The Saint Peter’s Peacocks, the 15th seeded men’s college basketball team that made it to the NCAA Elite Eight against all odds, have gained fans all across the country captivated by their historic March Madness run. While the bandwagon for college basketball’s favorite underdogs grew, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee celebrated the team’s history-making accomplishments. On Saturday, the museum unveiled an officially licensed Saint Peter’s Peacocks bobblehead in honor of Saint Peter’s Cinderella story for the ages.
The release marks the first Saint Peter’s bobblehead and celebrates the Peacocks’ three consecutive shocking upset victories against No. 2 Kentucky, No. 7 Murray State and No. 3 Purdue. The Peacocks are the first 15 seed to advance to the Elite Eight in NCAA tournament history.
The bobblehead features the Saint Peter’s Peacock in full strut standing on a base bearing the Saint Peter’s name and logo. “We are excited to be producing the first bobblehead of the Saint Peter’s University Peacocks,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “The run by Saint Peter’s in the 2022 NCAA Tournament will be talked about for generations and like the rest of the country, we have a case of Peacock Fever!”
Saint Peter’s University is the only NCAA Division I school whose mascot is the peacock. It was chosen as the mascot in1930 by then-dean Father Robert Gannon after the school had been closed for 12 years after World War I. The peacock was a phoenix-like symbol of resurrection and eternal life. The peacock also ties the college to the settling of Jersey City, originally called Pavonia, or “Land of the Peacock.” At one point in the 1960s, live peacocks roamed the campus.
Before 2022, the Peacocks had only ever appeared in four NCAA tournaments. A private Jesuit University in Jersey City with an enrollment of slightly more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Saint Peter’s automatically qualified for the 2022 NCAA Tournament after beating Monmouth in the championship of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. In the regular season, the Peacocks lost six of their first nine games before COVID put their season on hold.
After their first upset victory, New Jersey and much of the country cheered on the Peacocks, one of the NCAA’s smallest Division I schools with a tiny budget compared to its competitors. Even non-basketball fans were paying attention and following along as head coach Shaheen Holloway set the record straight about the Peacocks.
“What they gonna say now? Anybody got something to say?” he said in a post-game interview with CBS after the Peacocks shocked Purdue with a 67-64 victory. “We can’t do this, we can’t do that, Cinderella, underdogs. Listen, I got guys that just play basketball. I got a bunch of guys that just play basketball and have fun, that’s all we do.”
Their incredible run sadly came to an end after they were defeated by the North Carolina Tar Heels (seeded No. 8) on Sunday by a score of 69-49. But Saint Peter’s is still being celebrated for its grit and ability to catch the nation’s attention with its amazing performances against some of the biggest names in college hoops. For those first three games, the Peacocks helped us believe that nothing seemed impossible. On Friday, Jersey City will hold a parade to honor the NCAA underdog heroes and past team members and Jersey City public school students will be among those in attendance.
The bobbleheads are only available for pre-order through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store for $30 each plus $8 shipping. Each bobblehead will be individually numbered. The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Milwaukee, opened to the public in 2019. The Saint Peter’s bobblehead is expected to ship in August.