-- even indirectly -- Ole Miss unveiled "Landshark Tony" on Saturday. Tony, inspired by the Rebels' famous "Fins Up" celebration, came onto the scene with a Twitter account and a photo, and man is he ever a sight to see.
There's change, and then there's change.
the Pelicans a run for their money in terms of scary appearances and not in an intimidating way. Why is his eye squinting a little? Why are his eyes pitch black? And why oh why is his mask so detailed? His smile is insanely sinister.
Mascots needs a certain amount of whimsy. You don't need your land shark to be an anatomically correct shark. He looks like a rejected design from "Street Sharks," and they were also horrifying.
Twitter agrees with the sentiment.
RT if the SEC should get rid of Ole Miss— Bradley Davis (@Bradley4davisg1) August 11, 2018
No and no.— Rebelmama (@moparmama54) August 11, 2018
i’m transferring— McKenna Nixon (@nixonmckenna) August 11, 2018
That is absolutely awful. Don’t go out that door. Go back to the drawing board before anyone actually sees it.— Brett W (@bgwill1) August 11, 2018
The story behind Tony is actually pretty endearing. He's an homage to former Ole Miss linebacker Tony Fein, a veteran who served in Iraq and died in 2009. Fein wore the same No. 47 that Landshark Tony will wear. He's credited with starting the "Fins Up" celebration. The execution is just extremely questionable.
To be fair to Ole Miss, the SEC has a longstanding tradition of not knowing what they are mascot-wise. You can make an argument that sharks are rebels of the sea. The Black Bear was at least named Rebel, so there was a stretch of a connection there.
Only one word can really describe this unveiling: yikes.