The Cobber name has earned Concordia College national recognition from EPSN as one of the most unusual nicknames for college athletics.
Concordia students have had many monikers including the Concordians, Corncobs, Corncobbers, Lutherans, and the Lutefiskers. Legend states that Concordia was surrounded by a cornfield in its early days. Because Concordia was located in the country, fields were likely part of the landscape; however, at the time of Concordia’s founding, there were no cornfields near Concordia according to Rasmus Bogstad, Concordia College’s third president and author of “Concordia College through Fifty Years.”
While the cornfield derivation is debatable, records do confirm that the students from Hope Academy, a Swedish Lutheran school and rival, played a direct role in creating Concordia’s moniker. Hope Academy students are said to have taunted Cobber coeds with the following chant:
Hva’ ska’ Ni ha?
Lutefisk and Lefse –
Yah! Yah! Yah!”
The Cobber name took some time to become official, although it was increasingly used for athletic teams. A Fargo Forum sports writer first used the term in 1923, but the name was not used in The Concordian until 1928. Consistent use of the name did not occur until 1932 when the yearbook changed its name from Scout to Cobber. The accompanying mascot did not enter the scene until much later. Kernel, the current mascot, debuted in the fall of 2006. The mascot prior to Kernel, also referred to as The Cob and Corny the Cob, made his first appearance in the late 1990s.
In addition to the Cobber name, Concordia College’s athletic teams can also be distinguished by the Cobber “C.” Like the Kernel mascot and the Cobber name, the “C” has undergone revision. Originally, the “C” was square shaped. The emblem was later redesigned to a style similar to the Chicago “C.”
Contributed by Lisa Sjoberg, college archivist