Neckfoot

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Neckfoot, as pictured on page 1 of the October 19, 1990 issue of The Carletonian.

Neckfoot was a popular campus icon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, made popular through frequent photocopying and posting on campus notice boards. Its visage is a weird head with spikes for hair, on a long neck that connected directly with its one large foot. Neckfoot's story parallels that of Joe Fabeetz in many ways, from its first appearance in Intramural Sports to its attempt to be elected to a position of authority by the student body to its subsequent disappearance into obscurity.

Contents

Origin of Neckfoot

Though the October 19, 1990 issue of The Carletonian states that Neckfoot "first appeared in an anonymous exhibition last fall", a search of The Carletonian's own archives reveals that the name first appeared two terms before that. Neckfoot was listed in the February 24, 1989 Carletonian as the name of an IM Broomball team that winter.[1] It is alleged that Neckfoot was the creation of David Hudson, originally class of '89 who graduated in 1990.

The Neckfoot Posters and Cartoons

By October of 1989, images of Neckfoot appeared in Sayles-Hill and throughout campus.[2] These photocopied posters were anonymously placed on message boards and caused Neckfoot to enter into the consciousness of the campus.

In an article in The Carletonian from October 12, 1990, Seth Brown '91 described Neckfoot as follows:

Neckfoot has appeared in several campus publications. He is simply a large head, a large foot, and a large neck in between. He is usually a quiet mammal, usually only saying "blah" or "oh shit." Scientists speculate that he is the spawn of some biology major's senior project gone awry, but such value judgements have no place at Carleton: he is a being on our egalitarian campus just like everyone else.[3]

Neckfoot also appeared in eleven comic strips in the spring 1990 issue of iT magazine (an arts/literary journal).[4]

Student Referenda on Neckfoot

During Fall Term 1990, Neckfoot became involved in school politics when a grassroots campaign began to elect it to be homecoming king or queen. Similar to the story of Joe Fabeetz's run for CSA Senate 13 years previously, Co-Op refused to accept it as a candidate. Nevertheless, Neckfoot received the most votes as a write-in, but was not allowed to take either crown. This lead to charges of "homecoming racism" against Co-Op.[3] Several enraged students made a three-foot-tall papier-mâché Neckfoot and stormed the coronation, but Neckfoot was still denied its crown.[5]

Encouraged by Neckfoot's phenominal popularity, its supporters announced their intent to circulate a petition the following week to change Carleton's mascot from the Knight to Neckfoot. Though Alumni Affairs was on record as being leery about the idea, Neckfoots sponsors insisted that it was time for a change. Nathan Pettingill '93 explained why Neckfoot was the better choice:

"The Knight is somewhat sexist, and certainly sappy," [Pettingill] said. "Neckfoot is multi-racial, multi-gender, multi-cultural, unilingual (thus in need of a language requirement), and also skaters like him."[6]

It is unknown what the result of this petition was, or even if it was circulated. However, the Knight remains Carleton's mascot, and Neckfoot disappeared from the student consciousness rapidly following its heydey in 1990.

Current whereabouts

Neckfoot's current whereabouts are unknown. Following its attempt to replace the Knight in 1990, Neckfoot is not mentioned anywhere in The Carletonian after fall term 1990, and its appearances on campus have been few and far between since then.

Other references to Neckfoot

  • Neckfoot was mentioned several times on the humor page of The Carletonian during the 1989-1990 and 1990-1991 school years.
  • It was ironically suggested in the October 19, 1990 Carletonian that Neckfoot would be the ideal Halloween costume for a politically correct Carleton student, as it is one of the few options that could never be construed as sexist.[7]
  • "Neckfoot" was the name of an impromptu Ultimate Frisbee team from Carleton that went undefeated in an intercollegate tournament in Duluth, MN the third weekend of October, 1990.[8]

References

  1. Townes, Paul and Alberts, Jon: "Intramural Diary: Broomball" The Carletonian, February 24, 1989, page 13.
  2. THE SPOILER. The Carletonian, October 27, 1989, page 12
  3. 3.0 3.1 Brown, Seth and Colaiache, André: "Cult of Bruce...Pom Poms, lipstick and human ambition". The Carletonian, October 12, 1990, page 5.
  4. Hillemann, Eric. "'Ask the Archivist' Service". Item 1:171 of Cobwebs (NetID required). September 16, 2005.
  5. Erskine, Ernie. "And the Abyss stares back into NeckFoot". Item 17:3 of Cobwebs. January 16, 1992.
  6. Murphy, Chris: "Neckfoot vs. the Knight: mascots duel." The Carletonian, October 19, 1990, page 3.
  7. Shumacher, Larry: "Out of Control... Listing Halloween suggestions." The Carletonian, October 19, 1990, page 6.
  8. Koralesky, Barron: "IM Diary: Frisbee, Floor Hockey." The Carletonian, October 26, 1990, page 11.
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