4 sweet animals that give tough sports teams their names

Sports mascots and team names are supposed to match the sport they represent: tough, uncompromising, and competitive. That’s why it’s so entertaining to see the peaceful animals that, for some reason, still have a place in sports.

1. The Sydney Swans in Australian Rules Football


The Swans play Australian Rules Football (and are very familiar to fans and rivals). But yes, the rough and tumble sport includes a swan as a mascot.

2. The Ashland Kittens in high school sports

Ashland Tomcats

OK, it’s just for Paul G. Blazer high school in Ashland, Kentucky. But the high school has the Ashland Tomcats and the Ashland…Kittens.

It may not be a major league sports team, but it does include kittens, and that’s more than enough to merit inclusion on any list of oddly cute mascots.

3. The UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs

UCSC Banana Slugs

Mascot fans will already know about UC Santa Cruz’s unusually docile mascot. The Slugs were originally an unofficial mascot used in intramural sports, but students preferred it to the school-sanctioned Sea Lions. Thus, the slimiest team in sports was born (if you don’t include the Evergreen Geoducks).

4. The Pace University Setters

Pace Setters

A pun about Pace Setters is probably behind the name for the Pace University Setters, but it doesn’t make the dog any less pleasant to be around. Other colleges choose fierce animals, but Pace’s Setter is perfectly cuddly and willing to please.

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