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LSU Fan Starts GoFundMe For Clemson Mascot After Twitter Pokes Fun At His Appearance

Newsweek logo Newsweek 1/14/2020 Matthew Impelli
a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field: An LSU fan created a GoFundMe to replace the Clemson Tiger mascot after Twitter pokes fun at it © Kevin C. Cox/Getty An LSU fan created a GoFundMe to replace the Clemson Tiger mascot after Twitter pokes fun at it

Prior to the start of the College Football Playoff (CFP) national championship game between LSU and Clemson on Monday, one LSU fan decided to create a GoFundMe in an effort to purchase Clemson a new mascot costume.

"After turning on the national championship game on Monday the 13th I thought bad for the Clemson Tiger," the creator of the GoFundMe page wrote. "It seems that the University purchased their mascot costume form the clearance rack from TG&Y in 1981."

The goal of the fundraiser was $1,000 but as of Tuesday, the page has surpassed its goal, raising over $1,500 from nearly 200 donors. According to the page's creator, Dion Grossnickle, "all of the proceeds will be mailed to the Clemson University Athletic Department at the conclusion of the fundraiser."

In an email sent to Newsweek, Grossnickle further explained her reasoning for creating the GoFundMe page. "At the beginning of the game, there was a closeup of the Clemson mascot that I thought was kind of strange-looking. Now take in mind, I grew up in New Orleans....so strange is a normal occurrence down here," she wrote.

She went on to explain that she wanted to post something about the game on Facebook, which became the GoFundMe page. 

"So I decided to create a GoFundMe page that I thought for certain would not draw much attention at all," Grossnickle added. "It was not until halftime when I looked at my phone and hundreds of my friends were tagging me in stories about the GoFundMe page that I thought to myself "Oh my, what have I done?" 

While Grossnickle said she plans to send the money to Clemson's athletic department, but she has a backup plan if the university doesn't want to accept the money.

"So I will be attempting to contact their athletic department this week to see if they would like me to send the contributions to them or if they would like me to donate it to a charity of theirs or my choosing," Grossnickle wrote. 

While both teams have a tiger mascot, the GoFundMe page was created after a number of fans on Twitter reacted to photos of Clemson's mascot at the game.

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 12: The Clemson mascot, 'The Tiger' during a college football game between Florida State Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers on October 12, 2019, at Clemson Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) © John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 12: The Clemson mascot, 'The Tiger' during a college football game between Florida State Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers on October 12, 2019, at Clemson Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) "Compared to the LSU Tiger mascot, the Clemson mascot looks like he's wearing a cheap costume his grandma made. #BlessHisHeart #LSU," wrote Cynical Cat on her Twitter account with a picture of the two mascots. 

"Why the Clemson mascot look like an off-brand Tony the Tiger?? #CFPNationalChampionship," Twitter user Modern Alien wrote. 

"Clemson Tiger mascot always look like he doesn't know where he is," Twitter user _Vendita wrote.

"This is the sort of tiger people have nightmares about. Invest in a new mascot costume please #Clemson," wrote Twitter user KrisWD40 with an additional picture of the mascot.

Even the Lafourche Police Department in Louisiana chimed in on the jokes about the Clemson Tiger by saying it looked like it was in need of a designated driver compared to the LSU Tiger.

"PLEASE don't drink and drive!" the police department wrote as a caption to their picture.

Not only did fans criticize the Clemson Tiger mascot on Twitter, but it continued in their captions to their donations on the GoFundMe page.

"Poor little fella...hope this helps get him a medicated bath and some nutritious food in his belly," wrote one GoFundMe user after making a donation.

"I donated because, just look at that thing," wrote another user.

"Clemson deserves a better-looking mascot. I hope my contribution will help facilitate that," another GoFundMe user wrote.

While the GoFundMe page was created prior to the game between LSU and Clemson, the criticism of the Clemson Tiger may have paid off as LSU defeated Clemson, ending their 29-game win streak that spanned over the past two years.

Newsweek reached out to Clemson's athletic department regarding the GoFundMe but did not receive a response by publication time. 

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