Elite 8 Mascott Showdown!!!!
With the elite eight all wrapped up (all four games were incredible) and the final four set the real final 8 showdown has begun. My personal ranking of the eight mascots left in the tourney! A list that no one asked for but I promise my final four list will have actual basketball content.
So without further adu here is the the ranking from 8 to 1 of the mascots representing the elite eight teams.
The live animal /alternate mascots are excluded
It’s a mascot list so I would hope no one takes this too seriously, although I have strong takes on the matter.
8. Purdue Pete (Purdue)
The fuck is this? A big headed super strong jaw working man I guess? Purdue Pete is not even the schools official mascot its a train (a boiler maker special) that just sits parked out front of their campus, great….
Purdue Pete was “designed” in 1940 as a cartoon character for the school and came to life as a real mascot in 1956. The original incarnation was a terrifying paper mache headed Pete, looking like something out of Puppet Master. A creepy big headed every man mascot in a hard hat, with zero charisma, that’s why you are dead last on the list Purdue Pete.
7. Cavman (Virginia)
Cavman really? He’s a swashbuckling man that represents the Virginia Cavaliers, I get it but Cavman, your a credible institution of education University of Virginia, you could of done much better. So who’s this “Cavman” and why do I think he sucks? First off if you read my top 10 best/worst mascots you would know I am not a huge fan of mascots that are cartoon people; their emotionless face is a bit scary and they are more often than not basic and boring looking. Cavman is both with his stupid sword fighting hat and cape - he looks like the Burger King mascot dressed up like Price Charming from the Shrek movies. Oh and that David Brent (U.K Office) goatee, no thanks. The Cavman places ahead of Purdue Pete because at least the Cavmans'a look ties in to the Cavalier moniker and is far less frightining to look at.
6. Raider Red (Texas Tech)
The little brother that nobody likes because big bro/sis (and primary mascot) the Masked Rider comes charging in on a fucking horse with a pistol like a complete bad ass! Poor Raider Red your a secondary mascot, I don’t know where that puts you on the schools sports totem poll but I’m sure its lower rung. Since my rule is no live animals - I just don’t feel great about them being trotted out in front of thousands of people and the fact that this list is in spirit with the basketball teams, so I doubt they bring a horse to an indoor basketball arena. The Red Raider is essentially a Yosemite Sam rip off with very odd cartoon eyes, the less we talk about him the better.
5. The Blue Devil (Duke)
He’s a super hero that used to look like the Noid but now is less kid friendly and has been hitting the gym and banging the roids. Why would a private university founded by Methodist and Quakers have a devil like creature be their hype man and have it’s sports teams nickname be the blue devils? Well according to my research (the first paragraph in a wikipedia article) the name comes from a French alpine infantry during WW1 - okay cool I guess that clears things up. The Blue Devil mascot can move far better than the other mascots on this list because he/or she is essentially wearing a track suit that has Hanz & Franz fake muscles wearing a jersey and the head peace that is way less top heavy than most. Kind of boring but not offensive, plus this mascot seems to be quite good at crowd interaction, getting the fans going.
4. Aubie (Auburn)
More Universal Cheerleaders Association Mascot National Championship’s than any other mascot in the collegiate game, a 2006 Mascot hall of fame inductee, Aubie the tiger is a highly decorated mascot with a long standing relationship to Auburn sports. This tiger does all the right mascot things; kid friendly, goofs around on various vehicles, dancing and other ra ra things. I just honestly don’t like his face - it looks sad with those puffy cheeks. I’m sure Aubie isn’t sad as The Auburn Tigers are in the final four after racking up threes and playing over all entertaining basketball. It’s also better than LSU having a legit tiger at games scared and confused on loan from various less than credible “zoo’s”. Probably should be number one on merit alone but I don’t like your face Aubie.
3. Sparty (Michigan State)
Sparty The Spartan leading the charge for the Michigan State Spartans - what a ridiculous sentence to type out! While I don’t love the human cartoon mascot’s I do like that they go whole hog with the look. Sparty has a muscle bound body that any top level 80’s WWF star would be jealous of, a real American hero jawline, a huge HGH Barry Bonds head and is decked out in cool Spartan battle gear. Yes the emotionless face sucks and the name is on the nose dumbut not in a Steely Mcbeam way. Sparty is the opposite to a Purdue Pete, instead of turning a doll into real life with creepy results Michigan State made a real life G.I Joe or Super hero.
2. Spike the Bulldog (Gonzaga)
I am a dog lover and might be biased in this ranking but there is a lot I like about this mascot look. The name Spike is simple but perfectly acceptable - a traditional dog name, no need to always have a pun. A grey Bulldog costume with a normal bulldog face and the classic spiked collar, it’s not weird or creepy and doesn’t try to be super cool Poochy the dog or tough and menacing. I also like the fact that Gonzaga used to have a real bulldog as a mascot and did away with that nonsense in the early 1980’s. Gonzaga played a good game against Texas Tech but came up short and now instead of plucky underdogs have turned into (I will steal a line from Tony Kornheiser) chocking dogs. Oh and something something John Stockton.
1. Scratch (Kentucky)
What can I say, if you read my blog post ranking the uniforms of all 64 teams involved in this years torney you would know I’m a sucker for all things Wildcat. Much like Spike the Bulldog, Kentucky doesn’t try to break the mold, going with a straight up wildcat look. Cute but with those menacing eyes and always rocking a sharp Kentucky uniform - I’m also a fan of the no show choice for animal mascots they usually look like clown shoes or gives me a Barney the Dinosaur feel to it. The school also has another “mascot” in Blue a Lynx, who doesn’t attend games but lives his life at Salato Wildlife Center where UK fans can go visit him. There also is The Wildcat a more kid friendly sidekick that’s a bit scrappy do and can fuck right off. You may of bowed out to Auburn in O.T in a barn burner but your main mascot is number one in my books, hope that gives you some solace U.K fans.
Up next Four for Four, top Four players all time for each respective final four teams -still work shopping that title…. Thanks for reading, cheers.