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Vintage Decals Show Mascots Taking School Rivalries Very Seriously

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The three decals shown above are pretty amazing, no? They show NC State’s “Mr. Wuf” mascot torturing, eating, and cooking the mascots of fellow Tar Heel State universities Wake Forest, UNC, and Duke.

And did the other two schools return the favor? Duke did:

These graphics were part of a 1950s product line called “feudin’ decals” (although “feudin'” seems like an understatement). They were produced by a company called Angelus Pacific and were likely rendered by a graphic artist named Arthur Evans, who reputedly had ties to Disney. Man, it’s a long way from Mickey and Minnie to the Duke Blue Devil sticking a pitchfork in the Demon Deacon’s keister!

I learned all of this from an excellent article by a guy named Jeremy Markovich, who has a Substack called North Carolina Rabbit Hole. Markovich is a really good writer (even when he’s writing about North Carolina stuff that doesn’t involve sports graphics), and in the article he provides a nice primer on the history of college intellectual-property licensing, the decal biz, and more. Uni Watch’s highest rating — don’t miss.

Meanwhile what other feudin’ mascots would we like to see? Post your suggestions, for either pro or college rivalries, in the comments. Or, better yet, send me some renderingsI’ll feature the best ones in an upcoming blog post.

(Big thanks to Tod Meisner, who brought all of this to my attention.)

Playing Footsie

Woke up the other day with pretty serious pain in my left big toe. Wondered if I might have the gout (which would almost be worth it, just because I’d have an excuse to say, “the gout”), so yesterday I went off to see the podiatrist. He confirmed that I do not have the gout, but I do have some arthritis in the toe. So he gave me a cortisone shot right in the big toe knuckle, which is quite a trip, lemme tell ya.

Anyway: The most interesting thing about all this (aside from getting to say, “the gout,” natch) was seeing X-rays of my foot. Bodies are so weird, and it’s extra-weird to see X-rays of your own body! Almost made the whole ordeal worthwhile.

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Comments (29)

    Pretty good look into this. Then again, think of the monikers: (Duke) Blue Devils, (Wake Forest) Demon Deacons, (North Carolina State) Wolfpack, (North Carolina) Tar Heels. The first two are demonic – an irony considering that both have had religious ties in their recent past – and “Wolfpack” does not evoke docile thoughts.

    As someone who as “the gout” – it is not fun! :-) But meds control it REALLY well, and I have no had a flare up for years.

    But, yes, it is fun to say I have “the gout”. :-)

    It really is fun to say I have the gout. Lol. I’ve been on Allopurinol for many many years now, no flare up’s in the last couple years myself.

    +100

    I have feet issues too. But it’s hard to put “Hammer Toes” in a cute phrase. Unless it’s “Hammer Toes Time.” #canttouchthis

    A buddy and I drove down to Minneapolis for the Gophers and Vikings games on the last weekend in October. I woke up in our hotel room on the Monday morning to get ready to come home and my left big toe was killing me! It turned out to be…wait for it…the gout! Fortunately, it mostly passed after a couple of days and my toe is back to normal. No medication was required.

    I’ve had the cortisone shot in the heel for Plantar Fasciitis. Any needle in the foot is not a good thing.

    Those would make great tattoo flash.

    Sorry about your big toe. I understand that cortisone shots are about as painful an experience you can have.

    Also, FWIW, I had a health scare a few years ago (nothing serious) but as part of the diagnosis I had an echocardiogram done (basically an ultrasound). I was able to watch my heart valves operating on the screen – that was a trip. (Everything serious was ruled out for me, so no biggie.)

    Something to be considered: this may seem pretty over the top, but so is fandom among three these ACC schools all of which are less than 30 mins apart in each city of the Triangle.

    When you grow up in the Triangle, you pick a school at birth (whoever your parents cheer for) and you defend that team as if your life depended on it. NC State fans hate UNC (perceived as elitist), Duke fans hate UNC (perceived as lesser educationally) and everyone hates Duke (perceived as snobby out of state kids) because if you live in NC, you probably don’t know many people who actually went there. Unless you live in Durham, in which case Duke is basically your professional basketball team. Wake Forest, a couple of hours away in Winston Salem, is a private school and hasn’t really been competitive in basketball (the only ACC sport that matters in NC) since Tim Duncan left. Nobody really cares about Wake one way or the other. They’re just an easy “W”.

    Is this all potentially confusing to outsiders? Yeah. But to me, those stickers make all the sense in the world.

    Just remember at the time these stickers were likely made, Wake Forest University was still actually located in Wake Forest, NC and very much a local rival to the rest of the Big Four. They didn’t move to Winston-Salem until 1956 after some hefty donations from the RJ Reynolds family.

    Those decals are WAY better than those stupid “House Divided” license plates that seemed clever about 25 years ago…

    OMG, Jeremy Markovich’s article is really great. I laughed out loud at “But obviously, no school wants to approve its mascot’s thigh bone being eaten”. I’m not aware of what other articles he’s written, but if they are in similar style, they are my kind of thing.

    I’d love to see Chief Osceola putting a spear through a gator and an Ibis bird at the same time whilst on top of Renegade.

    I have a shirt that says The Good (showing the Chief), the Bad (showing the Gator) and the Ugly (showing the Ibis).

    As a Notre Dame fan we leprechauns will fight anybody, as tiny as we are. Those decals are wonderful. Go Tar Heels, as far as the NC four way rivalry is concerned. Was not born there but a certain Mr. Jordan heavily contributed to my uninformed teenage choice back in the early 80s. Ofcourse I do respect the other three, because without them there would not be a rivalry. Became an Irish fan years later, so UNC is now my second (or backup) team.

    Amazing that we are still using the same base article to research Arthur Evans. But super sad to see the family sold Angelus Pacific. Surprised. They really loved the history. I talked to them extensvely when doing sailor hat/freshman beanie research. They had most of the original artwork in file cabinets. I actually offered to come document it all. Was a bucket list/white whale of mine to go see those file cabinets. Money ruins everything…

    Arthur Evans was so prolific — including designing Bucky Badger and our archrival Goldy Gopher (who is not actually a gopher).

    And who could forget his sailor hat kick: link

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