Ever wonder what a Jeep was before it was an everpresent automobile? It was a character in a popular comic strip, one who later would prove to be the inspiration for the best mascot in the state of Indiana.
That’s the genesis of the Dubois (Ind.) Northeast Dubois High Flying Jeeps. According to USA Today, the Jeeps were named after the Jeep character in the original “Popeye” comic strip. In case you don’t have clear recollection of comic strips from the 1930s (don’t worry, we’re with you), Jeep was the character who only said “Jeep, Jeep, Jeep” (yeah, we don’t get it either).
That was enough to win over a group of Northeast Dubois basketball players in 1936 who were tasked with choosing the school’s mascot, and the Jeeps were born. In a nod to the state’s more famous Fighting Irish, as well as a potential differentiator from the popular automobile maker of the same name, the Northeast Dubois principal added “Fighting” to the team moniker, and the Fighting Jeeps were born.
As for the physical form of a Fighting Jeep, there’s really no explaining it outside the bounds of the comic strip that gave the name its cache. Yet, importantly, the Northeast Dubois Jeep is pictured with old school boxing gloves.
We’d love to see Chrysler try that.
Other Great Indiana Mascots of Note:
It’s pretty hard to overlook the Frankfort (Ind.) High Hot Dogs. Not that it would be hard to overlook Daschunds in general; they’re quite small. Yet, in the realm of great mascots, the Hot Dogs loom large. While there would seem to be a natural between Frankfort and Hot Dogs because of the town name’s similarity to Frankfurt (i.e., frankfurters), that actually played little role in giving the Hot Dogs their name. Rather, yet another Midwestern sportswriter said that the Frankfort basketball team "looks like a bunch of hot dogs out there." From that day on, a brilliant mascot was born.
The Jug Rock is a rather unique rock formation in Shoals, Indiana where a sandstone column props up a flat table top made of sandstone. Prep Rally has no idea why this table rock formation is called the Jug Rock, but it is, and it gave way to the rather unique Shoals (Ind.) High Jug Rox. Yes, the misspelled Rox is intentional.
Once in a while, a set of numbers happen to land right on top of one another by pure coincide. Such was the case with Merillville (Ind.) Andrean High, which was opened in 1959 … at 5959 Broadway in Merillville. With that kind of coincidence, it would be a shame if Andrean High competed as anything other than the 59ers. Luckily for all of us, that’s what the school’s teams were named, and they continue to compete that way today.