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May 20, 2011

A phoenix to rise from the ashes

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At schools with living mascots, that have ones such as longhorns or bulldogs, when they get a new mascot to represent their university it is because theirs has died. The Chicago Maroons have a unique predicament: our mascot is a real live phoenix named Phil.

Now I know you’re asking yourself, “How does one kill a phoenix?” Well, you’re right; it’s hard to kill a phoenix because, by definition, they can be reborn. That’s why I believe it is our duty, in true school spirit and support of our great University, to help Phil be reborn for the new school year and sports seasons next year.

So, I propose we light Phil on fire and let him be reborn from his ashes.

Earlier this year, a soccer player for Deportivo Pereira in the Primera, a Colombian soccer league, kicked the opposing team’s fluffy owl mascot off the field. It died, sadly, because it had been kicked too hard. Unlike the cruel death of that bird, I think that our own Phil has earned a proper type of death and rebirth. We should not be sitting around and waiting for Phil to die from natural causes or from a Wash U bear mauling—we should light him on fire instead.

Not only would the burning be epic in scale, it could be done in a variety of ways. As a result, the student body could become active in the process by voting for their favorite method. For people that really enjoyed reading the Iliad, we could possibly burn it on a pyre. Those who prefer films, might like seeing Phil try to jump through a ring of fire as in the classic film Old School. Or for the civil rights inclined, we could light him aflame in a protesting manor for a cause such as animal rights, or to raise money for PETA.

When Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” wasn’t he talking about phoenixes? Phoenixi? Anyway, since the phoenix is a cyclical creature by nature, we should continue this tradition every four years into eternity. Since we are dealing with a bird that is able to regenerate, I believe it is important, nay, crucial, that we sever all ties to its current origin by burning it like a retreating army burns bridges.

Even though I never asked the bird what his opinion on the matter is, I’m confident he would be opposed, yet understanding if we decided it was the best course of action for our sports teams. He is, as well all know, first our mascot and secondly a bird.

Also with Phil needing to be reborn, feel free to contact Carissa Sain ASAP at csain@uchicago.edu. Applications will be due May 20.

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