Ralphie the Buffalo voted best mascot in 'Best Mascot Bracket'
At the start of the NCAA Tournament, I began running a "Coolest Mascot Bracket" on my Instagram page, pitting each team competing in the Tournament's mascot against each other. I didn't mess with the seeding. In fact, the seeding was irrelevant. I simply used the placement of teams determined by the selection committee, and inserted each school's mascot in the place of where its basketball team would be.
Some schools no longer have a mascot. Some schools have had their mascot replaced with another mascot. In the case of Michigan, "Biff the Michigan Wolverine" hasn't been a part of Michigan tradition in decades. Illinois' mascot "Chief Illiniwek" was retired in the mid-2000s. He made the Tournament over Illinois' current bird mascot, because really, which mascot is more iconic: the Chief, or the bird that few people know the name of? Chief ended up going on a deep run in the Coolest Mascot Bracket, but it was Ralphie the Buffalo that came out on top. Ralphie, a real life buffalo, is University of Colorado's mascot that runs around the field with a team of student runners. Each year, dozens of students try out to be one of Ralphie's 15 volunteer handlers. Being one of Ralphie's handlers is a high honor in the state of Colorado, something that kids aspire to from a young age; her handlers are essentially a collegiate team, a group that practices and trains up to 30 hours a week!
Congratulations to Ralphie, a very well deserved winner of the title of Coolest Mascot! Here's the rest of the bracket.
Thank you to all who voted, and I hope you will join us for our next social media bracket, to be announced soon!
(Photo via cubuffs.com)