PEACOCK PRIDE: How did St. Peter’s University get its mascot name?
Peacock fever has swept New Jersey with St. Peter’s University men’s basketball team shocking the sports world by advancing to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16.
The university’s mascot is the Peacocks, which prompted News 12’s Brian Donohue to try to figure out if the team has anything in common with its feathery namesake.
There aren’t many peacocks in Jersey City where the team is based, so Donohue headed out to Popcorn Park Zoo in Ocean County. The peacocks there do not live in cages, but pretty much roam free.
Peacock Pride! Send a good luck message to the St. Peter's hoops team
Peacocks are known for strutting during mating season, when the males fan out their tail feathers. This was not happening while Donohue was there, but he did learn that peacocks are pretty scrappy – just like the St. Peter’s team.
The peacock was chosen as the St. Peter’s mascot in 1930 by then-dean Father Robert Gannon. The school had been closed for 12 years following World War I. The peacock was a phoenix-like symbol of resurrection – both the school’s and Christ’s.
Donohue saw many peacocks at Popcorn Park that reminded him of the St. Peter’s team, such as the one that roamed near the bear cage unafraid.
The St. Peter’s Peacocks will play in their Sweet 16 game on Friday against Purdue.