Tap the Rockies

It’s Friday, which means that in 5 short hours, you get to go home, put on elasti-pants, turn on the TV, and crack open a cold brew.  Like perhaps this high class ‘banquet beer’:

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Yeah, you think that’s some cheap sh*t, don’t you?  But this yellow swill makes enough money to build a $300 million stadium called Coors Field, home of the MLB’s Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies formed in 1993, and since then have had a rough time, making it to the World Series only once back in 2007, and never winning it.  But don’t worry, they always have a big triceratops fan named Dinger.
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The mascot was chosen because Coors Field was built atop land where dinosaur fossils were once found during a dig.  Those are his relatives!
Dinger receives a lot of criticism for his likeness to Barney, as well as how he is not tough or cute looking, but I think he’s pretty adorable.
Trust me, you do not look as good as Dinger in cardboard 3D glasses.
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You’re not as good at psyching out the competition, either.
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#Awks Wombat

When I hear Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, I think of a soccer event in and for Asia.  But I am 0/2, because the 2015 one was held in Australia, and won by Australia.  I know Australia is on the same side of the world as Asia, but it’s waaay south.  Come on- there are 7 continents, right?!  But hey, I guess the more the merrier.
Before I talk about the frowned-upon mascot of this event, I would like to mention that this was the first Asian Cup for one certain nation, a nation that much of the world does not recognize as real.  The State of Palestine finished in last place, but got to stand as their own country- not being grouped with Israel as is commonly done.  That’s pretty cool!
But, back to that bad mascot.  Australia wanted something that was really unique to their nation, and chose this guy:
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This is Nutmeg the Wombat, and he certainly is unique.  Born in the mountains west of Sydney, Nutmeg plays club soccer for Marsupials United.  He gets his name from the soccer move also called the nutmeg, defined as ‘ to kick, roll or throw the ball between an opponent’s legs.’ (Thanks Wiki!) He claims to be great at this move because of his low center of gravity.
Nutmeg was not well received, as a weird-shaped, doofy-looking, non-definable creature. Thanks to Twitter, we can learn what is exactly behind this negative reasoning.
-“Nutmeg the Asian Cup mascot has the biggest nose I’ve ever seen mascot, human or otherwise! #takesuphalfhisface”
“This is awkward – I legit thought @nutmeg_2015 was a dingo, not a wombat #awks”
And after this image was released:
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“The official mascot for the Asian Cup is “Nutmeg” the disturbingly aggressive wombat. ”
But dude, you should know, he has his own phone, and can read your tweets while he waits for the bus. Poor guy.
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And yes, he also plays the Twitter game ‘Hot Dogs or Legs?’ We’ll never know…

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Fashion Inspiration

Remember seeing photos of yourself wearing these as a youngin?

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Don’t feel ashamed, we all wore them.  They’re the famous Oshkosh B’Gosh overalls of toddlerhood.  Thankfully, these stylin’ dungarees are still worn today, sold under the parent company Carter’s.  But before there was a Carter’s, or even a B’Gosh, there was just OshKosh, an industrial workwear clothing company that became famous for the toughness of their overalls.  The company did most of their sales via catalogue until the 1960’s, when department stores asked to sell their clothing in-house because it was so popular.  10 years later and still going strong, they decided to make a children’s line, B’Gosh, which took off like a rocket.  As the population of industrial workers decreased, the adult clothing failed to sell, but the kid’s clothing sales soared and continued to do so even after Carter’s aquired them for $312 million in 2005.  Though most manufacturing occurs in Honduras now, there is still the company HQ in OshKosh, Wisconsin.
Yes I just told you the entire history of a company you care nothing about, solely to tell you that they are named after the city in Wisconsin where they were first formed.
But that’s not all this amazing city has to offer.  There is also a wonderful satellite campus known as University of Wisconsin, OshKosh, home of Clash the titan.
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OshKosh has called themselves Titans since 1937- 66 years after the school was founded.  Since then, the school went through many Titan versions before settling on the one today.
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The current one is more Star Wars, less human, than any of the priors- I like his forward thinking!
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I also really like his style- black dress?  Black tights?  Flats?  Anything possible to cover a bad hair day?  Check Check Check Check!!!
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Cobra on a Trike

As the United States approaches the next presidential election, we hear more and more debates concerning the cost of post-secondary education.  Many candidates say that college has become unaffordable and even go as far as saying it’s a scam.  The presidential hopefuls promise to get the power back-control prices and make education accessible to all.  While I do support education, and know that starting life $20k+ in debt is difficult, I have to also question- at what point is it our fault as an individual?

An extreme example would be a school like Coker College, in Hartsville, SC, where the average student has a HS GPA of 2.5 and an average ACT score of 18.  Despite theselow statistics, the school costs $28k annually.  Even worse, the degree the school advertises most is their BA in liberal arts.  $100k+ for a BA in liberal arts from a subpar school… where’s the reasoning?!
But alas, I think I know the answer.  People go there because they’re the Coker Cobras, which strikes fear, uniqueness, and evil into the hearts of us all.
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Wait, did I say fear?  More like hilarity!  He’s on a tricycle with a balloon!
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Striker was born in 2005 in the Black Creek Swamp near Darlington, SC.  Fitting to the area, he is very into car racing, and drives a Shelby Cobra.  He tries to show his toughness on and off the road, but he may be the one creature with weaker arms than I have.  But I don’t have fatal venom, so at least he has that going for him.
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Chicago on Fire

It’s only Monday, and I’ve hit the wall.  Evidently my brain is not feeling the 8-8 tax season hours, and wants me to know that the next 5 days are not going to be very peaceful.  It sucks- why can’t we all just have more energy?  Why can’t all humans have the energy of mascots?  Some of them are out there for 4+ hours, jumping up and down constantly in a heavy, non-ventilated costume.  How is that possible?!  Some of them, like Sparky here, even have the energy to sprint with a cumbersome flag.

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Sparky is the mascot for the MLS team the Chicago Fire.  They’ve been around since 1998, and had early successes winning 4 U.S. Open Cup championships between their start and 2006.  However, the past 10 years have not been so lucky, with no championship wins and only 1 appearance.
One of The Fire’s most heated rivalries(get it? haha) is with Cozmo and the LA Galaxy, who they often battled in the playoffs.  But Sparky has some buddies to stick up for him, thanks to the many teams of the Chicago area.
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Sparky is also friends with Tony the Tiger, though the reason is not explained.  Oh well- They’re GRRREEEAAAT!!!!
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BONNIE!

My friends and I have had the discussion of what’s better- college sports or pro sports.  Of course, they’re from South Carolina, where there are no pro teams, so it’s college all the way.  But I’m from Minneapolis, where we have the Big 4, and I’ve always thought pro is better.

The thing is, there’s a lot to remember on a daily basis- go to work, pick up your dry cleaning, don’t eat so much chocolate; who has time to remember an infinite number of teams?  Professional stays the same always- 30 or 32 teams, without a turnover of players every 4 years.  Sure, there’s not THAT many D1 football schools, but basketball?!  Everyone is a D1 basketball team.  Have you ever heard of St. Bonaventure?  They’re a 2500-student tiny Catholic university in upstate New York.  I had no idea they existed, but evidently they play decent basketball in the Atlantic 10, even making it to the NCAA tournament in 2012.
St. Bonaventure athletes call themselves Bonnies, which is just adorable.  Also adorable, their mascot:
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This is The Bona Wolf, who came around in 1998, but not without a little drama.  For 65 years, up until 1992, this team was the Brown Indians, but of course it was time for a change, so they got the Bona Fanatic.
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The fans hated the fanatic so much that they costume wearer often was assaulted at games.  Lovely.
They’ve managed to keep Bona Wolf for 18 years now, proving the point that when it comes to mascots, cute always wins!
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Pick a State

Two superbowls, people.  Two.  Tom Coughlin won two superbowls in 12 season with the New York Giants, and now he’s gone.  He’s been replaced by some first time head coach 31 years his junior.  Ben McAdoo, this successor of the Gmen empire, has coached for 9 different teams since his start in 1996, giving me an eerie feeling concerning both his dedication and achievement.

McAdoo also makes me think the worst because he graduated from a douchey school called Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  WHAT?  Pick a state, people- or in this case, a commonwealth, damn Penn.
IUP is home to 15,000 students who love wearing crimson and slate, and enjoy confusing people about which of the 50 states they reside.  Opening in 1875 as Indiana Normal School, the state purchased the school in the 1920’s, and soon after renamed it State Teacher College at Indiana.  So once again, the government is to blame for this illogical mayhem.  In 1965, they became what they are today, IUP.  You changed your name just 50 years ago and that’s the best you could come up with?
The one thing keeping this school alive is Norm, the Crimson Hawk, who didn’t come along until 2007!
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Originally called the Indians, the school had to change their name at the turn of the millenium to keep up with social crap.  They removed the Cherokee Indian idea, and made Cherokee the bear.
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This only lasted until 2002, when using the name Cherokee at all was forbidden.  So they randomly changed themselves to the fighting squirrels.
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Unfortunately, this odd fellow only lasted 5 years until it was realized that the situation could be interpreted as a Cherokee Indian being equivalent to a fighting squirrel.  And with that, they became the all-respectful, all-wonderful hawk.
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One Big Happy

Just 1 hour north of Boston, Massachusetts, is a surprisingly little-known city named Lowell.  I say ‘surprisingly’ not because of it’s size, at only 100k people, but because they are home to some pretty awesome stuff.

The very first desegregated high school was founded here in 1831.  It caused quite a hubbub, too , because how dare you let all races and genders learn together?  Madness.  Well known novelist/poet/druggy/criminal John Kerouac was born and spent his childhood here.  1930’s pinup actress Bette Davis was born here, too.
Also from here is the Lowell Spinners, the A team for the Boston Red Sox.  The Spinners have some pretty awesome graduates, such as Jackie Bradley Jr. (USC!!), Jacoby Ellisbury, Jonathan Papelbon, and Kevin Youkilis.  They also have this pretty awesome mascot:
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Canaligator, named after the 6 miles of canals in the area, was born with the team, and loves to cheer at every game, as well as visit schools and hospitals in the area.  At 6’4, 313 lbs, he is built more for the football offensive line than any position in baseball, and is stated to ‘bat poorly, throw even worse.’
In 1999, Canaligator met Allie-Gator, who also sucks at batting, and throws like a girl.  These two found themselves in blissful love, and decided to get married in 2006.  Wow, he took a long time to propose.
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Also in 2006, on opening day, these two had a child, named Millie-Gator, named after all the mills in the area.  She loves family trips to the Everglades, goes to Gator school, and unlike her parents, can throw a pretty sweet curveball.
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Man, that’s just a happy family right there.
Also… inflatabuddy!
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Sauce Boss

Well, yesterday was the end of the College Football season.  Which means that now we’re fully dependent on the NFL for all of our football needs.  So It seems that I could talk about any of the teams that are left in the playoffs, but heck, I did that yesterday.  Today, I want to talk about the lovable losers who are even awesomer than I thought they were.  I’m talking about the Buffalo Bills, who have owners who don’t even want to keep them.  Finishing their 2015 season at 500, that is a successful year, as their overall average is 466.  Sadsies.

The Bills have a predictable Billy the Buffalo as their mascot, and while he tries to seem intimidating, he’s just… not.  Dag that eye contact, though.
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Thus far I’ve only said subpar and mediocre things about Buffalo, but I’m about to blow your mind.
Ya know how people are always like ‘Why do they call them buffalo wings?  Buffalo don’t even have wings.’  Well, people, it is because this type of sauce that is put on said chicken wings was first made in Buffalo, NY, so they named it after the town.  And boom, now it is so big that there are restaurants devoted to them.
Buffalo, you are awesome, getting us all protein-fat with your amazing sauces.
Billy, you are also awesome, even if you don’t scare anyone.  No, the tricycle does not make you more intimidating.
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College Championships 2016

Tonight is the Superbowl of college, also known as the College Football Playoff Championship 2016- how exciting!!!  It’s a battle of the deep south- will Clemson and poorly named The Tiger beat Alabama and Big Al the elephant?  I think not.  Big Al is clearly cuter.

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The bowl takes place at the University of Phoenix Stadium, which is quite the juxtaposition since it is a fully online school without any sports.  This online university says it has a mascot, the Phoenix, but only has it as a logo.
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To make this even more confusing, there is a big red bird on the University of Phoenix Stadium,but it is not the Phoenix.  Instead it’s Big Red, from the Arizona Cardinals, which is who actually plays here.
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Big Red is a cardinal who loves to sing ‘Bird is the Word,’ enjoys going to the Pro Bowl for a free trip to Hawaii, has a favourite food of gummy worms, and can catch better than any other wide receiver thanks to his 7 foot wingspan.
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Big Red claims that it is more important to stay in shape as a mascot than an athlete, and states that he has a grueling offseason to stay svelte.  He does look pretty built, and obviously doing a backflip requires a lot of power in the core.
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Stay fit, Big Red- I think you will need to come up with some impressive new moves when your team goes to the Superbowl.  And you better be at the championships tonight- this is your house!!!