Did Captain Cane die in vain? Introducing Gus T.

Many Tulsa fans are unhappy with
the rebranding of TU’s mascot.

It has been 495 days since President Brad
Carson killed off the long-standing mascot
Captain Cane.
A figurehead of the University of Tulsa
since 1997, Captain Cane has seen many
forms over his 25-year reign as the face of
Tulsa Athletics with several costume chang-
es. His superhero form was the longest-
standing version of any Tulsa mascot seeing
the limelight for 13 years. Previous versions
of the mascot, like Huffy and Hurc, mascots
of the late ’90s, took on a more accurate
“Golden Hurricane” aesthetic.
On April 22, 2022, President Carson an-
nounced in a tweet that the Tulsa mascot had
passed away, “Don’t worry: a new mascot
will be coming. Something old or maybe
something new. We’ll be working with ev-
eryone to find the right thing.”
A board of former Captain Cane perform-
ers, TU super fans, and marketing experts
were said to be involved in the creation of
the next mascot. Many speculated that Tulsa
would return to the beloved Huffy mascot,
as it was seen on a majority of TU-branded
apparel and was increasingly used through-
out the year and a half that Captain Cane
was laid to rest.
In the public eye, there was no clear
timeline for when the new mascot would be
released as the departure of Captain Cane
came as a surprise to many. Although this
would soon become clear with the admin-
istration’s heightened efforts to increase fan
engagement and experience for TU sports
like football and basketball. Many pre-
sumed that the new mascot would be intro-
duced at the beginning of the 2022 football
season, questioning how we could possibly
go an entire season without a mascot. How-
ever, that was not the case, with rumors of
a leaked mascot causing the panel to scratch
what they had been working on and start
Both the 2022 fall and spring seasons
passed without a mascot. There was not even
a hint from administration as to when the
new mascot would be revealed. It was not
until July 23 when a graphic was released of
the head and feet of what was said to be the
new TU mascot, except this time fans got to
vote on a name. In the comments section,
the most commonly requested name was
Huffy; however, the fan vote would not be
revealed until the first home football game.
From the end of July to the end of August,
the announcement was milked for every-
thing it was worth, hyping up students and
fans for the second coming of a TU mascot.
Finally, on Aug. 31, the name of the mas-
cot was announced on a local Tulsa radio
station. After almost a year and a half, the
time had come to finally have a mascot
again. Was it going to be Huffy? Herc? Cap-
tain Cane?
Announced by Brad Carson himself, the
new mascot’s name is Gus. T (Gusty) after
winning the fan vote. The name had mixed
reactions, with some loving the idea while
others seemed skeptical yet intrigued to see
the new costume. It took a little over a year
to design, draft, and crowd-test whatever
ideas the panel had. You would think more
thought would be put into the design of the

mascot since they let the fans pick the name.
There was a lot of anticipation on
Aug. 31 for not only the return of Tulsa
football but to have a chance to see the de-
but of Gus T. The mascot reveal was nothing
short of controversial. Announced first with
a social media graphic, the commenters did
not hold back when voicing their spirited
opinions on the new TU mascot.
“It took 2 years for you to come up with
Gus T?” @mikeheinz57
“Can Motley Crew pay for a different
mascot please?” @super.heroux
“The superhero Captain Cane was bad,
but I don’t think this is an improvement.
Awful name, awful design.” @curtisfrance
“This is literally my sleep paralysis de-
mon” @sarah.a.tran
“Spent 300+ days telling you people want
Huffy just for you to do this? It’s giving
Captain Can’t” @andrewtriestowinthings
The comments speak for themselves, TU
fans were not impressed, almost instantly
turning Gus T. into a meme within the first
20 minutes of his existence. With so many
issues being taken with the design of Cap-
tain Cane, it seems that the creators of Gus
T. did not listen to anything the fans were
saying. Captain Cane was seen as a bulky,
unattractive superhero with a big head and a
massive chin. In the creation of a new mas-
cot, these things were expected to be taken
away. Instead, the design made everything
bigger. Bigger chin and bigger head, just
in a sleeker, although frightening, design.
Compared to a beehive or an upside down
poop emoji, a hurricane is not the first thing
that comes to mind when looking at Gus T.
Run away and hide may be one of your first
thoughts when staring into the large eyes of
our Jay Leno look alike.
Questions have been raised ever since
the official Gus T. announcement as to why
Captain Cane was even killed off: a redesign
was all that was needed, not a rebrand. Con-
sidering the amount of merchandise Captain
Cane and Huffy are on, it comes as quite a
surprise to go this far off their current mar-
keting base. It will be interesting to see how
they plan to market and sell such a ridiculed
mascot with the general online consensus of
anti-Gus T.
From the mouth of a former Captain
Cane, I will say that it is not about the cos-
tume, it is about the person in the costume.Whoever the new mysterious Gus T. is, they
are doing an immaculate job being a hype
man and interacting with TU fans to finally
give Tulsa the opportunity to compete with
mascots like the Tulsa Drillers’ Hornsby. It
is safe to say that Gus T. rocked us like a
hurricane, but not in a good way.

Post Author: Joe McCurdy