The Drexel Dragon circa 1970.

Year of the Dragon

According to the Chinese zodiac, January 23, 2012, marked the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. Given our mascot Mario, Drexel is pretty excited about anything having to do with dragons. In honor of the dragon, we'll be posting about dragons fairly regularly this year, including origins and history, myths, and real dragons — Drexel Dragons.

Let's start the series off with a history of dragons at Drexel.

Say you're on a sports team. Given the choice between Blue & Gold, the Drexelites, and the Engineers, what name would you rather be known by?

I choose none of the above, please. Blue and Gold, that's just colors, which is fine but a little nebulous. The Drexelites sounds like something growing in a cave. And Engineers ... they're great, but not very intimidating — no offense.

Oh, wait, all of these were used at one time or another?

Drexel needed a name to be proud of, a name to make them sound tough, a name to spark fear into the hearts of the opponents, or at least a name that could be represented as a mascot.

Enter the dragon.

Drexel adopted the dragon mascot in the mid 1920s, with the first written reference to it occurring in 1928 when the football team was called the Drexel Dragons in The Triangle. (See, school papers are trendsetters.)

Dragon was chosen because:

A. The football team was out of shape; they were draggin' by the fourth quarter.
B. The football team was really bad and many fans could be heard saying, "This game is a drag."
C. The new reporter misheard "Drag him down the field!" as "Dragon on the field!"
D. Drexel Dragons is alliterative; it sounds good together and dragons are ferocious and tenacious. Go! Fight! Win!

Although you might guess B since Drexel doesn't even have a football team anymore, you would be wrong. Due to a total lack of evidence, it is generally assumed that D is the most correct answer. It's not terribly creative, but it's better than the Drexel Dreamers.

In case you find yourself at an athletic event, here's the lyrics and a classic recording of the Drexel Fight Song. Probably you should learn it so you can join in the Dragon pride. Go ahead, practice now.

Fight on for Drexel,
We've got the stuff we need to win this game.
We're gonna fight on for Drexel,
Take the Dragon on to fame.
Fight on for Drexel,
The gold and blue is on another spree.
We're gonna fight, fight, fight, fight for Drexel U.
On to victory!

(Repeat Song)

February 20, 2012

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