Wichita State's Mascot Has Been Creepy At Every Stage Of Its Evolution

Let's get this straight: Wichita State's mascot, WuShock, isn't anthropomorphic electricity or the lovechild of the Thing and a toilet brush. He's a shock of wheat. (Get it?) And he's remained unsettling since his creation, despite numerous updates.

The New York Times has a funny writeup about the life of WuShock, and if you didn't realize he was supposed to be a shock of wheat—or had no clue what a shock of wheat was—don't feel bad. Even the men's basketball players couldn't figure him out at first.

Say, where'd the Shockers name come from?

Wheat Shockers was first used in 1904 when a football team manager making up a promotional poster needed a nickname. At the time, many football players spent their summers working in the wheat fields.

In 1948, the first logo came out of an art contest run by a campus fraternity. The winner was Wilbur Elsea, a former Marine who declared the new character "should be tougher than a boot." The name WuShock was chosen soon after as a play on what were then the school's initials, W.U. for Wichita University.

Neat!

Check out the slideshow of the various WuShocks, with photos from the original $20 costume made in 1954 all the way to today's mascot. In this picture, the cop is (probably) about to arrest WuShock for frightening the children too much:

Wichita State's Mascot Has Been Creepy At Every Stage Of Its Evolution

[NYT]

Second photo via