The wide world of suicidefood sports bears this slogan: The Agony of Victory, the Thrill of Defeat.
Buffaloes, pigs, and bulls train for years for their one shot to be pummeled in the ring. Crabs race for the boiling winner's circle. Turkeys huff and puff toward the finish line and the pile of stuffing that will be rammed inside them.
It's a peculiarly tidy summation of an entire repulsive aesthetic.
When it comes to the Capital One Bowl, we are encouraged to identify with college football mascots steeped in the confluence of sport, barbecue, self-destructive impulses, and unseemly exhibitionism. These mascots—Aubie, Mr. Wuf, The Bird, Smokey, and the rest—are competing for… Well, for something.
We apologize for our vagueness. We honestly don't understand what in the name of poor, deluded animal-shaped mascots this is. It is, apparently, some sort of contest—one that people actually care about?—wherein animal characters boast of their edibility and/or barbecuing skills.
We are informed that the University of South Carolina's Cocky "finds a good marinade bath very refreshing." That the flesh of North Dakota State's Thundar makes a "strangely delicious gourmet burger." And, weirdly, that the University of Maryland's Testudo has flavors that "come slowly." Proud of their palatability, enamored of their willingness to be destroyed, they dance and preen and exhort, even as they represent the athletic departments of fine institutions of higher learning.
Yes, we have ventured once again into the shadowy mirrorworld of suicidefoodism, where thoughts are slick with animal fat. They slip away, borne on a wisp of illogic, always out of reach. And so, clutching our papers, fleeing the lengthening shadows, we run. Back to the light. Back to a world that welcomes us with the comforts of reason.
(Thanks to Dr. Anastasia for the referral.)