Friday, March 18, 2011

Red Wine Friday: The Method to My Madness

There is a lot of random to talk about today, but I am afraid I must focus on the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. If this is not your flute o' bubbles, simply exit quietly out the back and return tomorrow. I am not at all offended. If, however, you are about to lose your freaking mind over The Big Dance, have I got a little something for you!

Isn't it beautiful? It's my NCAA 2011 Mascot Bracket, brought to us by Amanda @ It's Blogworthy (well, and, of course). Until I discovered the goodness that is Amanda, I had never even heard of a mascot bracket and now I can't imagine a March Madness passing without me completing one. Since I'm really only following one team in the tournament and couldn't care less how anyone else performs (unless they bring my one team down...C-A-T-S, Cats, Cats, Cats!), a mascot bracket is a much better place for me to focus my energy and creativity. And to learn what the mascots are for each team. There was a lot of work that went into the above bracket. Lots of Wikipedia'ing and note-taking. And I'm still not entirely sure what Otto the Orange is. A little help, Hutch?

So, here are a few general rules that I followed when filling out my mascot bracket and a few observations from it, as well (please, no more bulldogs, wildcats, Native Americans, or mascots that I have to look up in a dictionary).

  • I just finished watching the American Experience/Frontline 5-part series, We Shall Remain, which chronicles the lives and struggles of the Native American tribes, from the very first Thanksgiving, all the way to the occupation of Wounded Knee in the 70's. Even though I am like 1/16 Cherokee, I still feel bad that I'm mostly of European descent and this is how we treated the people who were here first. So, when I had to choose between a Native American mascot (an Aztec, a chief, a Seminole, etc) and anything else, I chose the Indian every single time. Oh, except against a gator and a cougar, because they are both very fast. 
  • If the mascot smiles, it's out in the first round.
  • Dogs (especially of the Boston Terrier variety), peacocks, kangaroos, and spiders also lose in the first round (really, Richmond? A spider? Y'all need to have a meeting). 
  • Typically, a man with any sort of firearm will win out over an animal. 
  • It's very difficult to choose between various species of cats...lions, tigers, bearcats, wildcats, wolverines...and since I don't remember a lot of my biology from back in the day, I just went by which mascot looked the scariest. Although my wildcats will always win. Except against a cougar because they're fast. And it's a pipe dream to think we will ever make it past the Elite Eight. Dream on, Big Blue Nation.
Now a couple of observations...
  • I really need someone to tell me what a bruin is...also a buckeye, a gaucho, and a boilermaker.
  • It's very hard to choose between a Rebel and an Indian Chief. Of course, ultimately, I went with the Indian Chief. 
  • It's really too bad that UAB didn't make it into the tournament this year because a green dragon could make it all the way to the Final Four. I would put a dragon up against an Indian Chief any day. 
  • I chose the University of Washington Cougars to win the entire tournament because it goes against every fiber of my being to choose the University of Florida Gators. Go COUGARS! 
  • Finally, I really love it when a school names their mascot. For example, Bucknell has Bucky the Bison and University of Missouri has Truman the Tiger, and Indiana State has Sycamore Sam. It prompted me to look up U.K.'s mascot name because it occurred to me that I didn't know it (which is embarrassing, considering I know all the words to the fight song...On, On, U of K...). As it turns out, our mascot's name is....wait for it....Wildcat. Apparently, we need to have a meeting, too. Although they did create a more child-friendly version named Scratch. And there is a live bobcat at the Salato Wildlife Education Center named Blue. Blue does not attend games, though because, according to Wikipedia, "bobcats are very shy by nature and do not react well with large crowds." Also, our wildcat logo underwent a little facial reconstruction several years ago because somebody mentioned that his tongue looked like a...rhymes with "venus" (so that I don't get barraged with dirty spam comments). I wore that venus-tongued wildcat shirt around everywhere when I was a kid and it hurts my heart to think someone took that leap of the imagination, but now the tongue is most assuredly a tongue. 
I hope everyone is enjoying some sun and warmer temps on this Red Wine Friday...and maybe even a little NCAA basketball. is streaming all games. I watched UK play (albeit, badly) while I stood in the line at the post office yesterday. Technology is amazing and beautiful.

Cheers and GO BIG BLUE!


  1. I can actually answer your question about a bruin because it was my high school mascot. It is my belief that a bruin is just a big bear.

  2. OMG so many things.

    First, "y'all need to have a meeting" made me literally laugh out loud in my cubicle. No fake "LOL" for me. No, a real true belly laugh. Great. Now people know I'm reading blogs.

    Secondly, we do our mascot as "who could beat the other in a fight". We automatically get rid of the buckeye (because it's a poison nut and therefore could kill anyone), any dragon (because they could singe anyone) and any devil or evil creature (because if you get down to it, a devil could just work his hocus pocus and win a fight, am I right or am I right?)

    People mascots will never beat an animal mascot even though all, say, an Indian Chief would need is an arrow to put away a cougar.

    And finally, cats will almost always win because 1) we like cats 2) they are fast and powerful. If we can't decide between two cats, we decide which looks most fierce, then which is biggest and if all else fails, which colors we like best.

  3. Buckeye's are actually like nuts [they grow on trees] So basically the OSU Buckeye is a big nut w/ a body. Hot right? Buckeye's are also delicious treats of peanut butter like fudge dipped in chocolate - heaven! So they sort of win out in that respect.

    I really love this idea - it seems way more fun to battle with mascots vs. trying to figure out all the basketball teams... at least for me. In the end I'd just want to pick my Tar Heels over and over again.. I still don't get why though if they are called Tar Heels why we have Rameses the Ram then I just googled it to find out and turns out in 1922 there was a player w/ the nickname "battering ram" so they decided since NCState had the Wolf that UNC needed a mascot, a live Ram. [BOOOO WOLFPACK]

    I love that Alabama has the Elephant, named Al, get it AL? They really need to update his costume though - that is one limp trunk he's sporting and I hate it. That being said between Alabama and Auburn I don't know who has more nicknames/battle cries. Alabama: Crimson Tide and an Elephant... Auburn: War Eagle and a Tiger, Aubbie? too much Alabama peeps tooo much!

  4. Your first two comments were from Amandas. Score two for the Amanda team *up top other amanda!*

  5. Want to know what's a lame mascot? A Violet. Yup...a guy in a skin tight green leotard with a big flower around his head. Know what's even more lame? Changing that mascot to a bobcat to "symbolize the new computer catalogue system" at the library. NYU is all awesome like that.

    Anyway...I really thought about doing one of these brackets and I never got around to it. I was too busy doing research and reading articles and checking the experts picks. After all...I was putting a lot of money on this. Turns out, I should have saved all that time and gone with a mascot bracket. Either that, or I could have flushed my $150 down the toilet.

    I love your selection rules. They are brilliant. Amanda's too.

    Oh...and a boilermakers are geeky engineers.

  6. A bruin is a bear, a buckeye is a bush, gauchos are really wide-legged short pants, and a boilermaker whiskey with a beer chaser.
    I'm sure you can guess which I would choose...
    Let's go gauchos!

  7. So, you're telling me that I signed on for my March Loyalty Team to one that has a SHY mascot - afraid of people? Gimme a break, Ally!

    Well, of course my college has dropped its Indians (NCAA objected) for a Griffin - lame!

    You've got bruin, buckeye and boilermaker now, so I'll add gaucho - a cowboy in Argentina. You should remember, tho, that a boilermaker is also a beer with a shot of bourbon dropped into it and drunk "down". That's a good thing for Friday.

    ps: The Spiders won - altho beating the Commodores? - also lame. Go, 'Cats!


    I am from Missouri and THE TIGERS are the best!

    that is all

  9. Hah! The mascot system is brilliant, no matter what rules you make up for it!

  10. That was absolutely one of my most favorite posts from you ever. Thanks for the info and the laughs. Love you!

  11. I am soooooo not a March Madness girl. That is all.

  12. Here's Angry Otto, he's much scarier.

    But, he's actually just an orange.

    Gauchos are Mexican Cowboys or something. The original mascot was an Indian, but that's apparently offensive (Orangemen, Native American's I guess I see that). So they went to the complete extreme I guess.

  13. Your man with a gun (Tennessee Volunteer) got clobbered today. So much for loaded weapons! Bruce Pearl is probably out of a job at this moment, or should be. My bracket has been blown away, although I picked Louisville, how cool for Morehead State to beat up on the kids from the big city to the northwest. Tomorrow the CATs against WV at 12:15 - revenge time for what they did to us last year. Go CATS, CATS, CATS!!

  14. I love your mascot logic. =)

  15. This Monkey is not into the march madness - but thanks to laptops and headphones, I can sit beside my husband during the mayhem.

    My father, however, is a huge UCONN WOMENS basketball fan. I mention this in my latest post... Talk To God. NOT to promote on your blog, but we have basketball in common.

    I just found you.... so I have much to read and learn. oh, and your mascot logic made me smile!

  16. I gotz no clue aboutz the brackets. They gives me headaches. But go Indian mascots! Unless it's a gator or a cougar.


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