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Putting the “Hell” in Tar Heel: An evolution of Rameses

Reminder: mascots are the man-made dormant volcano plotting to take over the world.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Florida Gulf Coast v North Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Mascots at sporting events are generally considered great— their interesting antics, school spirit, and dance moves provide entertainment for children not interested in the game, and Instagram photo ops for sorority girls. As sweaty-human-in-cosplay (or animal) symbolism of centuries-old rallying cries of their schools, they can fall into the following categories:

Intimidation: Chief Osceola, Mike the Tiger, Ralphie the Buffalo

In this category, imposing warlords or animals that will trample you or EAT YOUR F***ING FACE storm the field and fire up crowds. Political aspects of Osceola aside, these mascots are awesome.

Whimsical: Big Red, Sebastian the Ibis, the Stanford tree

These guys are just here to party. These are good mascots. There is never a bad excuse to embed a picture of Big Red into a post.

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Dog: All live dog mascots, to name a few. Dogs = good, dogs = mascots, so therefore (dogs = good) + (dogs = mascots) = dogs are good mascots.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Auburn
Who’s a good boy?
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Strangely Unsettling: Clemson’s “The Tiger”, Purdue Pete, Herbie Husker, WuShock

Herbie Husker and Purdue Pete have a backstory as long-lost lumberjack brothers, separated at birth and reunited in the Big Ten. They are the lovechild of the Brawny paper towel man and Betty Boop.

I’m not posting a picture of WuShock, because this is a family-friendly blog.

“The Tiger” has gotten a lot more attention as Clemson’s football program has risen to national prominence, but “The Tiger” found himself in the foothills of the Appalachian Trail after a particularly aggressive meth binge, and the school adopted him and put him into a rehab program on Lake Hartwell.

Hartwell serves as a halfway house, and “The Tiger” is always sober when his PO checks in. The PO, I’m told her name is Jeannine, is too devoted to her craft and does not watch or attend Clemson sporting events, so “El Tigre” as he’s known by his lab buddies runs rampant.

Florida State Seminoles v Clemson Tigers
Those dead, soulless eyes.
Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images

This last category is relevant to this blog, which purports itself to be a North Carolina Tar Heels fansite. Why?

Because Carolina has historically cornered the market on ‘strangely unsettling’, as Rameses served as nightmare fuel for the better part of a century.


Let’s just get this out of the way quickly: it gets better from here, and by “better”, I mean “a few degrees less nightmare-inducing.”

I mean...let’s just start with this guy. Everything was old and creepy in 1950, but the untrained eye would see a The Hills Have Eyes villain at a guillotine with rope, presumably to do God knows what? Does he hang his victims if the guillotine malfunctions? Are there different levels of corporal punishment for this Rameses?

If someone with a Wii creates a Mii emoticon with that face and posts it in the comments section, I’ll personally Venmo you money for a taco. The thing’s like half The Joker, half creepy Russian nesting doll....



As if this m-f-er wasn’t creepy enough, he’s got some Exorcist shit going on with his horns.

Burn this image, @UNCArchives.

That Man’s Head is a Toe: 1950’s-60’s

Well sweet Jesus that man’s head is a foot. Apparently Tar Heel Tim was the inspiration for a skateboard brand. Buddy, search “Screaming Foot” on Google. They’re all Carolina Blue.

I want video of Tar Heel Tim in action. My experience tells me he is doing something like this:

RAMESES OFF A BENDER: Early 1990’s...?

This one isn’t so much scary...unless you believe he was hanging out with “The Tiger”.

Source: Unknown

At least they got the horns right, even if they are a bit saggy and look like pigtails.

This one is more about Duke: 1957


Source: Wikipedia

I have questions, and not about the tail that looks phallic at a quick glance.

Why is his attack weapon a sledgehammer, and not a trident? Not only does 1957 Blue Devil buck any ‘devil’ prejudice by not carrying a trident, but the dude is carrying a sledgehammer instead. He’s out for a bludgeoning (Carolina won that game, 21-13).

Also, in his right hand: a scroll? Stick of dynamite?

Man, especially with the posture at which this image was shot, this Duke mascot was the inspiration characters for Harry Potter novels.


(This was actually the inspiration for the whole post.)

1989. I was alive when this was a thing.

Daily Tar Heel, 1989

That’s the face I make when I detect a particularly rancid unclaimed fart.

The @Rameses_UNC Twitter account initially posted this gem— credit to Brandon Anderson for screenshotting it and starting our whole Slack channel down this rabbit hole.

From “unclaimed fart” to “I know who farted.”

Well, that was the worst of it.

To finish on a positive, here’s a link to current Rameses, with the Carolina Mudcats mascot for some reason.

And here’s live Rameses in those spring break shades every club on campus gave out from 2008-2012.

News & Observer