<p>So I was talking to my friend who was complaining because Brown and Cornell apparently have very similar mascots, lol, and he proceeded to ask me what UChicago's mascot is. I then realized that I had no idea if UChicago even has a mascot (other than perhaps Milton Friedman?), or, if, indeed, UChicago had any intercollegiate athletic teams at all. Because let's face it; we aren't going to UChicago because of all the amazing DI sports teams or anything like that.</p>

<p>Is the mascot the griffin-harpy-eagle-snake thing that's all over UChicago seals, letters, and the like? (Sorry, I have no idea what it is or what it's called. Anyone willing to enlighten me?)</p>

<p>Am I just the only totally oblivious one here?</p>

<p>Haha, no worries. We do have intercollegiate sports teams, division 3. Our mascot is technically the color maroon, and we call ourselves the Maroons- kind of unfortunate, really. Because it's difficult to really make a mascot out of a color, the physical embodiment of the mascot is the phoenix, which is the odd-eagle-snake-bird thing you've mentioned. The phoenix was chosen because of the University's rebirth-from-flames after both the Great Chicago Fire and the financial dissolution of the first University of Chicago, which was founded before the current University but, well, burned, mimicing the mythical Phoenix's rebirth from flames. Gargoyles are also popular, and in fact, the inscribed phoenix you see on a lot of UChicago stationary is portraying a phoenix-as-a-gargoyle (ok, really it's a grotesque, but we won't get in to architectural stuff here).</p>

<p>The mascot is the phoenix, not the maroon. The Maroons is just our team name. None of this "physical embodiment of the mascot." stuff. See the official college admissions website. University</a> of Chicago College Admissions | Traditions . Even Wikipedia has the answer.</p>

<p>I read somewhere once that the reason the team name is not the "Phoenixes" is because there is supposed to be no plural of the word phoenix since there was only supposed to ever be one phoenix in existence. Which burst into flames every couple hundred years and was reborn (or some sources say a new one is born) from its ashes. Who knows if this is the real reason we are the Maroons or not, and some dictionaries will have phoenixes as a word, but I like this story. Makes me more forgiving of the fact that we have a stupid team name.</p>

<p>Honestly, I'll go ahead and admit that one of the things that attracted me to UChicago was the phoenix mascot. I'm such a shallow, lame person. (Consequently, I also love Reed's gryphon. Again, shallow, but - eh - what can you do?)</p>

<p>Whoops, you're right- man, Wikipedia to the rescue there. I apologize to the year and a half's worth of tours I've given having the wrong information on that one :)</p>

<p>Thanks, guys! Maybe it's the mythology geek in me but I think it's SO ****ING AWESOME that the mascot is The Phoenix! Plus it just adds to the Harry Potter aspect, haha. And the symbolism with The Great Chicago Fire and all is so cool!</p>

<p>Ok, done geeking out. Heh.</p>

<p>Wow, I just got that much more excited about UChicago because of the mascot. LoL.</p>

<p>I really, really love the withholding of the name "Phoenixes" for the sake of mythological consistency/correctness, if that is the real reason. It makes a team called "the Maroons" perfectly fine, if not awesome, simply by its academic coolness.</p>

<p>Reminds me of the story of Breck's departure from their Ent moot tradition. Only the logical application of Tolkein canon by an administrator, rather than the more "practical" prospect of property damage/danger/disruption, was able to stop it. As the tale was told to me, the Breckies in question, scolded for swaying on chairs during dinner (I hope I'm allowed to tell this story--if not, someone, tell me, and I'll edit it out), refused to stop. They quelled the practice only upon the reminder, by a Chicago faculty member, no less, that no Ent (a tree, for non-Tolkein fans) would stand upon one of its dead brethren (the chairs, I assume, were wooden) during an Ent moot.</p>

<p>This is why Chicago is made of geeky win, and thus why I love it.</p>