It's been a wild few days in sports. Speaking of wild (animals), college mascots have become more famous than the schools they represent, which brings us to today's five things to know.
Who's your favorite mascot? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter.
We've got spirit yes we do,
The Last Night's Game Team
Five things to know about college mascots
- The first couple of college mascots - Wilma and Wilber Wildcat - are the mascots for the University of Arizona. They were married November 21st, 1986 before a football game. That’s right their 30th wedding anniversary is around the corner. Don’t buy them a gift as they’d simply prefer a win over their rival Sparky the Sun Devil.
- Live animals as mascots are not only frowned upon by PETA but also by your wallet. The LSU Tiger - Mike the Tiger’s habitat cost $3 million to build, which was raised through private donors. Mike is also undergoing radiation to battle spindle cell sarcoma and has only been to one game since 2014. Uga, the Georgia bulldog mascot, racks up about $20,000 in vet, food and other bills a year. Uga’s expenses are subsidized by student fees.
- Notre Dame is unique because they have a person as a mascot that doesn’t wear a big fake head. The mascot for the Fighting Irish is a leprechaun. While he’s not required to eat Lucky Charms, it is a requirement that he channels his character's fiery spirit and wear a leprechaun costume. The leprechaun must always be peppy, mindful of interviews and able to get the crowd excited over the most mundane things.
- We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about our hoofed friends. Texas Longhorns’ “Bevo” (who is a longhorn) has become as iconic as the athletic program. Although “Bevo XIV” passed away in 2015, he made multiple appearances with his most notable taking place during President George W. Bush’s second inauguration. Ralphie the Buffalo (mascot of the University of Colorado) gets to run on the field before games and as you might imagine sometimes a real life buffalo has a mind of its own.
- Stanford University’s team name is “The Cardinal” (after the color red) although it does not officially have a mascot. The tree has become the face of the athletic program but it is technically part of the band. We’re sure you’ve seen the jubilant tree on the sidelines and wondered why someone brought a giant car freshener pine tree to the game. Now you know.
- Extra credit – for a great list of obscure college mascots, click here.
- Russian hackers have released what they claim to be the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Olympic drug-testing files of four U.S. athletes, including Serena Williams and gymnast Simone Biles. The hackers stated that American athletes tested positive for banned substances but we’re given exemption (unlike the Russians) such as Biles’ ADHD medication and Williams’ anti-inflammatories.
NCAA Sports (College)
- The fallout continues for North Carolina over HB2 aka “The Bathroom Bill” that passed earlier this year. The law discriminates against the LBGT community. The NCAA stated that their events promote an inclusive atmosphere, therefore they have pulled seven scheduled championship events from the state for the upcoming school year. This includes part of the March Madness tournament scheduled to take place in Greensboro. The NBA previously pulled the upcoming all-star game from North Carolina.
NFL (National Football League)
- Nike and the NFL unveiled the Color Rush uniforms for this season for all 32 teams. These uniforms are a monochromatic alternative jerseys to be worn for Thursday night games. The Color Rush uniforms debuted last season, but were met with resistance as color blind people could not tell the difference between the teams playing. This season, Nike brought in doctors as consultants to make sure the problem wouldn’t happen again.
- Dancing with the Stars debuted Monday night and Ryan Lochte stole the show. While waiting for his scores from the judges, two men rushed the stage wearing “No Lochte” shirts to protest Lochte’s participation in the competition.
- All proceeds from the Color Rush jerseys benefit the NFL Foundation which funds grants to support athletes, youth football and the communities that support the game. The initial $500,000 raised will go to replace lost equipment and fields destroyed by the floods in Louisiana.
- The University of Colorado Buffaloes face the formidable task of playing Michigan Wolverines (#5) this weekend. Teams typically release their depth charts ahead of games. These charts show who the players are for each position (think starting quarterback, his backup and the backup’s backup). Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh must think he’s special and refuses to do this. So Colorado released theirs with some recognizable names such as: Elmer Fudd at quarterback, Stewie Griffin at weak safety and everyone’s favorite Clark Griswold at tight end.