Arizona and Colorado will square off for the eleventh time in three seasons tonight. Ben Burrows knows Colorado basketball the way you know your seventh grade crush’s class schedule: he’s on their every move. This is may be our fifth iteration of a Rumblin Buff-PacHoops Q&A and it’s the first time that we find ourselves with a Colorado team that’s really struggling. For their entire Pac-12 lives, CU has been pretty damn good. This year it’s been an unfortunate not so much. Let’s ask Ben – the genius behind The Rumblings of a Deranged Buffalo – about it:
- My Massive Basketball Preview 2014-15: Keeping it Real – If you’re not familiar with @rumblinbuffalo, familiarize. Ben is a friend and a helluva sports guy. He’s a Buffalo and rambles on his team from time to time and when he does it’s insightful, bright and funny. You’ll know that when you read his Massive preview. That’s some in depth CU coverage. You might even say Ben’s keeping it real.
- Never Forget What Matters Most – This is rife with everything you might no like about Dick Vitale. After all, it’s written by him – Americans, Dick, are still being held hostage in the Middle East. But the fact of the matter is the man is a wonderful ambassador. His views are uniquely his own and I can’t begrudge a man with a platform to call it like he seems ’em. He’s an emotional guy. I’m about to post an emotional piece. And ultimately I think Dickie V gets it. Whatever it is. We jive. We don’t agree, but I appreciate the man. And he’s right: Never forget what matters most.
- #Pac12AfterDark is amazing theater – You’re damn right. And this is just a football article. We’re about to have Full Court Friday in which the Pac-12 Networks will broadcast something like all of the games, on all of the networks, in a none of the time. Hoops overwhelm (in reality it’s 10 games in 6 hours, nice!). I’m going to live tweet it! Anyhow, fresh off an east coast trip, I fully understand how late these games run on that side of America. But if any of you right coasters are reading, it’s worth the red eye.
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, 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
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.
#6 The Tree vs. #11 Butch
- #11 Butch (53%, 119 Votes)
- #6 The Tree (47%, 107 Votes)
Total Voters: 226
Spencer and I are going to Boulder. It’s our second annual appearance there and we will be breaking bread and beverage with Ben Burrows and Jason G upon arrival. How fun is that? So fun that we had them on WANE to discuss. These two are Colorado connoisseurs and flex that Buff muscle at Rumblin Buff and All Buffs. I even flex my own Buff for the latter. But enough physiology puns and full apologies for the echoes.
0:55: A few too many mentions of cream rising
2:10: Let’s get the Arizona @ ASU loss out of the way
5:00: Don’t be fooled, both games in Boulder weekend are sexy
6:00: Bigger game this weekend for Colorado, ASU or UA?
8:04 Anyone here a regular Percy Allen of the Seattle Times reader? No? Ok, well…..
8:45: A debate of who should have the #1 Power Ranking spot.
10:00: philosophical debate of what a “power ranking” is. Conclusion: Tinder.
13:20: Big-X backing up his big talk
16:30: We talk post-Dinwiddie Colorado basketball
24:20: Podcast remote location Power Rankings
26:15: Spencer makes an unintentional back handed complement. Apologies to all those offended.
27:30: Anyone got a ticket for Saturday
27:40: Don’t let the Coors product line fool you, Colorado is NOT the “Keystone State”. Recreation ensues in Colo.