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Maryland’s best mascot is a slight to sportswriters. Well played, Key School

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

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How does one represent a gazebo in fuzzy fashion? Apparently like this — Key School

How does one represent a gazebo in fuzzy fashion? Apparently like this — Key School

Occasionally, a state features one mascot that is so unique, it is hands down the state’s best. There’s no debate. That’s certainly the case in Maryland.

Don’t get Prep Rally wrong. The Campers and Crabbers are great nicknames, particularly for an ocean state like Maryland. Yet as strong a moniker as those two choices are, they’re no match for the Annapolis (Md.) Key School Obezags.

We know what you’re thinking. What in the world is an Obezag? Therein lies the greatness, friends. There is no Obezag. Rather, the very use of the Obezag is intended to be a slight thumb of the nose to local sportswriters, who insisted that the school needed to choose a mascot for them to use.

Well, the school chose a mascot, and that mascot intentionally made no sense. Well played, Key School.

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Mascot Quest 2013 — Flickr

In fact, anyone with a particular fondness for anagrams or word puzzles could probably parcel out where the school got the name “Obezag” from. As depicted in the logo you see above, Key features a number of gazebos around its campus. Flip those letters around and one can create an Obezag, even if no such a matter exists.

Naturally, the mascot became a fan favorite as soon as it was introduced, even if it still isn’t officially the school’s mascot. As USA Today noted, the Key School still has no mascot, but it is willing to sanction the Obezag as its nickname.

Other Great Maryland Mascots of Note:

There’s little question here that both the Crabbers and Campers belong on this list. The only thing remaining to do is to delve into just why these particular towns earned the right to be those perfectly fitting mascots.

First up: The Crisfield (Md.) High Crabbers. This is an easy one: Crisfield has anointed itself the “Seafood Capital of the World,” so it had to choose some form of edible food from the sea. The fact that a crab sat on the water tower – and that Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay is known for its delicious crabs – was enough to earn a nod for the crustacean mascot.

Second up: The Allegany (Md.) High Campers. While some might assume that the Campers are a nod to all of the outdoor recreational activity one can enjoy in Maryland (and there is plenty), the Campers are actually allegedly a nod to a much earlier role for the town. In the Civil War, Union General Lewis Wallace and his troops allegedly began calling present-day Allegany "Camp Hill" because they often camped nearby. More than a century later, a team now proudly bears that legacy each time it takes the field or court.

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