Mascot Madness

Buckle up, the Madness is here! The NCAA Basketball Tournament begins today as 64 teams battle it out for all the marbles. It is the one tournament where blue bloods meet no-names, bringing with it schools and nicknames you rarely hear. Instead of breaking down the tournament, I decided to answer the most important question on everybody’s minds: which team’s mascot would win in a brawl? I mean, that should matter, right? What is the point of picking a name if it doesn’t strike fear into your opponent because they know your mascot would dominate their mascot. So here we go, region by region, searching for one mascot to rule them all:

South Region

           Rule number one: natural disasters are pretty much invincible. Have your ever seen anyone take on and defeat a Golden Hurricane? Despite being a 13 seed, Tulsa takes this region by destroying everything in its path with wind speeds above 74 mph. UCLA Bruins?  VCU Rams? Pitt Panthers? Dayton Flyers? They would be no match if they were caught in a Golden Hurricane. Special shoutout to Syracuse and Stanford for being the lamest mascots in the region. Both schools are named after colors, Orange and Cardinal, not the fruit or the bird. I’m sorry, but combating a color doesn’t exactly strike fear into my heart.

West Region

           Rule number two: humans with weapons defeat most animals. Humans have been able to thwart the brutality of the food chain in the animal kingdom due to one trait: our ability to continually develop innovative weapons. The New Mexico State Aggies and the Oklahoma State Cowboys both have guns which makes me confident they would be able to dispatch Arizona Wildcats, Gonzaga Bulldogs, North Dakota State Bison and Baylor Bears with relative ease. A Nebraska Cornhusker has nothing with him to defend himself from a Bear attack and if you look at Oklahoma’s Sooner Schooner, there is nothing about it that indicates the Sooners would be able to outrun, much less combat a Bison. The lame award for this region goes to Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns; their mascot is a hot pepper.

Midwest Region

           Rule number three: supernatural beings are virtually indestructible. Angels, Saints, Devils, Demons and the like would be tough cookies in a brawl. They would all have access to supernatural powers that mortal beings have little to no access to, and even if you could “catch” a devil, how would you hurt it? It isn’t like you can just put a bullet through their head. This sets up a monumental Sweet Sixteen matchup between the Duke Blue Devils and Arizona State Sun Devils. Personally I’m not sure which variety of devil is more powerful, blue or sun. Because Sun Devils is a partial reference to hot sun rays instead of a supernatural being, I will give the edge to Duke. Plus, as I’m sure you will notice when mascots are virtually the same, I always defer to the higher seed. The creepy award goes to the Saint Louis Billikens. They try to explain what it is on their website but I stopped reading because I don’t want Billikens — basically a lucky charm doll who an artist claimed to have seen in a dream — to start appearing in my nightmares.

East Region

           This region is pretty straight forward. The George Washington Colonials beat out the Virginia Cavaliers and the Michigan State Spartans in the top half due to their more recent and superior weaponry. The Colonials are eventually blown away by the Iowa State Cyclones who overmatch everybody in the region. The lame award would go to another color, the Harvard Crimson, but they are definitely topped by the Delaware Fighting Blue Hens. That nickname never stops sounding goofy and out of place for a sports team.

Final Four

           The Duke Blue Devils make short work of the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the first national semifinal, but the real action is in the second semifinal between the Tulsa Gold Hurricane and the Iowa State Cyclones. While Cyclones occur more often, they are not as powerful nor as destructive as a Hurricane. Head-to-head the Hurricane cannot be matched, as even cyclones can occur as part of hurricane winds. Despite the epic battle between terrifying “natural” disasters, they cannot harm the “supernatural” Blue Devils. The Blue Devils would be able to wait out the Golden Hurricane unphased and undeterred until the storm ran out of juice. It may be hard for Duke haters to admit, but their historical success on the court is backed up by a mascot who would dominate this year’s mascot brawl bracket. Time for the haters to get on the Siena Saints bandwagon for next year!