The History Behind The Mascot
Having gone by nicknames like "Normalities" and "the Normal Boys," a student petition was started in the fall of 1921 to choose an official mascot at North Texas. A Student-Faculty Council wanted a mascot not used by any other major Texas college, and the finalists were Dragons, Eagles, Hawks and Lions. The candidates were submitted to the student body in January 1922, and on February 1, 1922, the Eagle garnered seventeen times more votes than the runnerup Dragon.
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The eagle mascot was brought to life at the North Texas-Oklahoma Tech game on October 6, 1950, when a Denton merchant Tommy Laney presented No-Name, a live Golden Eagle (later discovered to be a Southeast Asian Sea Eagle). A contest was offered to name the new mascot, and Scrappy became the first bird at NT. After living at the NT Club House, the time came that spring when Scrappy was forced to move to the Forest Park Fort Worth Zoo until a permanent cage could be built for him in the fall of 1951. Scrappy returned to NT making special appearances from 1952 until he died in 1959.
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In 1963, Mr. Eagle became the first human eagle mascot provided by the NT Marching Band. Marching band director Maurice McAdow and Mrs. Helen Wright of the school of business administration designed the costume. It was made of leather and plastic with a chicken wire and paper-mache head. Eric Brewster, assistant Drum Major, "flew" into the stadium for the first NT game of the season.
In 1967, Talons purchased a matched pair of Crested Serpent Eagles, christened Scrappy II and Scrappy III. Housed at the Fort Worth Zoo, Talons brought one of the eagles to each home game. Problems began to arise with the live mascots, so the Talons replaced with them an eagle costume.
In 1969, after obtaining permission from the NT Marching Band, the Talons became the caretakers of The Eagle. Larry Burrows served as the mascot.
In 1971, the mascot was named Scrappy. Over the next 10 years, the name of the mascot changed from the North Texas Eagle to Eagle Mascot to Eppy.
The Eagle mascot has worn many costumes; the most recent was made by Pierre's Costumes and was debuted on September 9, 1995, at the North Texas vs. Kansas football game at Texas Stadium. It was designed to match the new athletic logos. With the new look, a new name was selected by students, faculty and alumni votes. (Students selected Eppy; faculty and alumni selected Scrappy.) On December 2, 1995, at the North Texas vs. Alabama Crimson Tide game, the new name of Scrappy was announced.
From 1969-1995, Talons held tryouts and chose the mascot from within the Talon organization. With the new suit and move back to division I-A, athletics saw the role and duties of the mascot changing. The results of these changes included an open tryout for mascot, and the Athletic Department becoming the caretakers of the suit.
Information regarding the mascot program is available by contacting Ella Odland at Ella.Odland@unt.edu
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