Morning Wood: John Cena to replace Sam the Minuteman as University mascot

‘The Cenas will kick your ass in the arena’


(John Cena photos/facebook)

By Banessa Vayer, Barbra Streisand's playing card

It was announced on Monday morning, that come Fall 2018, Sam the Minuteman will be retired, as John Cena was named the new mascot of the University of Massachusetts.

Cena is best known as a professional wrestler and actor, most notably as his role as Fred Figglehorn’s dad in the Fred trilogy, and as a world-renowned rapper. Cena was born and raised in West Newbury, Massachusetts, and attended Springfield College in the late 1990s, where he developed his vaunted powers of invisibility.

“Sam the Minuteman represented UMass well for many years. He portrayed our history, our community and our lively spirit…but now it is time to choose a new symbol for UMass and what it means to a member of the UMass community. I feel John Cena does that well,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in a press release. “Cena is strong, athletic and not to mention a native from Massachusetts. He is everything we need.”

“UMass is growing and evolving, and our mascot needs to represent that,” Subbaswamy added.

The mascot’s costume will consist of a blow-up set of muscular arms, chest and abs, knee-length jean shorts, neon sweatbands with matching baseball hat and a WWE championship belt.

According to Ed Blaguszewski of news and media relations at the University, the decision was between John Cena and the Carells, Steve for men’s athletic teams and Nancy for women’s athletic teams.

“While the Carells are great and would be wonderful figures to represent UMass, the University decided to go with Cena because we didn’t want to divide the school between two personas, but rather ‘unite the masses,’” Blaguszewski said in an emailed statement.

The idea was first discussed after Cena visited UMass during “WWE Live!” in January 2017. Since then, the University has worked to acquire the legal rights to his name and character. Subbaswamy said he was willing to do anything to gain the rights for “his inspiration and personal hero,” including significantly raising tuition prices for the years to come.

Howard Banister, a musicology junior, was excited to hear about the mascot change.

“I’m beyond happy. I mean, I’m a huge fan of Cena, and he really pumps me up, so I can’t wait to see what he does at sporting events,” Banister said.

“The Cenas will kick your ass in the arena…I like the ring to that,” he said.

Judy Maxwell, an undecided freshman, thought this was a great decision made by the University, saying she thought it was a revolutionary (no pun intended) change in the right direction.

“UMass is being innovative and other schools should follow their lead,” Maxwell said. “I can’t wait to be a Cena.”

Banessa Vayer can be summoned by playing any Barbra Streisand movie before 1980 (except “For Pete’s Sake” because Vayer cannot stand Miss Streisand’s wig in that film).