It's Blogworthy (well, and Slate.com, 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.
- 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.