Butch T. Cougar has won the Pac-12 Mascots Death Match. Congratulations to the affable, albeit deadly feline of the Pacific Northwest. And, if you’re asking me, no matter his seeding (#11), he deserved this honor.
In a battle that saw anthropomorphism tossed around like names in a coaching hunt, Butch eliminated a Tree, Devil, Bruin, and a Buffalo. A live Buffalo. He received 2802 votes, was represented by two different writers (Michael Preston of CougCenter and moi), and is now the last anthropomorph standing in the fiercest mascot death match the world has ever known.
So congratulations Butch T. Cougar! What are you going to do next? He’s going to own the PacHoops facebook cover image for the foreseeable future:
We shall call it Butch and Ernie.
Thanks to every writer who contributed to the Death Match. They were witty, brilliant, swift, and terrific. This is them:
If I had a dollar for every time this week that I heard “I pick my bracket based on how the mascots would fight each other” then I would’ve hosted my own $8 bracket challenge. I CREATED THAT PREMISE FOR YOU RIGHT HERE! Granted, I would probably be beating them in any bracket challenge as it were. I’m winning.
And so too are Ralphie and Butch.
Which is a fascinating championship. Here we have what seemingly amounts to the quintessential anthropomorph – an adorable and hugable Cougar who gloriously plays up that lovable side to the extent that he has ‘hey girl‘ photos and a grossly formal Wikipedia page. Meanwhile, Ralphie is celebrated for her definitive realism, a literal charging buffalo onto the field of battle. For all of Butch’s sweetness, Ralphie matches it in raw American.
Here we are at the championship, two contrasting styles who’ve arrived through voluminous support, charm, and probably some Francis Underwood. Ralphie (not Chip) has received 1074 votes. Butch has received 1084. This is the championship we need and deserve.
#5 Ralphie (not chip) vs. #11 Butch
Round 1 (255 votes): 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. Round 2 (199 votes): 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. Semifinals (620 votes)
Ralphie from Ben Burrows of Rumblin’ Buff
Thankfully, someone called the cops on Oski, and he’s off to enjoy the the fruits of our judicial system, saving us all another uncomfortable second under his perverted gaze. Ralphie, as she is wont to do, just keeps thundering forward, onto the semifinals and a date with Wilbur the Wildcat. The first thing I see when I look at Wilbur is his stupid hat. (Seriously, a hat?) What does that signify to me? Domestication. This Wildcat is ‘wild’ no longer. He has given up his natural advantages for the comfort of human society. What a loser. Ralphie, on the other hand, remains a buffalo, yearning to stampede and conquer the plains. Her handlers? A mere annoyance; she only tolerates their presence out of pity. Given enough reason, she’s off to the races, God knows where to. Meanwhile, there’s Wilbur, on the couch with his hat, watching the television. Domestic and boring. What. A. Loser. Give me the buffalo and freedom. Round 1 (119 votes):
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. Round 2 (445 votes): Butchfrom 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! Semifinals (520 votes) Butch from Yours Truly
Look at me. It’s been noted that I rub elbows with Gosling and could wear a suit like Clooney. But instead I run with Pirates. Like that brand of being that does as they wish and leaves no survivors. Have you ever seen Pirates of the Caribbean? Only Brad Pitt (Troy) and Johnny Depp have flipped the script from damsel trying to kill him to…well you know where this is going. Look, the “T” is an abbreviated definite article (the). Butch abbreviates the simplest of words because he doesn’t need you worrying your pretty little heads with too much. When Butch wears ‘sex panther’ it works 100% of the time. He is, Butch T. Cougar.
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!