Mar 17

March Mascot Madness

Posted By:Jason Cooper - Charleston, SC  Tags:

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Everyone got their bracket ready? I do. In fact, I have five of them: my gut picks, favorites, upsets, a “what if WVU won” bracket, and a mascot bracket. The latter one is kind of interesting because it’s just based on whether or not a team’s mascot would win in a fight. And you would think that it would be easy to fill out a bracket like that, but I had some difficulty. I’ll go through some of the match-ups region by region and show you what I mean. 

MIDWEST:

The first game listed in the Midwest region is Kansas vs Lehigh.  No brainer, right? Wrong. It’s the Jayhawks vs the Hawks. They’re both birdshawks to be exact. But is a jayhawk any different than a regular hawk? I say no, plus it’s Kansas, so the Jayhawks win that feathery battle. 

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs the Northern Iowa Panthers: The Rebel mascot has a gun and can shoot a panther. No contest. MSU Spartans vs New Mexico St. Aggies: No contest there, either. The Spartans were skilled warriors. Did you see 300?  And what the hell is an Aggie, anyway? Maryland Terrapins vs Houston Cougars – a cougar against a turtle? The turtle can only hide in its shell for so long before it has to poke its head out far enough for the cougar to take off.

Volunteers vs Aztecs: Similar situation here. Although the Volunteers might have guns, the Aztecs were vicious warriors with bows and arrows. Plus, they practiced human sacrifices and ripped the beating heart out of the victim’s chest. I would be scared of San Diego State if I were Tennessee.  Viva los Aztecs!

For the rest of the first round, you have to go with Ohio over Georgetown because a bobcat can kill a bulldog. (Note – although Georgetown is officially named the Hoyas, their tangible mascot is a bulldog, and I have no idea what the hell a Hoya is) OSU Cowboys and UCSB Gauchos win because they both have guns, and a buckeye has no chance of winning anything because it’s a food. 

In the second round, it’s the Rebels killing the Jayhawks because birds aren’t bulletproof; Spartans over the Cougars, Aztecs over Bobcats; and the Cowboys over Gauchos only because the Gauchos take siestas and the Cowboys would pull a sneak attack while they slept. Midwest Semis would be Rebels vs Spartans. Again, even though the Rebels might have advanced weapons (ie, guns), I’m going with the Spartans because…well, just watch 300. Then for Aztecs vs Cowboys, I go with the warriors and the whole ripping of the heart out of the chest thing. Which leaves a classic, epic, war battle pitting the Spartans vs the Aztecs, and I’m picking the Spartans. Again, watch 300. 

WEST:

Syracuse Orange vs the Vermont Catamounts. This one is a weird because it’s a fruit against a catamount, which I think is some sort of bobcat. So, it has claws and an orange…well, it’s a fruit.  Not much defense there. I guess it could squirt juice in the kitty’s eye rendering it temporarily incapacitated, but the pussycat gets his vitamin C and wins this round. However, had this match-up been before Syracuse went all PC and changed their name from the Orangemen to the Orange, then the American Indians skin the cats and eventually use the hide to cover their tee pee. Brutal. 

FSU Seminoles vs Gonzaga Bulldogs – the dogs get scalped; Butler Bulldogs vs UTEP Miners – miners have picks and axes; Vandy Commodores vs Murray State Racers – the commodores take this land/sea battle because they have a ship and could theoretically fire on a car; Xavier Musketeers vs Minnesota Golden Gophers – Xavier wins with one shot no matter what color rodents they are; Pitt Panthers vs Oakland Grizzlies – last time I checked, a grizzly bear was much bigger than a panther; BYU Cougars vs Florida Gators – another interesting fight because I’m not sure a cougar could do anything to a gator, but a gator could kill a cougar if it could catch one - advantage Gators;  and finally, KSU Wildcats vs the Mean Green of North Texas – since I have no idea how a color could fight, I’ll go with the cats.

Second round opponents would include Catamounts vs Seminoles – Seminoles put kitty to sleep; Miners vs Commodores – I’m still going with the assumption that the commodore is commanding a fleet of ships…or at least one; therefore, the firepower is greater than sharp iron weapons (ie, axes); Musketeers vs Grizzlies – ever see Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indy finds himself squaring off against some Arabian swordsman? Same thing/result here…one shot is all Xavier needs; Gators vs Wildcats – as long as the gator can catch the wildcat, then it’s all over. 

That leaves the Seminoles vs Commodores and the Musketeers vs Wildcats. The latter one is easy.  Musketeers can get a good shot off in the side of the Wildcats and kitty loses one of its nine lives.  The first match-up is a little tougher, but for historical purposes, I’m assuming this would be a battle of the Seminole Nation against a navy fleet of some sort. Although I’m tempted to go with the Commodores and the canon power from offshore, I think the Seminole Nation would use their savage fighting techniques to find a way to board the ships and scalp the commodore who was in command. 

Final pair in the West: Seminoles vs Musketeers (Xavier). Simple. Cowboys and Indians. And when I played cowboys and Indians as a kid, the cowboys always won. Plus, the Seminoles would probably be tired from fighting an entire armada of ships, don’t you think? Xavier advances.

EAST:

Kentucky loses in the first round because wildcats can’t kill a pirate (East Tennessee State Buccaneers). Texas vs Wake Forest poses an interesting match-up because it hasn’t been determined what a Demon Deacon is capable of. A deacon depicts a person of the church, but in this case, he’s a demon. So, there’s a lot of inner, good vs evil turmoil going on there to begin withSo, while Wake Forest is trying to come to grips with that, the bull gorges him in the side and it’s all over but the funeral.

Temple Owls vs Cornell Big Red: So, you might be asking yourself, Cornell has cinnamon chewing gum for a mascot? No, I think it’s just an exaggeration of their color.Their on-court mascot is actually a ram. So, it might take a really long time for this fight to be over with, but if there was eventual physical contact, a ram would head-butt the living daylights out of an owl. 

Wisconsin Badgers vs Wofford Terriers: I would actually pay money to see this! Maybe Mike Vick can work something out in the off-season, huh? A badger vs a terrier? Both are ferocious, teeth-gnarling, Manny Pacquiao-like creatures. But I think since the badger is a wild animal and the terrier is more domestic, the Badgers claw out the victory here.

Marquette Golden Eagles vs Washington Huskies – eagles can attack from above and could possibly swoop down and carry the dog away…or at least one of it’s puppies; New Mexico State Lobos vs Montana Grizzlies – even though New Mexico State has a mean looking lobo mascot, it’s still not bigger than a grizzly bear; West Virginia Mountaineers vs Morgan State Golden Bears – mountaineers were people who lived off the land and were excellent marksmen, so again, doesn’t matter what color the creature is, if a mountaineer gets off a good shot before the bear attacks, it’s a done deal.

I saved the best for last in this region: Clemson Tigers vs Missouri Tigers. A dilemma, indeed. Tigers vs Tigers.  To settle this one, I had to go to the representation of each school’s mascot. One is orange with black stripes, while the other is yellow with black stripes. Now, I’ve been to a few zoos and even had the Nature of Omaha’s Wildlife Animal Collection Cards back in the day, and I’ve never seen a yellow and black tiger.  So, we could assume that this is a fictitious animal. On the other hand, it’s a mean looking tiger, and Clemson’s common representation of their mascot is a paw. So, given all that, I give the nod to Missouri, and also because Clemson hasn’t won a first-round game in many, many years.

That leaves for the second round, Wildcats vs Longhorns – the bull wins; Rams (Cornell) vs Badgers – small creature with claws vs large one with horns…I’ll take the horns and the head-butt; Golden Eagles (Marquette) vs New Mexico (Lobos) – similar situation to Marquette playing the Huskies in which the eagle and its sharp talons could carry off the wolf/lobo or whatever; Tigers (Missouri) vs Mountaineers – again, get off a good shot before it attacks and the tiger (orange, yellow, or otherwise) drops dead.

For the Regional Semis, we’ve got the Longhorns vs the Rams (Cornell) and the Golden Eagles vs the Mountaineers.  I’m going with the potential for gorging the ram with the end of the sharp horn and then, he’s got to be a good shot, but I think the Mountaineer picks the eagle out of the sky.  Leaving us the Mountaineers vs Longhorns…and this has nothing to do with me being a WVU grad, but that’s an easy choice. Mountaineers.

SOUTH:

Blue Devils vs …well, who cares. Duke wins; California Bears vs Louisville Cardinals – a tasty snack for the bear.

The next one on the list is another toss up in the world of mascots: Texas A&M vs Utah State.  Aggies vs Aggies…of which I have no idea what an Aggie would do or be other than one who plants and/or harvests things. Hardly a threat to each other. However, in going past the green, the on-court mascots for the two teams are a cowboy (Texas A&M) and a bull (Utah St). Cowboys can ride bulls, but they can also get thrown off and break their neck. Yet, I’m assuming that the cowboy is properly outfitted with the necessary accoutrements and has a gun to shoot the bull dead whenever he damn well wants to. 

Moving on to the Purdue Boilermakers vs Sienna Saints – although Purdue’s mascot is a rather hefty, square-headed fellow who carries a sledgehammer, I ultimately feel that this is a classic battle of good and evil. A boilermaker is also a drink and can turn someone into a mean, son-of-a-you-know-what if they’ve had enough of them. So, the Saints win this holier-than-thou clash, even though I’m sure they’ve dipped into the communion wine a time or two before.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Old Dominion Monarchs. First of all, the term “fighting Irish” is repetitive and unnecessary. Second of all, ODU’s on-court mascot is a lion. Even if the leprechaun is small, hairy, and hard to find, the lion rips its head off as long as it can find the little bugger. 

Baylor Bears vs Sam Houston State Bearkats – again, the grizzly vs the cat, but Sam Houston State is automatically disqualified because they spell “bearcats” with a “k.”  Richmond Spiders vs St. Mary’s Gaels – a Gael, so I’ve learned, is short for Gaelic. In other words, a person from the Irish/Scottish Middle Ages…and they were some mean dudes, back in the day.  Still are.  Anyway, easy victory as they squash the Spiders with their big boots! And finally, Villanova Wildcats vs the Robert Morris Colonials – person with a gun against a cat of nature. Bang. Thud. One less varmint to deal with.

Second round match-ups would include the Blue Devils vs Bears (Cal) – Devils win because he’s got a pitchfork and could probably cast the bear into hell if he wanted to; Texas A&M Aggies (Cowboys) vs Sienna Saints – again, the Saints win because “he who is without sin cast the first stone” which the Cowboys couldn’t do because they’re all a bunch of sinners, and the Saints couldso one big rock to the head would do the trick; ODU Monarchs vs Baylor Bears – lions and bears, oh my!! Have to stay with the rules of nature here – the lion is the king of the jungle and although bears don’t live in the jungle, if they did, they would have to kneel unto the lion; St. Mary’s Gaels vs the Colonials of Robert Morris – assuming that the Gaels were more primitive as far as weaponry goes, I’ll take the Colonials for that reason and because they’re American.

Regional semis in the South would then pit the Blue Devils against the Saints (Sienna) and I’m going with the Blue Devils here because…well, I’m tired of good winning over evil all the time. My favorite Star Wars movie was Empire Strikes Back, so in sticking with that theme, Duke wins; ODU Monarchs vs the Robert Morris Colonials – I’d be “lion” if I didn’t say that the Colonials would win (did you see what I did there?  Hmmm??). Bad pun, but I give the flag to the Colonials!

The regional finals would be the Blue Devils vs the Robert Morris Colonials and we all know you can’t shoot a devil/demon (ie, Hellraiser, Omen, Exorcist, etc). The Blue Devils enter the 4th Circle of Hell.

FINAL FOUR:

MSU Spartans vs Xavier Musketeers: Tough one. One on hand, the Spartans were masters at the art of war.  They had shields, bows/arrows, swords, and all of them had ripped abs and well-groomed beards (according to 300).  But they would have to fight against soldiers with guns. Ok, antique guns, but guns, nonetheless. Problem is, the reloading factor. If they took more than a minute to reload, I think the Spartans would be all over them and hold tight the pass of Thermopylae! I guess in this case, home field advantage would also be huge. Sparty is victorious! 

WVU Mountaineers vs Duke Blue Devils: Unfortunately, we’ve already answered this. You can’t shoot a devil. And a blue devil might just scare the holy bejeesus out of the Appalachian folk and get them ‘a runnin to the high hills. All hail the Devils!

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

MSU Spartans vs Duke Blue Devils:  Even though the Spartans were great warriors, they were still a part of the Grecian culture/population at the time. And they were big into worshipping their gods and what not.  I have a feeling that if an army of Spartans saw a devil in front of them, much less a blue devil, they would run away like a bunch of scared little girls. 

 The Blue Devils win.

And there you have it. In the epic battle of good vs evil that is the NCAA Tournament, evil wins out over good, as far as mascots go. However, this might not be far from the truth because most people I know hate Duke and consider them evil incarnate.  But whether you like them or not, the Blue Devils are a formidable opponent in the world of colorful, furry costumes and large foam, fuzzy heads.



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