There is a big bug going around Portland State University! No, it’s not a rare sickness that will make you toss your cookies and no, it’s not some type of serious computer virus that wipes off your entire hard drive. It’s the PSU Viking Bug! For the last seven years, the PSU Viking bug has been a part of Portland State, helping promote and advertise for PSU athletics and activities. Many Viking fans can claim to have seen this old bug rolling around the downtown area, appearing at PSU athletic events and even in some parades, but do many people really know the origin of this Viking mascot?
The Viking bug is actually a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, donated to Portland State University by Bob and Jane Moro, major supporters of PSU Athletics. The Viking Bug was actually Bob Moro’s work vehicle before he purchased a new car. The Bug was in need of a new look, so, Portland state fixed it up, painted it green (an official Viking color) and equipped it with papier-mch퀌� horns to resemble a Viking helmet. The Viking bug now serves as an automotive version of “Victory Viking,” the PSU mascot. A few history buffs might argue that the Vikings did not travel in 1967 Volkswagens, but rather in wooden ships sailing the ocean. However, sailing vessles do not work to well on pavement, whereas the V-Bug works just fine.
The idea behind the Viking Bug was to encourage PSU fans to support their valiant student athletes. During the summer, people can see the V-Bug in the Tigard Blast Parade and the Beaverton Parade. The “Viking Wagon,” as this journalist likes to call it, has also made appearances at non-athletic events such as Student Appreciation Week and Party in the Park to increase awareness of student life and PSU Athletics. Onlookers often catch the V-Team with the V-Bug, passing out tickets to PSU sporting events. The V-team’s mission is to build a campus community at Portland State; they want to build an environment for students who like being in a traditional college atmosphere.
Molly More, who works in game operations & special projects, confirmed, “The V-Team’s avenue for creating a traditional college is partially through athletics. Having student bond together and go support other students at athletic events.”
Moore takes the V-Bug to games and special events so that students might behold it in all of its glory. She feels that driving the V-Bug is a most unique experience, to say the least.
“I think the most fun part about it is driving down the streets of Portland and having people look at you and wonder, ‘What is that vehicle doing on the street?’ It’s fun just seeing people’s reaction,” Moore said.
The V-Bug will be playing a large role in PSU’s homecoming week, Nov. 3-8, and during the homecoming dance, held after the Vikings’ game against Weber State. This homecoming is going to be a very special event; it will be the first traditional homecoming for Portland State University since 1967!
Viking fans might expect some big things from the V-Bug and the V-Team during this special event. The homecoming court will be decided during halftime of the football game. Although it is unlikely that the V-Bug will be the chariot of the homecoming king and queen, because it lacks a convertible top, rest assured it will still have a very important role to play.
The V-Bug is also playing part in a PSU raffle to sell tickets for a new 2003 VW Bug. The tickets go for $50 each, and the Viking Backers will be selling a limited supply of them. Even though the thought of getting a new VW Beetle is cool, it still does not even compare to PSU’s beloved V-Bug.