The University of Illinois has decided to honor its state's long time iconic president, Abe Lincoln, by making him the official mascot of the university.
The decision comes on the heels of a new, highly popular depiction of Lincoln as a lover of wrestling in Mountain Dew commercials.
“We can’t think of a better way to honor the memory of President Lincoln than by re-enacting, as closely as historically possible, the Mountain Dew commercial fight between 'Wrastlin Abe,' Stephen Douglas and that other guy he cracked over the head,” said U of I Board of Trustees Chair Lawrence C. Eppley today in a press conference.
A new show will be developed for football and basketball halftimes, where Wrastlin’ Abe will break off legs from historically-accurate reproductions of debating chairs of the period. He will use them to beat his opponents into submission while the band plays Dixieland jazz selections and the crowd cheers on with tomahawk chops.
As if on cue, a new group has formed on campus, calling themselves “Historians,” to protest the use of Lincoln as a mascot. “While it is technically true that Lincoln loved wrestling, it is incredibly disrespectful to depict him AS a wrestler,” pleaded Stephen Kaufman, to general scorn.
Also criticizing the move was Roberto Martell of Students for Chief Illiniwek, who said that Chief Illiniwek, U of I’s previous mascot, should at least get a chance to fight Wrastlin’ Abe in a mascot-off. “We think Illiniwek could take Lincoln if he were properly armed” said Martell. The winner would then earn the right to do a victory dance in front of the crowd.
University officials have not responded to requests for comment on this proposal.