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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Leeches, Live Snakes Play Role in Choosing Stanford Mascot

Posted By on Sat, Feb 23, 2008 at 8:00 AM


The Mercury News reported on Stanford's search for a new body to fill its unofficial mascot, the Redwood Tree, yesterday. The mascot was first introduced in 1975 after Stanford did away with team moniker the Indians at the urging of Native Americans. The mischievous Stanford marching band proposed several new mascots, including a Steaming Manhole, but the tree proved most popular. Tree Week commences once a year, during which students visit all kinds of humiliations upon themselves to land the gig. (click 'more')

One contestant swallowed a two-foot-long garter snake. "I think that's a first," said the current tree filler, John Whipple III, who earned his position by approximating the shape of a tree on his back with live leeches. (If anybody in attendance of this event knows if the snake remained swallowed or was puked back up, inquiring minds want to know.) Some rules apply to the application process, including a ban on the use of fire and a stipulation that the winner designs their own costume. Previous costumes look like they were picked up at Sid and Marty Krofft's garage sale. This year's contestant has yet to be picked but Whipple told the Merc, "We just got a third candidate, who came in kind of late…He presented himself to the band Wednesday night. His stunt was hard to describe and I don't want to tell you too much. But it involved a bathrobe and roller blades." (photo from Mercury News) –Andy Wright

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