What happens to a community when its soul member can’t seem to find himself? What happens when an individual that represents everything that makes that community great, no longer sees himself as representing those values? Does it throw that whole community into disarray? Can one even say that that community exists?
These are questions that Cecil, the mascot for the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, seems to be asking himself a lot lately. “In the past, I’d wake up in the morning, ready to cheer our many sports teams on to having a pretty middling athletic season. But lately, I’ll find myself walking past the freakishly large stuffed version of me that’s sitting in the Coop Store display window and saying to myself, ‘That’s not me, you’ve changed.’”
This transformation that Cecil speaks of, is not simply one that you’ll overhear a freshman going on about in Frary after stumbling onto some mysterious mushrooms at the Pomona Farm for the first time, but a very literal one. In April 2017, Cecil unveiled a new look. Called “Cecil 3.0” in one of those non-descript newsletters Pomona sends out just before they ask you for money, they described this new Cecil as “taller, more athletic, bit more modern-looking” and “a bit better dressed.” So, you know, a fuckboi.
“You know initially I was all for the change,” Cecil explained as we sat in his underground nest under the SCC composed of twigs, mud, squirrel carcasses and newest edition of TSL. “My plumage had gotten pretty dingy and on hot days I smelled like a sophomore between the height of 5’7” and 6’0” had crawled up my ass and died.”
But as Cecil points out, things didn’t necessary change for the better, after his makeover. While he still can’t quite put his figure on it, he just feels that people behave differently around him these days. “No one gets excited for my classic cheers and dance moves like they used to,” Cecil explains referencing to his antics at sporting events, like doing the worm across the field, his chants of ‘Hail, Pomona, Hail’ or his signature move, “The Momma Bird” where he chews up several concession stand hot dogs then processed to regurgitate it onto the fans, like a mother bird feeding its young.
“Sure people want to take photos with me, but they don’t want to get to know me for the greater sage-grouse of the western United States and southern Canada that I really am” lamented the mascot.
Cecil is still doing his best to adapt to the new look, noting that at this point nothing is going to change. But his greater fear is that this new look, makes him out of touch with the community he once embodied: “They turned me into a D-1 Douche Bag. Now I have to find my way back to being a Pomona-Pitzer Sagehen.”