Hawk Mascot Named Top Basketball Tradition

 

The Saint Joseph’s Hawk mascot has been named the best college basketball tradition by NCAA.com in its rankings of the top five traditions.
Ranking behind the Hawk are: 2- Kansas’ “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” chant; 3- the “Frisbee Cheer” at UCLA; 4- Duke’s “Krzyzewski-Ville” when students camp out for the game with North Carolina; and 5- Wake Forest’s “Rolling the Quad” with streamers of white tissue.
One of the most famous mascots in college sports, the Saint Joseph’s Hawk has been flapping its wings for 57 years. The Hawk is best known for staying in constant motion by flapping its wings throughout every basketball game and representing the Saint Joseph’s motto, “The Hawk Will Never Die.”

Jim Brennan originated the idea for a hawk as mascot during the 1954-55 season. Brennan, an ex-Marine and SJU cheerleader, at first wanted to secure an actual hawk, but later switched to the costume idea. The student government raised the 120 dollars needed to buy the initial costume, which Brennan donned for three years. He made his debut as the Hawk on January 4, 1956, a 69-56 win over La Salle at the Palestra. Since then, and including this season, a total of 34 SJU students, have donned the costume. The Hawk has not missed a men’s basketball game since that first season.mascotshow

In addition to the constant flapping, the Hawk is also recognized by its “flying” in figure eights around the court during timeouts. The constant motion, coupled with the scrappy play of the University’s athletic teams, helped to spawn the school’s familiar slogan “The Hawk Will Never Die!” A few years ago, ESPN used a “flap-o-meter” on the national telecast of a Saint Joseph’s game to estimate that the Hawk flaps its wings 3,500 times during a regulation game.

The Hawk is unique because it is one of the few mascots in the nation that travels to every game, and the student who holds the position gains a full scholarship. The student, who is selected through an interview process during the previous spring semester, also serves as a team manager for the men’s basketball team and travels with the squad.
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Chicago Cubs Unveil New Mascot

For the first time in modern history, the Chicago Cubs will have an official team mascot.
Clark, a “young, friendly Cub,” will make his rookie debut Monday night at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center alongside more than a dozen Cubs prospects.

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“The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Clark as the team’s official mascot,” Cubs Senior Director of Marketing Alison Miller said in a statement. “Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can’t wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans.
Before and during games, Clark will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field and stop by the Wrigley Field First Timers Booth to welcome new guests. On Family Sundays, he will help kids run the bases following the game. Most of the time, Clark will welcome fans to Clark’s Clubhouse at Wrigley Field, where families can make a special visit as they please.
Fans will be able to interact with Clark on Twitter and Facebook as well, though the team noted “he is still learning how to post on social media with his paws.”
“He’ll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community,” Miller said in a statement.
Last year, John Paul Weier, also known as “Billy Cub,” argued with the team to become the official mascot.
Weier has been playing the role of “Billy Cub”, a cuddly bear figure who strolls the sidewalks outside Wrigley Field, posing for photos and clowning with fans before and after Cub games, since 2007.
The team, however, said Weier’s character was not sanctioned by the company.
“The Billy Cub characters are not affiliated with the Chicago Cubs,” team spokesman Julian Green said in a statement. “We have received complaints from fans, mistakenly believing ‘Billy Cub’ to be associated with the Cubs.”
The league, citing allegations of trademark infringement, sent Weier a 100-plus page letter, ordering him to stop wearing the Billy Cub costume, and engaging in “unabated Mascot Activities.”
After consulting with a lawyer, Weier ignored the letter.
“Basically I told them if you can’t come to an agreement with what I can wear and continue to do this, then take me to court and sue me,” he said. “What I want from them is to be the official mascot, and what they want from me is to be gone and no one to remember I was ever there.”
Team officials said the decision for an official mascot came after “consistently hearing through survey feedback and fan interviews that the Cubs and Wrigley Field needed more family-friendly entertainment.”
“The appetite for more family-friendly initiatives became clear, and the concept of a mascot who interacts in the community, engages with young fans and is respectful of the game was widely supported,” according to a release from the team.
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“Billy Cub” Disappointed by Cubs Mascot Snub

 

After six seasons of portraying “Billy Cub,” a cuddly bear figure who strolls the sidewalks outside Wrigley Field, John Paul Weier says he’s disappointed the Chicago Cubs chose to go their own way, with a new mascot.

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“I’ve been out here since 2007,” he said. “I really enjoy being out here for the fans and I’m a big fan.”
It started when Weier, knowing the Cubs were one of three Major League teams without a mascot, ordered an off-the-rack bear costume on line. He was barred admittance to the ballpark, by gate personnel who told him no one in costume was permitted inside. But working outside, he quickly learned that fans wanted to pose for pictures. And “Billy Cub”, was born. So popular, says Weier, that on some game days he recruits others to wear the costumes, and has as many as four working outside the Friendly Confines.
“It’s about taking pictures,” he says. “It’s about giving someone a lasting memory from a Cubs game.”
But not everyone sees it that way.
“The Billy Cub characters are not affiliated with the Chicago Cubs,” team spokesman Julian Green said in a statement. “We have received complaints from fans, mistakenly believing ‘Billy Cub’ to be associated with the Cubs.”
Citing allegations of trademark infringement, the League sent Weier a 100-plus page letter, ordering him to stop wearing the Billy Cub costume, and engaging in “unabated Mascot Activities.”
“They can threaten legal action, it’s once they finally take legal action that’s kind of a different story,” Weier said. “I’m willing and prepared to go to court and try to defend myself over what I’ve built over the last seven years.”
Weier says the Cubs organization offered to buy him out for $15,000, if he agreed to sign over all rights to the character and stop performing outside the ballpark. He refused.
“There’s a pretty easy compromise,” he said. “They just needed to hire me and make Billy Cub the official Cubs mascot.”
But on Monday, the Cubs unveiled their first official mascot in modern history, Clark.
Team officials said the decision for an official mascot came after “consistently hearing through survey feedback and fan interviews that the Cubs and Wrigley Field needed more family-friendly entertainment,” a service Weier had hoped to provide.
“The reason I love doing it is because you can interact with people, you can have a great cubs moment with someone,” he said. “You make a memory for a Cubs fan or even an away fan and as a big baseball fan and a big Cubs fan it’s just very cool to be able to interact with people and make those kinds of memories for people.”
Weier says he has no intention of stopping and plans to be outside the ballpark as “Billy Cub” on opening day.
“We’ll have a little mascot competition now,” he said. “There hasn’t been an official mascot yet, and now we’ve got an official mascot and an unofficial mascot. So, a little competition in Wrigleyville.”
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What next for Town’s mascot Freddy as pensioner Peter calls it a day

 

The man behind the mask of Freddy the Fox – the oldest mascot in Town – is standing down, aged 72.
Present Freddy – Peter Chafer, of Bradshaw, Halifax, is hanging up the fox costume after three-years of ‘jeering-up’ FC Halifax Town fans, ahead of a home game.

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The oldest mascot in English football said: “My time as the Halifax mascot has been brilliant. But at the prime age of 72, I think it’s about time I stepped down as I can no longer give the job what it needs.”
Mr Chafer’s wife Denise nominated him for the job, aged 69.
“My most favourable memory is when I fell over the ‘keep off the grass’ sign – landing on the grass which I’d been told not to step foot on,” said Peter.
The Halifax supporter since 1953 will continue to go to the Shay, as a fan.
Freddy on Freddy: mascot credentials:
“You have to be a Town fan – that’s the main thing,” said Peter.
“Secondly, you have to give up your time on match days – there are other events like birthdays and weddings you may have to attend.”
“The ideal candidate will live locally and shine out, like I did when I applied! Anyone of any size or age can apply for the job – the costume should fit all.”
“It’s a warm job – you don’t get cold, I can assure you of that.”

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Top Halloween Costumes for 2013 Include Miley, Meth Dealer, Minions

When you’re young, along with Christmas, Halloween is the most eagerly anticipated day of the year. It means free candy and that’s like winning a chocolaty, nougat filled lottery if you’re between the ages of three and 12.

Once you get older, candy more or less disappears from the equation and the holiday focuses almost exclusively on the costumes.

Here are a few of the most popular costumes, this year according to the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch.

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5. Miley Cyrus

Halloween is the one day of the year where it’s socially acceptable for women to wear clothing that makes them look like street walkers. This year, Miley Cyrus became the poster child for girls with daddy issues as she twerked her way through her VMA performance.

So, naturally, Miley’s now iconic outfit is one of the top choices for women who you should demand a blood test from before agreeing to shake their hands.

4. Duck Dynasty

Duck Dynasty, a show about the adventures of a family that became incredibly wealthy by making products for duck hunters, is a cultural phenomenon.
To produce this costume all you need is some camouflage, a headband and a beard that looks like it could serve as a home for a small family of chipmunks, and you’re all set.

The only risk this costume poses is the potential to get arrested due to being mistaken for a homeless person. So, if you’re wearing this one, be sure to stay away from busy on-ramps and, no matter how hungry you get, don’t go rummaging through any dumpsters.
3. The Fox
Ever wonder what would happen if a group of kindergarteners broke into their parent’s liquor cabinet and threw a costume party in the woods? Well, you’re in luck!
The Norwegian band Ylvis, has answered that age old question with an insanely viral music video entitled “(The Fox) What Does the Fox Say.”
It’s essentially “Old MacDonald” for people who prefer Molly and Glow Sticks to nursery school sing-alongs.
It’s also the biggest American hit for a band from Norway in 28 years. Let me rephrase that. It is Norway’s most important and lasting contribution to the world since……well…..ever. (Cue emails from angry Norwegians informing me of all of that nation’s lasting contributions to the world.)

2. “Minions”
Minions” are the adorable monsters from the DreamWorks film Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. Kids LOVE these little buggers!
Unfortunately the Minions costume are pretty small. So, unless you’re a child or a little person with no qualms about exploiting your small stature for a laugh and some delicious candy, this is an unlikely choice for you.

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1. Breaking Bad
You know that one family on your block that always handed out raisins for Halloween? We had one. I say “had” because we burned that family’s house down.
News flash: Kids don’t want raisins! Today’s children have more refined tastes. That’s why the most popular houses this year will be giving out high purity, blue crystal methamphetamine to all the neighborhood kids.

Breaking Bad–the award winning show about a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a meth kingpin–has captured the nation’s imagination. Dressing up as the show’s anti-hero, Walter White aka “Heizenberg” will undoubtedly be a popular choice for trick-or-treaters this year.
And don’t worry parents! Walter White never consumes any of the meth he makes. He just cooks it, sells it and then horribly murders anyone who gets in his way. He’s an entrepreneur and a role model. Just remember to have plenty of raspberry flavored rock candy to hand out to all the little ghosts and ghouls when they show up at your door!
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From www.mascotshows.com

Awesomely Ridiculous Mascot Fails

As sports fans, we know that every once in awhile it takes a little extra enthusiasm for us to get loud, get rowdy and show our team support.

That’s why teams have mascots.

You see, an over-sized stuffed animal might seem like a fictional character who is brought in as the ultimate hype man, but deep down beneath that costume is a human being, as clumsy as you or I can be.

Because of that, mascots fail—a lot—which is why I’m giving you some of my favorite mascots who completely failed to do the one job they had by biting it.

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From www.mascotshows.com

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Will Menlo Park go nuts for new mascot?

 

The choice may seem a little odd for a city that once covertly hired an exterminator to take out the squirrels at Bedwell Bayfront Park, but Menlo Park now has a new official mascot: “Nutty the Squirrel.”
The theory is that the costumed character may induce more participants to join the city’s already popular community programs, some of which, like gymnastics classes, have waiting lists.newmascot
Nutty cavorted at the city’s tree-lighting ceremony in December. Community Services Director Cherise Brandell said that creating a mascot had been on the department’s “to do” list for several years before being finalized at a team meeting several months ago.
“That same group approved the purchase as an additional way to build (a) sense of community and draw families and children into our programs,” she said in an email. Children participating in the city’s after-school programs chose the mascot’s name, according to Ms. Brandell.
The costume, ordered from MaskUs.com, cost $1,846, including a pack to adapt it for hot weather, a tote bag and shipping.
It caused a bit of a kerfuffle, according to internal staff emails obtained through a public records act request, when it seemed the bill would be split among programs within the department at $246 each.
“This seems like a large amount for programs that will not use the mascot service or who have tight budgets. Should we have a discussion regarding who will actually use the ‘costume’ and how billing of the person inside the suit works?” a Menlo Children’s Center supervisor asked.
A manager with the recreation program said, “I really don’t see us using it, but am willing to chip in some to pay for it if that is what we need to do. Although I can think of other things I can use the money towards, too! Whatever is decided, we will go with it.”
A gymnastics supervisor commented, “At this point, I don’t really see any times that we would use Nutty. Unless we are doing something in conjunction with a special event.”
In response, Community Services Manager Derek Schweigart wrote that the cost had been divided between the special events budget and funds for the city’s current re-branding efforts, describing Nutty as a marketing expense that would benefit the entire department.
“Most of us operate various special events and other functions where we could possibly see Nutty making an appearance. It might be difficult now to see where Nutty may add value or help to promote our department, but there is much potential,” Mr. Schweigart wrote.
Paying a staff member to don the costume and frolic at the tree lighting cost $17, billed to the special events budget, according to the city’s records.
Menlo Park, known for cutting edge technological industry, is now leading the charge with Nutty the Squirrel as well, compared with other Peninsula cities both smaller and larger, including Palo Alto, Foster City, Redwood City and Burlingame: Officials in those cities, bemused by the Almanac’s inquiry, said that their towns did not have official mascots, but did have logos.

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Army Sergeant borrows Lindale mascot costume to surprise daughter

 

U.S. Army Sgt. Stephen Stroman has braved the brutal desert temperatures of Iraq and Afghanistan. He is comfortable in his Army fatigues. His military training and expertise was no match for the stifling heat and itchy interior of a high school mascot costume.
“It’s pretty hot in this thing,” Sgt. Stroman said, “and I can see out of my peripheral but I can’t see straight ahead.”
The temporary discomfort and obscured vision were quickly put at ease when the tiny arms of his daughter Emmaleigh wrapped around him for the first time in more than a year. Sgt. Stroman surprised Emmaleigh, a first-grade student at Lindale’s Velma Penny Elementary School, with a visit to her physical education class on Wednesday. He dressed in the Lindale Eagle mascot costume to conceal himself and provide a special gift in time for Christmas. The father and daughter had been separated for a year due to his assignment in New York.

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Sgt. Stroman, along with Emmaleigh’s mother, Marianne Miller, and stepmother, Lindsay Stroman, made arrangements with the staff of Velma Penny Elementary School for the visit and reveal. Miller asked the high school cheerleading sponsor to borrow the Eagle mascot costume.
“When I first called, I had to explain who I was and what we were trying to do for our daughter,” Miller said. “As soon as I told them, they said ‘yes.’ We thought this would be a good way to surprise her.”
Sgt. Stroman was quickly ushered into the teacher’s lounge to hide out of sight from his daughter. Her class would pass the campus office on the way to the gymnasium. The mascot costume was specially delivered to the lounge where Stroman put it on over his fatigues. He walked to the school’s gym dressed in the costume where he high-fived incoming students, including his own daughter who had no idea he was inside the costume.
Students in Emmaleigh’s class were told a special news story was being written about the Lindale Eagle to distract from the presence of several cameras waiting to capture the big moment. Velma Penny Elementary School Principal Monica Moore told students the Eagle needed to select a special volunteer that morning to help show school spirit. Stroman walked through the crowd of eager faces and reached out his hand to Emmaleigh. In front of her classmates, he knelt down and removed the costume head. For the first time in more than 12 months, their eyes met face to face. Emmaleigh collapsed against her father in a big hug. He scooped her up and swung her around. The gymnasium erupted in applause. Campus staff members passed out tissues to adults moved by the sight.
“I appreciate all the school did for us,” Stroman said after the reunion. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing her and really wanted to do something to make this special. The school really set this up and did a great job.”

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Emmaleigh was a bit shy from all the attention but was all smiles standing at her daddy’s side and sitting in his lap.
When asked if she was happy to see him, the seven-year-old gave a very emphatic head nod.
Stroman is a member of the 10th Mountain Division. He served in Iraq from May 2007 through May 2008. He was deployed to Afghanistan from June 2010 until April 2011. He has been in active duty in New York for the past two years. He said time away from his family has been difficult.

 

The efforts of some caring educators and concerned family members, helped to turn a difficult year into a merry Christmas.
“By far, the best Christmas gift,” Stroman said.

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From www.mascotshows.com

 

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State College Little Lion school mascot Jenny Lee

 

Often when Jenny Lee goes to a State College Area High School sporting event, she loses herself in the action.
Lee, a special education teacher at the school, doubles as the Little Lion school mascot. Once she slips into the kitty costume, she assumes a new identity — super feline fan, ready to cavort, dance and cheer State High teams to victory.
“I’m there for the students. I’m there for the athletes,” she said. “I don’t even think about being Jenny Lee. I’m just full torque, whatever the sport is.”scoolmascot
For the past 10 years, she has embraced the role, shaking her tail, rubbing her ears and energizing football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, wrestling, and track and field crowds.
“For me, it’s an adrenaline rush,” Lee said. “I don’t think of myself as anything but hyper. I mean, I just hype up unbelievably. It isn’t about me at that point in time. It’s about the athletes that are on the field, on the court, on the ice and on the track.”
But she first donned the outfit for her classroom.
She accepted former Athletic Director Ron Pavlechko’s offer to become the Lion because she saw a chance to expand her students’ horizons. Perhaps they would feel more comfortable attending sporting events if they had a personal tie, she hoped.
During physical education class, she enlisted their help creating routines to solidify the link. Brainstorming led to group dancing — and fun exercising.
“I would say, ‘OK, guys, we have to do some choreography. The Lion’s got to dance. What do you think I should be doing? What should I be moving?’ ” Lee said.
Since then, her plan has worked out as intended.
“They sort of really feel connected to State High in a different way than they had ever felt,” she said.
“We started to go to all the football games, volleyball games, wrestling matches. They felt safe because they knew the Lion. It was a segue for the kids in my classroom to have extracurricular activities and get that State High spirit and understand what it is like to be part of the school population.”
Lee learned something herself. Being the Little Lion carries a heavy burden — literally.
Her lion head is molded to a football helmet. After her first game, she woke the next morning with an aching neck from the weight on her shoulders.
“I talked to the football players and they said, ‘You’ve got to walk around the house with a football helmet on, Jenny, to get your neck used to that,’ ” she said.
She also discovered that running, jumping and twisting inside a padded, furry suit — especially at summer golf tournaments or early-season football games — constitute excellent ways of losing weight.
“It becomes very hot, with a capital H-O-T,” she said. “I’m not a pretty sight when I take the head off.”
It might be worse if she were not a fitness instructor. To stay in leonine shape, she regularly hits the gym for cardiovascular workouts and strength training.
The same goes for students hoping to fill in for Lee occasionally at winter and spring games. She prepares her apprentices as thoroughly as she does herself.
“We look at it like any other sport,” she said. “You can’t just walk out on the field and play football. You can’t just walk onto the field (in the Little Lion suit) and for 21/2 hours run around a football game.”
After one of her first, and best, trainees announced he was ready for the suit, Lee took him to an air-conditioned fitness club for a trial run: 20 minutes of intense aerobics as a headless lion.
“I put him in the suit and after 15 minutes, I looked behind me and he’s kind of like woozy and swaying around,” she said.
Shedding the suit, he eventually recovered and continued the session — the kind of drive that led to working as a mascot for the State College Spikes minor league baseball club and then at his college.
Lee has seen half a dozen of her assistants follow the same path.
“That’s really rewarding for me,” she said. “I mean, ‘Wow, you liked it. You got stronger.’ And then, these kids who have such spirit inside, they’re not afraid to show it. I wish everybody would have that light inside.”
Not only at games does Lee shine. At least a dozen times a year, she’s asked by parents to visit homebound or hospitalized students.
She customarily arrives with a State High T-shirt and a heart full of cheer.
“They know somebody from State High is thinking of them,” Lee said. “And it’s not just the person who is in the Lion. It’s the population of State High and their spirit who have gone to see that individual.”
She sweats buckets and endures sore muscles for those moments, for the smiles and laughs they bring. All the hard work pays off when crowds roar, athletes high-five her paws in thanks and little children crawl across her at charity events.
Short of treading on the ice at hockey games or wearing a wrestling singlet, Lee’s willing to give everything she’s got, even if it means an ice pack that night and a hot bath the next day.
School spirit, she said, tends to rise and fall from year to year. But in her book, it’s a constant.
“I rise above the not-cool ebb, to encourage students to have that kind of fun, to have that light inside,” she said. “We all have it. You just have to let it go.”
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Rocky the Bull takes Capital One Mascot Challenge glory

 

While college football teams spent New Year’s Day battling for bowl game glory, the University of South Florida claimed some bragging rights, too.
USF’s mascot, Rocky the Bull, won the Capital One Mascot Challenge on Wednesday, beating 15 other furry foes from around the country via online fan voting. He outlasted Cam the Ram of Colorado State University, Mike the Tiger of Louisiana State, Michigan State’s Sparty and more. Rocky’s final opponent was Raider Red, the cowboy from Texas Tech University.

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Capital One CEO Rich Fairbank announced the win in a commercial at halftime of the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.
Rocky danced and fist-pumped to a backdrop of exploding fireworks. Rocky, the announcer said, had “unparalleled sideline skills.” Online voting decided the winner of the week-to-week matchups, said USF athletic director Doug Woolard, and Rocky was the first mascot in contest history to go undefeated.
“Last year, this contest only got 4 or 5 million votes total, but this year the votes went over 100 million,” Woolard said at news conference in USF’s Athletic Center on Wednesday afternoon.
President Judy Genshaft was on hand to congratulate Rocky and thank the fans on his behalf. He doesn’t do interviews. For one, he’s a bull and can’t talk. But also, USF is fiercely protective about the identity of the suit-wearer.
“It’s a wonderful way to start 2014,” Genshaft said. “It’s a big win for Rocky, but also for the students, alumni, business leaders and the whole Tampa Bay area that supported Rocky all the way to victory.”
After the speeches, Rocky made his entrance (to the Rocky theme) and fist-pumped as he received roses and a green and gold balloon drop.
It was USF’s first year in the contest. To even be considered, USF had to submit proof of Rocky living it up at games and events, getting the crowd excited, boxing, being a bull. Rocky appears at about 350 events on and off campus all year.
The contest also added extra social media features through which fans could earn their mascot bonus points. Genshaft tweeted a photo of herself kissing a trophy to earn Rocky an extra 100 points. Woolard said the athletic department also asked fans to vote on the Jumbotron at each football and basketball home game.
It’s a boost for USF athletics after a disappointing 2-10 football season. It also comes with a financial reward: USF gets $20,000 for the mascot program, going toward mascot travel and upkeep of suits, which can cost as much as $3,000.
But the biggest reward might be from brand exposure in commercials aired on national television, including one in which Rocky politely exits a China shop, closes the door and knocks down a wall of dishes.
“Mascots are more than just symbols for the athletic department,” Woolard said. “They are symbols of universities. Having people see Rocky the bull and think University of South Florida is a great thing.”
Some people commenting on the mascot challenge’s Facebook page have insinuated that uncontrolled online voting taints results. A Capital One spokesman said the company does not release the final vote tallies, but does allow for unlimited voting. Contest rules, the spokesman said, prohibit automated voting in which computer programs repeatedly cast votes.
University spokeswoman Lara Wade-Martinez said the contest was very evenly matched.
“We beat the reigning champion, who is from a big state with lots of loyal sports fans,” she said. “This was fun for our students and community.”

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From www.mascotshows.com