Twelve football playing teams in the Mountain West Conference. Twelve Olympians in greek mythology. Let’s match them up.
Air Force is Zeus
One is the god of heavens. One flies planes in the sky for school. Makes sense to me. Plus, Zeus is all about maintaining order and justice and as an academy school, students/cadets are held to stricter standards than many of the other teams.
Boise State is Hera
You all thought I was going to pick the Broncos for Zeus didn’t you? Also Poseidon is technically the god of horses in addition to his other tasks, so that could’ve fit too. Hera makes more sense to me. She’s the queen of the Olympians and often the one pulling the strings and setting things into motion behind the scenes. As far as greek heroes and demigods are concerned, she is the antagonist and the one everyone targets. Sound familiar?
Colorado State is Hephaestus
The Rams seem to try something new every few years with coaches and on the field. They also just poured a ton of money into their athletic program hoping it pay dividends down the line. Hephaestus is the god of the forge and is an inventor and craftsmanship, trying to make things work and improve. Plus, he has dominion over fire and volcanos too, when it’s time to burn it down and start over.
Fresno State is Hestia/Dionysus
This is another one decided more by process of elimination but it still works. The 12 Olympians have actually had 13 members, with Hestia (goddess of the hearth and sacrifice) being present in older myths before giving way to Dionysus when he was made a god by his father Zeus. But the alternation of the two of them in a way mirrors the up and down seasons the Bulldogs have had in recent years, coming down from their prime Pat Hill years to the troublesome Tim DeRuyter era, before a rebound to glory with Jeff Tedford before the wheels fell off this past season.
Side note: I did think of ironically making BYU, the dry campus, Dionysus, the god of wine.
Hawaii is Hermes.
Poseidon for the sea/islands and Ares for the Warriors were perhaps the obvious ones, but went a different route here. Hawaii is pretty darn far from the rest of the conference and they have the highest travel costs in the NCAA. Who is the god of traveling you ask? Hermes. He also covers communication, and before he left, Coach Rolovich had the best quotes.
Nevada is Artemis
Nevada is the Wolf Pack, nocturnal animals traveling together and hunting their prey. Artemis, well she is the goddess of the moon and night as well as the hunt. Her and her all-female hunters travel and hunt together.
New Mexico is Ares
The Lobos are another type of wolf, so there could be some overlap with Nevada here. Lobo also made me think of the DC character Lobo, who is very strong and possesses extreme durability and immortality. He always kind of reminded me a bit of Ares both in terms of powers, appearance, and personality.
San Diego State is Apollo
SDSU was originally slated for Ares but upon further research, that didn’t seem accurate. Aztecs were a strong civilization in present-day Mexico and were more than just warriors. They had a vast culture, complete with class systems, strong agriculture and irrigation, and an advanced calendar. They had a vast array of skills and specialties, not unlike Apollo, He is a jack-of-all-trades type, being the god of the sun, archery, poetry, prophesy, and more.
San Jose State is Poseidon
The team that is in the bay area by the ocean. The god who rules over the sea and all that is within it. Obvious but makes sense. For bonus, he is the god of storms and the Spartans have had more than their fair share of stormy seasons over the years.
UNLV is Aphrodite
This was the hardest comparison to make and kind of just process of elimination at this point, so be prepared for a stretch. This has less to do with her being the goddess of love and more on her origin (PG version). Aphrodite was born by the foam of the sea and is the oldest of the Olympians. Likewise, the Rebels are an original MWC school and they themselves are going through a rebirth with a new coach starting a new era.
Utah State is Demeter
The USU team name is the Aggies, which is based on agriculture. You know who else is into agriculture? Demeter. She’s the goddess of farming and agriculture actually. She’s the mother of Persephone and has that story of how the seasons came to be if you remember that. Seems like an obvious fit here.
Wyoming is Athena
Coach Bohl is a brilliant coach and every game against him for opponents is a battle of the minds, especially in Laramie. He plays a tried and true method of football with consistently positive results. Likewise, Athena is the goddess of wisdom and battle strategy. She calculates and schemes and is rarely incorrect.
Alright, let’s hear it. Which ones did I nail and which ones did I screw up?