The Popularity of College Football—and the Very Thin Line between the Cute and the Macabre

Writing for the Lansing State Journal, Judy Putnam reports that a taxidermist named Nick Saade (well, at least it’s not “de Sade”) has attempted to capture the passionate gridiron rivalry between the Michigan State Spartans and the Michigan Wolverines in a diorama featuring 22 stuffed chipmunks wearing tiny versions of the football helmets worn by each team. The diorama, which captures the moment just before Michigan State scores the winning touchdown, will be complete when the uniforms for the four chipmunks representing the referees are completed.

Putnam reports: “Each mounted chipmunk takes five to six hours to skin, stuff (using Styrofoam figures) and sew up. Putty and wires are used in the legs to put the chipmunks into realistic passing, throwing, catching and tackling positions. . . . Saade said he doesn’t kill animals for his projects. Instead he uses road kill, trapped nuisance animals and leftover parts from hunting and fishing trophies. [Most of] the chipmunks were trapped by several friends who wanted to rid their cabins of the animals. “They are destructive. Like little Tasmanian devils,” Saade said. He put donated chipmunks in the freezer and waited until he got enough to field two teams for his football game.”

Although Saade created the diorama for his own amusement, he indicates that he would be willing to sell it for $1,500.

Chipmunks in FB Helmets 1

Chipmunks in FB Helmets 2

Putnam’s article is cleverly titled “Dead Chipmunks Bring Life to MSU-UM Rivalry.” The full text is available at:


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