porky," who is a member of the cheer team. The University of Arkansas houses a live razorback hog, known as "Tusk." He attends home games and makes special fan appearances. Tusk and the live mascot tradition have continued at U of A since 1950, driven by the enthusiasm and dedication of the Razorback fan and alumni base.