It is not an unusual sight at Concordia to see a large, angry-looking corncob walking around campus or running up and down the sidelines at athletic events.
Concordia's mascot, Kernel, is quite the cob about town. He even has his own Twitter account (@kernelcobb). However, he had a long journey to get to where he is.
Concordia's corny story began in 1893 when students from Hope Academy, the local Swedish Lutheran school, decided to instigate further rivalry with a chant they made specifically for Concordia students.
Hva'ska' De ha?
Lutefisk and Lefse –
Yah! Yah! Yah!"
President Rasmus Bogstad speculated that perhaps the Hope Academy students wanted to copy the alliteration of Concordia College with their insult, or perhaps the chant was inspired by a cornfield that grew behind the boys’ dormitories. Either way, students found they liked the way “Corncobs" sounded.
By the early 1900s, Concordia's corny image was growing permanent. "Corncob" stuck around for about 30 years before "Cobber" evolved, first popping up in local sports reports in the 1920s. Concordia's yearbook then changed its name from Scout to Cobber in 1932 and the rest was history.
It wasn't until 2006 that "the Fighting Cobber," who showed up at games, got a makeover from a simple cob to the friendly but ferocious Kernel we know and love today. Kernel made his debut during 2006 Homecoming events and has been dazzling ever since. In 2009, he earned a spot on ESPN's list of creative, innovative or quirky college team nicknames. Kernel and his fellow corncobs have successfully embodied the unique and proud Concordia spirit for years.
Update: Kernel was recently named #1 meatless mascot in college athletics by the NCAA.
Ali Froslie '18 is an English major at Concordia.