COLLEGE BASKETBALL, SPORTS

We met the Saint Louis Billiken (and now know more about it than you)

March 13, 2014

I know your first question:

What the heck is a Billiken?!

According to Saint Louis University:

The Billiken is a symbol of good luck that was a national craze in the early 1900s. [...] Its association with Saint Louis University can be traced back to around 1910, when local sportswriters thought that SLU football coach John Bender bore a striking resemblance to the impish creature. One writer drew a cartoon of Bender as a Billiken, posted it in a drugstore window and dubbed the football team “Bender’s Billikens.” The public took up the moniker, and it soon became the official nickname of all SLU teams.

(Now, when Saint Louis reaches the Elite Eight in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, you’ll have some trivia to impress the bartender at your local dive.)

The Billiken stopped by SiriusXM headquarters in New York City Thursday for a tour of the studios. It – the Billiken is gender-less – was in town with the men’s basketball team for the Atlantic 10 Championship, which is taking place in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center through Sunday, March 16.

Saint Louis is one of the favorites to win the conference tournament after finishing the regular season with a 13-3 conference record and 26-5 overall record.

While it was here, the Billiken got to hop in a studio, play the piano and pose for pictures with Mad Dog Sports Radio’s Adam Schein and Mike Babchik. See below for photos from his visit, and tweet @SiriusXMCollege with your predictions for the 2014 NCAA Tournament.