Here’s the proof that math is hot these days – As if I needed to provide external support of this theory. But in all seriousness, math is huge. The numbers don’t lie and if you’re not into it, well I’ll probably still have a lot of anecdotal content for you to consume. But I’m still going to rely on the numbers. Unless it’s March.
A New Season of Typecasting for NFL Quarterbacks – Sure this focuses on quarterbacks, the most scrutinized position in sports, but I think the gist of the conversation expands far beyond and as college basketball fans I think the parallel is in the evaluation of coaches. Most recently we discussed whether Craig Robinson should keep his job. But it’s also about the legacy of such names as Bill Self (just one title!??) and/or who is elite (that word…). When is it time for a given coach to go? Shaka Smart? Bill Stevens? Johnny Dawkins? #IsItNovemberYet
I’ll be blunt: round 2 got delayed in the excitement of sports. Sometimes big fights get put on hold for other stuff. And sometimes other stuff gets put on hold for big fights. We’re back in action with some fresh perspective on the first rounders and some new names. The top seeds in the game. But first we must note, and hope, for the best for Ms. Adamson. Does she realize she dove into a DEATH MATCH?
Wilbur from Roommate Pete of That Poor Architect
Wilbur ‘Paws” Wildcat – When the kitties down south are surveying the court after a 10-0 run capped off by a Rondae ‘he-looks-so-out-of-control-he-must-be-in-control’ Hollis-Jefferson posterization, they look no further then everyone’s favorite ferocious Wildcat, Wilbur to turn up the volume. His antics are cheeky and his hijinx unrivaled, “Paws” would spurn his own mascot gf Wilma if it meant raising the McKale Center roar just one more decibel. He’ll kiss babies and pose for pictures. He’ll put a cactus up your ass if you ask him nicely. The heart of the most raucous crowd west of the Mississippi has a name. That name is Wilbur and you WILL hear him roar.
Swoop from Leah Beckmann of All of the Internet and long-time friend of the program who, like many other such friends, doesn’t pronounce pac-hoops, but rather pa-choops
The hawk. This hawk, Swoop. This is the name of the ferocious skybeast who lords over all with a fistful of knives and a piercing, fearsome shriek. It roams unrestrained; the hawk has no master, the hawk knows no cage. Imagine you’re a cat. You’re dead. Imagine you’re a tree. You’re clawed. Imagine you’re a horse? You’re pecked. Imagine you’re a beaver or a duck with a poncy little maritime fettish (Why that duck wearin a sailor outfit with no pants?). You my friend, are DEAD.
#1 Wilbur vs. #8 Swoop
#1 Wilbur (54%, 115 Votes)
#8 Swoop (46%, 99 Votes)
Total Voters: 214
#4 Oski vs. #5 Ralphie (not Chip)
Oski from Nick Kranz of California Golden Blogs
Why is Oski a badass? Confidence. Pretty much every single other mascot in the Pac-12 is the same. An anthropomorphic animal hyped up on some form of stimulant, wearing a football or basketball jersey depending on the season. They’re all the same, they’re all boring, they are all overcompensating for a lack of confidence or past failures in their youth. Oski don’t care. Oski doesn’t need to convince everybody he’s awesome by pretending he’s on the team or by waving his arms like a drug addict. He’s calm, composed, and dapper. But when push comes to shove he’ll take down a tree or throw a cake at Gary Payton’s mom. Don’t mistake a calm attitude and classy style with a fear of doing what needs to be done.
Ralphie (not Chip) from Ben Burrow of Rumblin Buff Well, I guess Ralphie thundered past poor old Traveler. My condolences to the family of the deceased, but the glue factory’s quota must be met! Now onto Oskie, which, as far as I can tell, is some kind of pervert bear. Now, I don’t know about you, but if given the choice between the noble symbol of the American West and furry bait for Chris Hansen, I’m taking the buffalo. Free choice, and all, but I think we all know the right choice here.
#4 Oski vs. #5 Ralphie (not Chip)
#5 Ralphie (not Chip) (84%, 199 Votes)
#4 Oski (16%, 37 Votes)
Total Voters: 236
#2 Joe Bruin vs. #10 Puddles
Joe Bruin from Luc of The Stoop Kids
To the Oski lovers out there eager to point out that Joe Bruin is his younger brother; of youthful, bear-cubbish disposition, let’s be real. Oski may have a few years on Joe, but by the looks of it, Oski stopped hitting the gym after graduation, has put on a few pounds, and now rocks a baggy mom-cardigan to hide his ever-expanding gut. Joe, on the
other hand, is eternally in the prime of his youth, filling out his Bruin jersey nicely
but appearing generally more kid-friendly than the open-mouth graphic bear head
of UCLA Bruin logos past. I digress. We’ve all watched Planet Earth late at night over
many cups of noodles, and you’ve seen what a bear does to salmon in a river. While
there may not be any fish mascots across the PAC-12, it’s not hard to imagine the
fate of a duck, beaver, etc. in the clutches of the Mighty Bruins. As for the Trees, we thank you for your services. And no matter the outcome of the fight, Joe gets to go
home with Josie, which makes him the real winner here.
Puddles from Yours Truly
Many of these commendations have noted the ability of the anthropomorph to woo a woman. Above notes Josie and Butch has a ‘Hey Girl’ campaign. SportsCenter even once showed Bucky the Badger lusting over Wilma (Wilbur’s girl). I’m not above that. Puddles is the appetizer to the entree, the aperitif to the amuse bouche, the foreplay to…look at this point if you don’t know that I’m talking about the Duck cheerleaders then you’re not paying attention to me and you’re not paying attention. You can go home with another anthropomorph – they have conventions for that – and that’s your prerogative. No judgement, bro. I just set my sights a little higher. Quack with me now.
#2 Joe Bruin vs. #10 Puddles
#2 Joe Bruin (58%, 143 Votes)
#10 Puddles (42%, 105 Votes)
Total Voters: 248
#3 Sparky vs. #11 Butch
Sparky from [went unclaimed so I’m just going to note the below tweet from someone who was trolling my tweets about Vegas and favorited something of mine and then I discovered this gold]
I don’t have a girlfriend. I just have a girl who would be really pissed if she heard me say that
Butch from Michael Preston of Coug Center Butch T. Cougar has advanced to the second round past some shrubbery which is somehow the mascot for a school who takes their nickname from a color. He faces off now against a solar being from the underworld of some kind and all I know about those creatures is that they go to the South looking for spirits to extract from country singers. Butch embodies everything about a mascot you should love. He’s beloved my children and their grandparents who all want a picture with what is arguably the most recognizable mascot west of the Mississippi. He combines the perfect about of ferocity and loveable-ness. He shows up in more pictures with alumni than any other mascot in the conference and there’s a reason for it: WSU is extremely proud of their mascot. Bonus info: the T. in Butch T. Cougar stands for…anyone, anyone?…”The”. So…there’s that too!
And like that, we’re four anthropomorphs and a horse lighter. Some battles were fierce and others had the feel of the ms vs. the Vegas buffet the morning after – no winners. But there were advancers to whom we owe congratulations and spa treatment. Here’s how it shook out. Round 2 shortly.
#8 Swoop 154, #9 Dubs 102
I’m often asked – because many of my talents allude to the fact that I might have them – which super power I’d choose should I be given the choice. “Flying,” I say, without hesitation, because it’s the coolest. Well Swoop can’t necessarily fly because he doesn’t have wings but in theory he can and in reality he beat up the cutesiest of pups. I mean you’re truly a cutthroat killer to take this out:
As it was described, “laser hawk eyes…ain’t nothing to play with.”
#5 Chip (Ralphie) 255, #12 Traveler 41
This became clear – and certainly as Buffalo nation adamantly corrected me – that this was the lone matchup featuring live creatures. It was the horse rendered extinct, a fate Ralphie’s ancestry avoided and beat. And you never mess with someone who doesn’t fear death. Ben lauded that the conference “come at [him] with your anthropomorphic plush toys” which will have to wait. Ralphie dismissed a horse remembered for ultimately being hollow.
#7 Puddles 118, #10 Benny 116
DOES THIS LOOK CIVIL TO YOU?
Me either. They won’t soon patch things like Rust Cohle and Marty Hart, but these two also aren’t hunting bayou psycho-pedophiles. They’re just cheering intercollegiate athletics so a little rivalry ain’t gonna hurt. But hurt it did as Benny, in narrow fashion, was laid to rest like a spaghetti monster with green ears.
#11 Butch 119, #7 Tree107
That was an incredibly appealing argument for victory. “…the Tree will roll up a fatty, smoke one of his own kind and win by attrition.” But attrition can’t beat sex appeal. Butch matches memes with Gosling and so it was. I’d argue that Butch out-attritioned the tree by caring so little about the Tree and going for right at Gosling. Furthermore, it’s rumored that Eva Mendes left Gosling for Butch. Internet speculation but if confirmed…
In the inaugural season of the world’s preeminent Pac-12 basketball blog, we saw the First Ever Pac-12 Coaches Death Match. It presented a horrifically hard fought battle that saw Sean “Whooping” Miller walk away the winner. And now we’re pitting the mascots against one another because it’s tournament time, we need to pick things, we need more anthropomorphism.
Here’s what I did. I reached out to friends of the world’s preeminent Pac-12 basketball blog to explain to us why their favorite mascot would win. They did and I’m appreciative. Read on to see how each crushed it. We’ll keep the same seeding and format as the basketball tournament in Vegas. Other than that, there are no rules. It’s a death match.
And now the writers have got the anthropomorphs’ backs. Here we go:
#8 Swoop vs. #9 Dubs
Dubs from Jack Follman of Pacific Takes The Husky mascots used to be fluffy balls of poof that were not even intimidating to a two-year old junior Dawg fan, but Dubs is a different beast. Built for the modern era, Dubs is svelte, speedy, ferocious and regularly outruns the entire Husky football team down the sidelines as the run out of the tunnel at home games on Saturdays. Most importantly though, Dubs is a Husky and huskies take part in a little something called the Iditarod which is a race that is longer than 1,000 miles in the coldest place in the entire country. Obviously Dubs hasn’t taken place in this race, but he has the blood of his hardy ancestors who have ran the race that regularly kills competitors coursing through his veins.
Swoop from Robby Jackson of Utah Scout Swoop, the mascot for the Utah Utes, is not a member of the Ute Indian tribe and as a matter of fact, he doesn’t have anything to do with the Utes. But, he is our mascot and despite how random he may be, we’ve got a soft spot in our hearts for Swoop. Most red-tailed hawks have wings because you know, they’re birds, but Swoop is blessed with enormous arms that would most definitely win many arm wrestling matches against a duck, beaver, sun-devil or a tree. To make up for his lack of wings, Swoop also has red laser beam eyes that burn the logo of the opposition during the halftime at Utah basketball games. Find me a bear, husky, wildcat, cougar, trojan or a buffalo that can withstand the heat of laser hawk eyes and I’ll find you a liar. Though he may look more like a chicken than a hawk, Swoop aint nothing to play with.
#8 Swoop vs. #9 Dubs
#8 Swoop (60%, 154 Votes)
#9 Dubs (40%, 102 Votes)
Total Voters: 256
#5 Chip vs. #12 Traveler
Chip from Ben Burrow of Rumblin Buff
I guess, ostensibly, I’m supposed to be talking about Chip, our Mickey Mouse with horns made available for the kiddies. However, if you’re going to talk University of Colorado athletics, there is only one mascot that matters – the ton of rampaging bison known as Ralphie. Often a source of confusion, let me confirm that Ralphie is, in fact, a female. It’s an important distinction, because, if we were to let a male bison loose, death would ensue; after all, a buffalo is an unstoppable goring machine when pissed off. With the lady involved, we’re only talking serious bodily harm, if you’re lucky. So, come at me with your anthropomorphic plush toys. I got a frickin’ buffalo, and you don’t.
Traveler from Jacob Freedman of Galen Central The best part about Traveler is that he’s less of a mascot, and more of an actual, real-life horse capable of inflicting havoc. There’s no costume, no student inside and if you ask me, a horse is much more powerful than the dogs and cats we see across the Pac-12. He’s also cunning; we’ve all heard the story about the Trojan Horse. Just as he stomps the ground of the Coliseum before every fourth quarter, he would stomp his way all over the other mascots, whether they be animals, trees, or a Ute.
#5 Chip vs. #12 Traveler
#5 Chip (86%, 255 Votes)
#12 Traveler (14%, 41 Votes)
Total Voters: 296
#7 Puddles vs. #10 Benny
Puddles from Matt of Addicted to Quack Ducks are ferocious fighters. They have the ability to fight both on land as well as in water. Their beaks are their main weapons but also a great defense mechanism. To understand Puddle’s manliness and ability to win a fight, first you have to realize he doesn’t wear pants. I mean seriously, you know you’re pretty proud of your manhood if you’re going to go around 24/7 without pants on. And do you really want to start a fight with someone that isn’t wearing pants? Second, there’s only been one other time that another mascot has dared to challenge Puddles. Let’s just say that didn’t end well for him.
Benny from Connor Pelton of Rush the Court
Benny is a beaver, so by definition he is one of the most badass animals in the wild. His versatility cannot be rivaled, from dam building to speed. I also have a feeling that the committee may underseed him, but similar to the NCAA Tournament, that will hurt his opponent more than anybody. Benny is a player and he’ll put up if you try and take his girl. So vote for him, because players gotta play.
#7 Puddles vs. #10 Benny
#7 Puddles (50%, 118 Votes)
#10 Benny (50%, 116 Votes)
Total Voters: 234
#6 The Tree vs. #11 Butch
The Tree from Kevin Danna of Pac-12 Networks and the NBADL
The Tree don’t concern itself with human concerns like mascot deathmatches. Ralphie, Sparky, Oski and such can be as menacing as they want- what the hell are they going to do to a tree? You think Wilbur is going to be able to claw through a 200-year-old redwood, or that Sparky’s pitchfork is going to be able to get it to topple over? Ooh, a fighting duck?! Hell, hawks live in trees. The Tree will take on all 11 other mascots at once and win by not doing a damn thing. So while all the other mascots try to kill each other with assorted sharp objects and body parts, the Tree will roll up a fatty, smoke one of his own kind and win by attrition. The only lumberjacks I see reside in the Big Sky and Southland.
Butch from Michael Preston of Coug Center He looked more badass before his costume change (made in the name of safety) but Butch T. Cougar is still all that embodies WSU. The dude rides an ATV at full blast onto the field before a football game for cripes sake. He has been known to photo bomb even the most carefully planned sorority pose picture and he isn’t shy about acting his age…which we don’t know but we assume he’s in his rambunctious teenage years. More important than any of that is how much he’s beloved by every single WSU fan from ages 3 to 103. He’s one of the best known mascot in the country for a reason: everyone, even visiting fans, want a picture with the gregarious fella with the long tail. Do you see any other Pac-12 mascot pop up on your Facebook feed as often as him? I didn’t think so.