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The Brief History of Toledo Changing its Mascot to Shrek

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someBODY once told me... that Toledo nearly broke Twitter with a proposal to switch mascots to our favorite ogre

Just two days after the beloved movie celebrated its 17th birthday, Shrek jumped out of the swamp and maneuvered its way into the world of college athletics.

At 11:22 a.m. EST on a normal Tuesday afternoon in the offseason, the University of Toledo’s Twitter account (@UToledo) decided to send the Internet into a frenzy over one simple, 11-word tweet:

If this gets 500k retweets we’ll change our mascot to Shrek

For some reason, the movie/character Shrek has evolved into a huge internet meme over the past couple years. And because the internet loves Shrek, this tweet accumulated over 90,000 retweets before its deletion — which occurred approximately an hour after the original tweet was sent. According to ESPN business writer Darren Rovell, the tweet was garnering massive amounts of attention, including roughly 1,000 retweets per minute in its final moments.

According to Rovell, a Toledo spokesperson said, “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Toledo’s neighbors and bitter rivals, the Bowling Green Falcons, had a thing or two to say about the Rockets’ viral tweet:

It’s unclear whether anybody from DreamWorks, the film production company which owns the Shrek franchise, would have stepped in and prevented Toledo from changing its mascot to the green ogre had the tweet received 500,000 retweets. If so, the University could have let DreamWorks play the role of the “no fun police” here rather than self-deleting the tweet and claiming Rocky (the current astronaut mascot) “got jealous.”

If you read the responses to the tweet below, the “Toledo Shreks” fanbase was not too amused with the quick deletion of the original Shrek tweet.

Toledo has plenty of rich tradition and the Rockets are coming off of an 11-3 football season which featured the program’s first MAC Championship since 2004. But we’d all like to witness a game where Shrek rides a live donkey to lead the team out of the tunnel at the Glass Bowl, all while the Rocket Marching Band plays Smash Mouth’s “All-Star” as the new fight song.

Well, as Shrek once said, “After a while, you learn to ignore the names people call you and just trust who you are.”

And Toledo is the Rockets.