Air Willie
At Large


Air Willie?
Air Willie Rocks!

So misunderstood.  Here is brilliance, yet we see it not.
                                             Photo by Alaskanwildcat

Many students and fans have grumbled about the looming, surreal presence of Northwestern's newest mascot, Air Willie.  His detractors have derided his happy-go-lucky, silly appearance and have threatened him in all vile manners.  To them, I simply mutter, "you heartless bastards!  Have you no appreciation for what this mascot with a heart of helium has brought to Northwestern??"  Apparently they do not.  And so, I now offer my list of the most important reasons for keeping Air Willie:

  • The Spirit Team learns a valuable lesson from Air Willie every game.  They've grown so much, spiritually, since 2001, and it's all due to His Inflatedness.
  • He has proven to be a loyal and enjoyable companion for "regular" Willie, providing a bond of friendship that Willie's previous trysts with Willimina and the San Diego Chicken failed to attain.  Remember how depressed Willie was after the administration stripped him of his necktie and morphed him into Wily Coyote?  Haven't you noticed how much happier Willie is, now that he can frolic with his bloated buddy?
  • If one inhales Air Willie's flatulence deeply enough, one's voice takes on a ridiculous, high-pitched, cartoonish sound.  Come on, people: what's cooler than that?
  • Air Willie's Joe Cocker imitation is even better than the late John Belushi's.
  • Who in Hell else is able to stop opposing running backs?
  • Haven't you seen the reaction of small children to Air Willie?  Haven't you seen their little eyes light up and widen?  Haven't you seen their little mouths go uncontrollably slack?  (editor's note: sure, their reactions could be due to sheer, unspeakable terror, but who cares?  It's still a riot!)
  • As a critical component of Ryan Field's beefed up security measures, Air Willie is our first weapon, and on the front-line defense against anyone bringing into the stadium unauthorized cameras, purses, or marshmallows.
  • After your fourth peyote button, you could easily confuse Air Willie for wacky NBC weatherman Willard Scott.  Hey, everyone loves Willard!
  • His Mick Jagger imitation is even better than Mick Jagger's.
  • Damnit, he may be a spastic, tourette's-addled, jerky bag of convulsions, but he's the best surgeon that we have!  And he's our only hope of saving Spock, Jim!!
  •  We've already paid for the mooring poles on top of the stadium towers.  Might as well get some use out of them.
  • Air Willie's releasing of hundreds of tiny, brown helium balloons at the end of each game, an act to be known as "Air Litter," will become a time honored and beloved school tradition.
  • He is the key element in a very cool drinking game:  Step one-- fill Air Willie with Everclear and grape Jell-O.  Step two-- drop from top of Crown Clock Tower.  Step three-- repeat as necessary.  Bottoms up!  
  • The Council on Foreign Relations would be lost without Air Willie's well-timed and clandestine advice.
  • To use a PBS analogy:  who else could make Dr. Who's Day of the Daleks look like Upstairs, Downstairs?
  • We just cannot eke out enough juvenile sexual jokes with our regular Willie.
  • And the number one reason to keep Air Willie:  the Pickle Boat needs as much buoyancy as it can possibly get!

Willie's in trouble, being beaten by the Falcon.  Air Willie to the rescue!
Or, maybe not....
                                                                              Photo by the Stilles

With apologies to The Onion...

The following images mysteriously appeared one morning, a few days ago.  They seem to show NU's inflated mascot, Air Willie, caught in several candid moments.  Since no explanation was given to me, I will attempt no explanation here.












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