I realized recently that there is not a great deal of creativity when it comes to the mascots of Christian schools. I'm sure that there's plenty out there, but from where I sit it seems like nearly all of them are Eagles or Crusaders. The latter is especially flummoxing. Why exactly are people picking one of the darkest chapters in church history as an ideal mascot? Let's just go ahead and pick the Inquisitors or the Screaming Street Preachers as a mascot. The pity of this lack of creativity is there is ample opportunity in the Bible for some real out of the box mascot ideas. As someone who spends more time thinking about such things than one should, here are nine (tongue-in-cheek) suggestions off the top of my head.
Fighting Mustard Seeds
I even mocked up a logo for this one. Jesus told his disciples that with the faith the size of a mustard seed they could move a mountain or a massive defensive line on 4th and Goal. "Who are we playing this week? The Fighting Mustard Seeds? Ha, that'll be a piece of cake." Wrong teenaged athlete, once a mustard seed takes root, it takes over everything.
Sticking with the teachings of Jesus, this one actually presents a bit of a philosophical quandary for our theoretical athletes. Can you be one who turns the other cheek and try to rip the opposing quarterback's head off? But isn't that truly what a Christian school ought to do? What's more important: winning a game or having your student's ponder the real world ethical implications of the Sermon on the Mount?
There is a strange, almost off-handed reference to these creatures in Genesis 6: Oh, by the way, there just happened to be half-angel, half-human giants that were wandering the earth. They pop back up in Numbers when the twelve spies bring back their report from the Promised Land. The Nephilim are the ones that made the spies feel like they were grasshoppers. You want intimidation? The Nephilim have it in spades.
A shout out to one of the most entertaining means by which God communicated to an individual. The story of Balaam's donkey is ripe for a Christian school mascot. They are stubborn. They are tough. They represent God. And think of the cheers. "Pass the ball and run the grass! Let's go team and kick their...donkeys!"
If you're wanting to convey destruction, you can't go wrong with the plagues in Exodus. Locusts swarmed the country and devoured all the crops. These insects brought about total devastation. Drawback: they were also part of John the Baptist's diet so if your rival Christian school happens to be Baptist then you've given them an easy counter.
Staying on the plague train, I will freely admit that I include this idea because I find it hilarious. It's the biblical counterpart to the Thundering Herd. Yet instead of a stampeding group of bison (or whatever that herd is supposed to be), it is scores and scores of hopping amphibians. If you can't go for intimidating, go for weird.
Come on. It's an ancient sea monster! The fact that there is not a coastal professional team whose nickname is Leviathan is a travesty.
You could select Angels as your mascot, but we've culturally turned those into pajama-clad harp players. While it is far from the biblical depiction, that popular imangining unfortunately renders Angels a less than desirable mascot. But dip into Isaiah's vision of angels singing to God and specifically go with the Six-Winged Seraphim. Now we suddenly have something more supernatural and thus frightening.
Destroyer of punk teenage hooligans, the she-bear was the animal upon which Elisha called when a bunch of kids were making fun of his baldness. A strange story? Yes! Troubling in its seeming overreaction? Absolutely! But if we're going for a mascot to scare a bunch of kids then She-Bears (and the text tells us specifically that it was a female bear) has a historic precedent.
So those are just my first round of ideas. Feel free to add any you'd suggest in the comments below.