When in doubt, when choosing between a full crop of very literally interpreted mascots, pick the one who seems the most fierce.
At least that seems to be the tact that was taken by Iowa voters, who selected the Story City (Ia.) Roland-Story High Norsemen as the state’s best mascot in USA Today's statewide vote-off.
The Roland-Story Norsemen were named as an homage to the Norwegian heritage of both towns. That’s simple enough. Would the Norsemen beat the other prospective mascots if facing off in a fight? That’s another matter entirely, and worthy of deeper inspection.
Clearly, the Norsemen would knock off the Estherville-Lincoln Central (Ia.) High Midgets. That’s a no brainer. So is Roland-Story’s fictional mascot dominance over the Sheldon (Ia.) High Orabs, whose name is a simple mashup of the school colors orange and black.
Potential tussles with the Lamoni (Ia.) High Demons and the Burlington (Ia.) Notre Dame School Nikes are less clear cut. Prep Rally is tempted to give the Norsemen the benefit of the doubt; Demons are mythical creatures, so it’s impossible to know exactly how tough they would be; Norsemen were very real and very dominant in a battle. Similarly, while Nike was the Greek god of victory, Nike was a pretty small dude. In fact, Nike is typically depicted as a elementary schooler with a halo. Anyone want to take an elementary schooler over a giant Viking? Didn’t think so.
Naturally, this is a pretty ridiculous way to pick a best mascot, but once in awhile it can also be constructive … particularly when choosing between Norsemen and midgets, as preposterous a choice as that might be.
Other Great Iowa Mascots of Note:
There’s no doubt that the other winners from the state are those that were facing off against the Norsemen. Here’s how they got their name.
Estherville-Lincoln Central became the Midgets when the school’s football team knocked off a mich larger team from Jackson (Minn.) High. That’s not a bad way to go.
No one has any idea why Lamoni, a community most well known for being a historic site for the Mormon Church, chose the Demons, but it did. Go figure.
The adaptation of the Nikes are equally mysterious, though USA Today notes that it does seem certain that the school picked the mascot because of the ancient Greek god, as proven by the tiny fighting angel mascot always depicted behind the more traditional Notre Dame logo.