By: Connor Mahon
From a beloved comic strip character to a sentient pea, Cleveland State University has hosted a total of 5 diverse mascots since 1923. While all hold a special place in CSU history and in our hearts, this is our definitive ranking, from worst to best.
Vike held the title of Cleveland State’s Mascot from 1996 until 2007, when he passed the reins to Magnus and returned to the underworld from whence he came. His aforementioned resemblance to a pea was a character design risk that did not pay off, as he had the shortest reign of any mascot, representing CSU for a single decade.
Cleveland.com ranked him 19 on their list of the 25 greatest logos in Cleveland sports history, claiming in a bit of revisionist history that he was around since 1982, erasing our second favorite mascot from existence. Clearly, Vike paid his way onto the list. For this reason, he remains our least favorite CSU mascot.
4: Viktorius Viking
Credit where it’s due, Viktorius Viking was the first of Cleveland State’s viking mascots, from sometime around 1965 until the early 1980s.
His outfit is classic viking, and it is worth noting he was the first and last mascot of ours to be consistently armed. We strongly recommend rearming Magnus, just as an experiment.
The weird spelling of “viktorius” is where he loses us, and the presumed middle part under that helmet seals his fate at number 4.
Magnus, the current iteration of our viking mascot began his term in 2007. A welcome return to a human mascot following the horrors of Vike. Magnus is a man of few words, instead relying on his piercing stare and permanent smile to intimidate students and rivals alike.
We get a rare glimpse into his life from the CSU Pinterest board “Meet Magnus,” including a photo of him at the library vending machine, stocked with pencils, index cards, and USB drives. This photo, captioned “Magnus is stopping at the vending machine to get a snack before studying,” the only reasonable conclusion is that Magnus eats school supplies. This shows his commitment not just to our athletics, but to our academics.
Overall, Magnus is only an okay mascot, not quite making up for his lack of personality with his abundance of bicep.
2: Hägar the Horrible
Hägar the Horrible was CSU’s mascot from the early 80s until 1997. However, being a mascot was only his part time gig. Created in 1973 by Dik Browne, Hägar the Horrible appeared worldwide in a comic strip of the same name. This other media allowed his personality to shine, making him more than just a silent suit.
Hägar’s history at CSU is surrounded by mystery. After scouring the internet and the university archives, only a single photo of Hagar performing his mascot duties can be found. Combine this with Cleveland.com’s attempt to erase Hagar from history, and you have a conspiracy on your hands.
Also baffling is Hägar’s appearance on this t-shirt from 1986. During what should’ve been the peak of his mascot career at CSU, he is seen representing Ohio State basketball. While a unique and interesting character, this act of betrayal knocks him into our number 2 spot.
1: Freddie the Fox
Before becoming the 4-year institution we know and love, Cleveland State University was known as Fenn College, an evolution of night classes at the Cleveland YMCA. Consisting of Fenn Tower and some surrounding buildings, Fenn College was marketed as “The Campus in the Clouds.” This cool slogan was matched with an equally cool mascot: Freddie the Fox, who represented the university from its origins in the 1920s until the change to Cleveland State University in 1964.
The art of Freddie is full of personality, and his nonchalance makes it clear he knows he’s better than you. His perpetually crossed legs and hand on the hip show his sass, and you know he has no tolerance for nonsense.