Get your mascot head on, it’s time to play ball!

Is your bracket ready? Did you decide based on team color? Or the the fact that you want to go to California on vacation? Or you saw the player on that one team on TV and his hair looks nicer than yours will ever look, so you choose the other team to win?

Now that you’ve made those decisions, time to make some more…get ready people, it’s the mascot bracket!

College sports have the most amazing mascots ever. I get so excited when I go to games and get to take pictures with or close to mascots. Sort of like Salt on her honeymoon.

I do my mascot bracket as if one mascot was  fighting the other. And I’m very literal about it, too. Like the Richmond Spiders? Will totally get smashed by the St. Mary’s Gaels (and I don’t even know what a Gael is). Birds that “look tough” will beat birds who do not and insects. Small cats will beat birds, insects and some people. Big cats will beat small cats, all people and bears, but not grizzlies (because in my mind, grizzlies are much bigger and scarier than regular everyday bears). People will beat small animals like dogs, all birds and insects.

I presume people are unarmed, that’s because I want all cats (small and large) to advance. People mascots are lame. But I also presume that some people mascots are stronger than others. An unarmed UTEP Miner is going to be stronger than an unarmed Vanderbilt Commodore because I think of commodores as sort of uppity and they totally hide behind their big canons, so unarmed a miner who works all day in a dark, dingy mine swinging a pickax or whatever miners use, has big muscles and therefore could beat a commodore. Feel me? This is why, if you’re a mascot, you should pick an occupation that will give you big muscles.

This is the fuzzy logic I use to construct my mascot picks.

My final four are the Houston Cougars, Oakland Golden Grizzlies, Montana Grizzlies and Old Dominion Sassy Pawed Lions (it’s something else but that’s my name for it because he has an awesome sassy paw and crown).

The Final Four matchups were a toughy for me because I really didn’t want to decide between two grizzlies.

I wrote it in and Hubby said, “Do you want it because you want it to win, or because you think it would really win?”  And I was all, “In my heart I know the grizzly would win.” So he said, “What if the bear was walking backward and the lion jumped on his back?” And I said, “If I made that happen this round, I’m just going to have the same decision to make when the Sassy Pawed Lion plays a grizz in the next round. I’m just going to go with the grizz.”

Golden Grizz wins because it’s golden.

My sister, the wonderful Sarah from Princess and the Blog, has a different way of doing things. Here she is in her own words!

My bracket is based on a structured hierarchy:
  • Birds beat humans
  • All other animals beat birds
  • Cats beat all other animals
If two teams play each other and have the same mascot, I will go by what the actual mascot looks like, the school color or school name.  Anything that is not a human, bird, or animal gets placed depending on my mood. A bad mood will result in “A tree? That is a terrible mascot. It loses.” A good mood will result in “Look at that tree’s googly eyes! How cute! Win!” Typically these type of mascots only beat humans and birds.  I always will place rare mascots (turtles, beavers, ducks) above run-of-the-mill mascots (bulldogs, wolves, bears).
I thought the MidWest division was the most difficult this year. There was a whole section of non-animals, so I ended up picking a “worthless nut” that is a cute mascot compared to the other 3 mascots it was playing against; I had to choose between two different hawks; and there was a major upset where the extremely cute Testudo, the diamondback terrapin from Maryland beat Shasta the cougar from Houston.

Actual bracket. See how upset I was about some of these match-ups? A Spartan vs. a guy with a mustache.  Bird vs. bird. Cowboys vs. Yellowjackets vs. Gauchos vs. Buckeyes.
I can pretty much copy over my bracket year-to-year because I use the same hierarchy every year.  Apparently it was quite humorous to certain people that actual know a thing about basketball (like my husband) thought it was funny that I had 3 of the 4 #1 teams being beat by #16 teams. IT TOTALLY COULD HAPPEN…At least in Sarahland. This year, like any good year, I end up with all cat-related mascots in the final four. What can I say? I’m a crazy cat lady.  
My three runners up this year are:
  • The Clemson Tigers.  Clemson almost didn’t make it out of the first round because they faced the Missouri tigers…that is, until I saw they have a tiger AND tiger cub mascot. It is like 2 cats for the price of one! Win and Win.
  • Rufus the Ohio University Bobcat. I like him because his name is Rufus, he is from Ohio (which is where I work!) and I think bobcats are really cute in real life.
  • Cosmo the Cougar from BYU. This division had some really tough cat-competition (the Pitt Panthers and the Vermont Catamounts were runners up).  Cosmo gets the edge because I really like his name. Plus the Pitt Panther is kind of creepy looking and I couldn’t find any good pictures or information on the Vermont Catamounts.

My pick for winning it all? 2 words:
Now, I have no affiliation with Old Dominion. I didn’t go there, my family didn’t go there. Yet every year that they are in the tournament, I choose them to win. I just know that one of these days, they will be the Cinderella story and I will win me some big bucks!! It is totally plausible that an 11 seed could win it all, right?? However, the real reason I like them is this:
LOOK AT HIM! HE is a CAT, with a CROWN and a SASSY PAW. He is the king of all cat-related mascots and in my book, that wins, hands down.

Who won your mascot bracket?

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27 comments to Get your mascot head on, it’s time to play ball!

  • Melissa

    Just think, that "worthless nut" has a wonderful kind of candy named after it!

  • the shoafs

    I lose my bracket every. single. year. My husband blames it on the fact that I know next to nothing about any basketball team outside of the SEC. I think it's just karma kicking me in the butt. Personally, I feel Florida should win each and every year. Even the years that we don't even make the tournament.

  • erin

    PITT PANTHERS!!!! Hands down the best.

    (My high school mascot was Tuffy the Tornado…not kidding)

  • notquiteawake

    I used to be in a Final Four pool at my old job and I picked the teams based on either names that I could associate with something or someone I knew already(Butler was an old teacher or mine)or names that I thought were funny. Every year my first pick was Oral Roberts because I thought that was a funny name. I even have a button my friend made that says "Oral Roberts all the way!". It's pretty sweet. Except I guess the team sucks or something. I have no idea.

    What sport are we talking about again?

  • notquiteawake

    Although I guess it would be a March Madness pool and not a Final Four pool wouldn't it be? I don't know what's going on.

  • My Husband's Watching TV...

    I have Duke going all the way and all my other pics are based on location!

  • Never Too Busy

    Old Dominion is indeed on of the most awesome mascot i've ever seen…EVER!

  • Chicken

    I love the sassy paw. Is it just me, or does he look like the King in Robin Hood?

  • Salt

    Holy crap that mascot is my favorite ever!! Look at that sassy paw! That lion is all "bitch, please".

    I hope they win! I like his crown. :)

    I have said this before and now I will say it again for the 100th time. I need to get in on this. Dammit why is my office not doing this!?

  • Salt

    Ok I can't put my mascot head on because I did that once before and it made me terribly claustrophobic. BUT…

    OMG I hope OD wins! Best mascot ever!! Look at that sassy paw! That lion is all "bitch, please".

    I also like his crown.

    Dammit why do I know NO ONE that is doing brackets around the office?

  • JMJE

    OK my team, NC State Wolfpack is not in the NCAA tourney this year. But based on mascots, they should always beat the UNC tarheels (the team that I strongly do not like but who is usually really good but this year sucks). I mean how can a tarheel beat anyone much less a whole pack of wolves, led by MR. Wuf.

  • KingstonsQueen

    Buwahahahah!! That is awesome. Sassy Pawed Lions. I'm still going for the Demon Deacons, but you raise some good points. I think we're going to have to keep track in our little bloggy world and see whose closest. Salt, make your bracket!!

  • Hutch

    I'm not seeing any mention of the Orange? Hello, have you seen angry Otto?

    Be afraid, be very afraid! :)

  • Daisygirl

    Crap am I dumb….now this is something I would totally do! How did I not know of this!

    Bobcat baby!

  • mariahsmile

    This sounds like I could have fun doing this even though I hate watching basketball! Maybe Phil will want to play with me.

    I am now going to immediately start following your sister's blog because of this statement: "HE is a CAT, with a CROWN and a SASSY PAW." Priceless.

  • Crazy Shenanigans

    Good luck with your bracket!

  • Sarah With Scissors

    I love it… but I'm picking the bear.

  • jessalyn

    i like his crown. it matches my tiara. i don't really know much about the bracket stuff so i have very little input other than the crown.

  • Alissa

    I have to admit the whole bracket thing has always hurt my brain, but your nice simple logic makes it all clear. It's sort of like a much bigger game of rock, paper, scissors but with creatures that much cooler than rocks, paper or scissors. I love it!

  • Le Sigh of a Fashionista

    We didn't do a bracket in the office this year. Such a bummer. Good luck with yours!!

  • Jackie

    I have never played the bracket game but it looks fun the way you guys do it! I love that "cat trumps all". :) Oh, and the sassy paw. it is stunning. I may have to wish old dominion to win the whole thing just based on that!

  • Allyson

    OMG Amanda, this is BRILLIANT!! Why have I never thought to do a mascot bracket?? I foresee Neal and I getting into huge fights over this…he will defend the Bee and I will defend the lion with a paw and a crown. I'm so freakishly excited about this…actually moreso than the teams. I will now have to establish my rules of hierarchy. What a perfect thing to do while I wait for the duffs of the tire store to change my oil (which is not nearly as sexy as having 11 balls and a bean bag to keep your balls dry).

  • Shannon

    I love "Sassy Pawed Lions," that's brilliant. :-)

  • JMJE

    Sorry I "voted" for WV in my bracket. Feel free to cheer for UNC in the NIT tourney.

  • waistingtime

    I admit I am not into basketball. But I am on spring break vacation with family and friends and they are obsessed! TV on at restaurants, in condo. I grew up on the east coast and when I moved to KS and went to grad school at KU could not believe they had a mascot called a Jayhawk!

  • KLZ

    I think it's really the crown the puts him over the top. I'll have to keep that in mind next year.

  • Ashley

    I've never had enough interest to fill out a bracket, and since the tournament's almost over and i'm just now commenting on your bracket post… well, you see how interested I am in basketball. Anywho, I think I might have to try your technique… also I love the fact that you chose ODU to win it all because I am about to graduate with my masters from ODU… and I don't really get too much into the whole school spirit thing, but there is a huge lion statue in the middle of campus and when they turn on the fountains and the water shoots out all around him… it's magical!!
    haha, he really is KING!

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