Monday, January 8, 2007

The Polydactyl Paw

So Kate and I were riding around on Saturday, and I come upon a minivan that is sporting a magnet with a paw print on it. this is no ordinary paw print to signify the support for a particular team or organization. That's because this paw print was anatomically incorrect. The paw print had five toes, instead of four.

I have seen this magnet around, once on the back of a trcuk as we headed to Rhode Island last summer, and many other times on the back of various other vehicles around town. I always thought it was the product of a graphic artist with little anatomical reference. But as I researched, I found that this design was actually on purpose.

Apparently, 20 years ago, Penn State was playing Clemson in a bowl game, and Penn State agreed to not sell any merchandize that resembled the Clemson four-toed design. So they put an extra toe in there and it stuck, for another twenty years.

As recently as a few years, the Penn State Nittany Lions have altered their paw logo so it is correct, but the old logo persists.

So, basically it was all for nothing, the logo didn't need to be changed, because Clemson didn't care as long as the design wasn't copied (the Clemson design is much more edgy and oh yeah, its ORANGE!)

The only problem, is that nobody told some podunk University in Michigan.

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