August 12, 2021
Founded in 1891 by Norwegian settlers who valued education and their religious heritage, Concordia opened its doors in Moorhead with 12 students and three instructors. The purpose of Concordia College is to influence the affairs of the world by sending into society thoughtful and informed men and women dedicated to the Christian life.
The school’s mascot is the Cobbler.
In 2009, ESPN – “the total sports network” – compiled a list of the most creative, inventive or quirky college team nicknames. Number two on their list was the Concordia Cobbers.
The Cobber logo is represented as a snarling (though friendly) ear of corn, wearing a handsome maroon sweater and green husks for trousers.
The editors at ESPN liked the nickname because “how fierce can a corncob be? But that's what makes the Cobber special - it symbolizes not only Concordia's athletic spirit, but its overall good sense of humor.”
So what’s a Cobber?
In the Yiddish dialect of Hebrew, a cobber is a friend, comrade or good companion. In old Australian slang, a cobber is a good buddy, a pal (‘ga day, cobber!) And in Britain a cobber is someone to take a liking to.
In Moorhead, the origin of the term was more likely intended as a term of ridicule, dating back to the founding of the college in 1891.
Another Moorhead college, Hope Academy, founded by Swedish immigrants, was Concordia’s first rival. While their school was located in the city proper, Concordia was “out in the country,” surrounded by farmland. So the urbanite Hope students derisively called the predominately Norwegian farm boys from Concordia “corncobs.”
Before Hope Academy closed in 1896 due to lack of funds, some of its students seemed to look with envy upon the success that Concordia enjoyed from its start.
After the boys' dormitory had been erected at Concordia, literary entertainments were held in the basement that then was called the Commercial Hall. These programs were well attended by people from both Fargo and Moorhead. As Hope, in Moorhead city proper, failed to duplicate this patronage by the public, a feeling of jealousy developed.
For this reason some of the boys from downtown came to disturb the programs at Concordia. To them must go the credit of composing the following lines that they took great delight in yelling, loud and repeatedly:
Hva' ska' Ni Ha?
Lutefisk and lefse --
Yah! Yah! Yah!"
The corncobs nickname stuck around for some 30 years until the name Cobbers gradually evolved. With time, what originated as a slur was embraced so today the Cobber nickname is one students, athletes and alumni carry proudly.
Before the name Cobber stuck, however, Concordia athletic teams tried out many names. Early teams were called Lutefiskers, Corncobbers, Corncobs, Concordians, Lutherans and Vikings.
In the 1920s, the Concordia student newspaper lamented the fact that the college did not have a satisfactory name for its athletic teams. The article stated that a name should be short, easy to use in songs and yells and have some connection to the college. The name "Viking" was suggested but it failed to catch on with students.
About this same time, Fargo sportswriters took to calling Concordia's teams “Cobbers,” which made for snappy headlines. In 1928 the campus newspaper began referring to Cobbers in its sports reporting, and in 1932 the name of the yearbook was changed from Scout to Cobber, and with that, the name became permanent.
Today, Concordia students continue to have fun with their nickname. “Fear the Ear” t-shirts featuring a snarling corncob are best sellers in the Cobber Bookstore.
“Kernel” is the name of the mascot frequently seen at sporting events. “Zea Mays,” taken from the scientific name for corn, is the name of the dance team, a popular lunchroom and student lounge in the Knutson Campus Center is named “The Maize,” and the “Korn Krib” is a shop in the Campus Center that sells t-shirts and snacks.
Each summer, thousands of Concordia alumni gather across the United States for annual Corn Feed picnics, where they eat roasted ears of corn and reminiscence about their golden days on campus.
Concordia Athletic Colors
Cobber athletic teams wear uniforms trimmed in maroon and gold colors.
Concordia Athletic Mascot
Kernel, is the official mascot of Concordia College Cobber athletic teams.
Kernel’s professionally designed outfit features a half smiling, half snarling yellow or golden ear of corn, wearing a maroon uniform top with the official Chicago “C” symbol on its chest, and green leggings meant to evoke corn stalks.
Kernel, chosen from student volunteers, is usually a happy mascot, waving to the crowd while celebrating touchdowns, goals and Cobber victories. Kernel also makes several community appearances each year.
Use of Cobber “C” and The Kernel
The official athletic mark for Concordia College Athletics is the Cobber “C.” The letterform was adopted from the Chicago “C.”
The Cobber “C” is reserved for athletics at Concordia. It is used to identify any and all communications, uniforms and other marketing communications elements that relate to any and all of the intercollegiate and intramural athletic programs of Concordia College.
The alumni office also uses the Cobber “C” in specific instances.
“The Cobbers” (or simply “Cobbers” or “Cobber”) is the official name used to designate all Concordia College athletic teams, athletes and alumni.
“Kernel Cobb,” a.k.a. “The Kernel,” is the official mascot of the Cobbers.
The Department of Communications and Marketing at Concordia College must approve all uses of the “Kernel” and Chicago “C” images.