There are many questions heading into the College World Series, but there is one that probably stands out above the rest.
What in the world is a chanticleer?
Let’s start with the pronunciation first. It’s not like the word chant. It’s more pronounced like shont. And when you see this team referred to as the "Chants", you’re really saying it like shonts.
This video by the players explains how strongly they feel about having it pronounced correctly.
So now that we know how to say it, what is it?
Well, a chanticleer is a name for a rooster, but not just any rooster. It comes from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tails. The official CCU Athletics website gives a more detailed account on what the chanticleer is:
More specifically, he comes from the Nun's Priest Tale, a story within Canterbury Tales. The Chanticleer is a proud and fierce rooster who dominates the barnyard. For the best description of Chanticleer, we turn to Chaucer's words. "For crowing there was not his equal in all the land. His voice was merrier than the merry organ that plays in church, and his crowing from his resting place was more trustworthy than a clock. His comb was redder than fine coral and turreted like a castle wall, his bill was black and shone like a jet, and his legs and toes were like azure. His nails were whiter than the lily and his feathers were like burnished gold." With all of his splendor and great looks, Chanticleer is also greatly feared and mightily respected by all.
CCU used to be known as the Trojans until the early 1960’s. At the time, the university was a two-year feeder school into the University of South Carolina, so a group of students and their English professor proposed the school change their mascot to something more closely associated with a gamecock. So the school chose Chanticleers. It resembles the Gamecock, but still gives Coastal a unique identity.
Coastal certainly wins the mascot and nickname battle in this year’s CWS Final. But will the rooster be able to hold its own against a Wildcat? We’ll know by Wednesday night.