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Prepared for the puparazzi? Butler Blue 2 in TMZ Sports

Butler's live Bulldog mascot, Butler Blue 2, is leaving on a jet plane* for his 2nd consecutive Final Four appearance. TMZ ran this sweet composite pic with their article about Blue.

ButlerBlue2TMZMarch2011

Last year's Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianaoplis was a short drive from the Butler campus. This year's Final Four at Houston's Reliant Stadium requires a different ride.

Due to NCAA regulations, he has not been at Butler's other NCAA Tournament games, but he was cleared for the Final Four shortly after Butler made it in. Of course, he broke the news on Twitter. 

BTW, Blue has flown before to the IZOD Center (Meadowlands) for the Butler-Duke game in December 2010. (Duke won by 12.)

Quite the social media hound, here's Blue 2's linkage:

Twitter @ButlerBlue2

Facebook ButlerBlue2

Flickr ButlerBlue2

UStream (webcam) Life and Times of Butler Blue II

YouTube ButlerBlue2

FourSquare ButlerBlue2

and finally, a blog Life and Times of Butler Blue 2. (The last update was August 2008. Safe to say he's evolved with the times.) 

 *3/31/11 Correction: Blue will be flying on a fan-chartered plane, not the team plane. 


Shaka Smart, Scarface, & the Morris Twins

Shaka Smart was on the Dan Patrick Show (a well-listened to nationally syndicated radio show) this morning. A few things caught my ear: 

*His only hobby: collecting quotes. He has about 120 pages of quotes, which is uses with his team.

*He also likes to use movies, funny and inspirational. 

Dan said that was too deep and asked for another. 

Combining the use of quotes and movies, Smart went to a line from Scarface. Tony Montana, under the influence, says, "There goes the bad guy."  He likens this to people doubting VCU and used it to motivate his team. 

I thought this was sweetly ironic, in light of one the Kansas Jayhawks' Morris twins smack-talk before the Kansas-VCU tip off.  

If you haven't heard about that, here's a clip from an AP story on Yahoo!Sports after that game:

"Once again we felt like nobody really thought we could win going into this game," said VCU coach Shaka Smart, the budding star of the tournament. "Our guys have done a phenomenal job of putting all the doubters aside, all the people that didn't believe in us, and going out to do their job."

VCU guard Joey Rodriguez counted one of Kansas' vaunted Morris twins — Marcus or Markieff — as one of those many doubters. During a pregame captains meeting with officials, Rodriguez said one of the brothers offered him some parting words: "The run ends here."

"We'll see," Rodriguez shot back.

There goes the bad guy. 


2011 NCAA Final Four Mascots Pictures

BulterBlue2wHink2010ReplayPostChampGame333x250

Saturday, April 2, 5:09 pm CST

#8 Butler Bulldogs

Costumed Mascot: Hink

Live Mascot: Butler Blue 2 (will attend)

 

VCURam2011Replay169x225

#11 Virginia Commonwealth Rams

 Costumed Mascot: Rodney the Ram

Live Mascot: none found

 

 

 

 

UConnHusky2011Replay Saturday, April 2, 7:49 pm CST

#3 Connecticut Huskies

Costumed Mascot: Jonathan the Husky

Live Mascot: Jonathan the Husky (won't attend)

vs. 

 

 

KentuckyWildcat2011PatchSI139x225 #4 Kentucky Wildcats

 Costumed Mascot: The Wildcat (not Scratch)

Scratch is the Junior Wildcat Club Mascot 

Live Mascot: Blue, wildcat at Salato Wildlife Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

(The Butler, VCU and UConn pics are affiliate links to Replay Photos.)


Butler Blue 2 - Lift off cleared for Houston

ButlerBlue2_2011FinalFourMask With a win over Florida on Saturday, Butler reserved their spot at the Final Four in Houston. The team will go, but what about Butler Blue 2, their live Bulldog mascot who has not been able to attend the tournament games so far? 

via Twitter, @ButlerBlue2 announced after the game: 

"I am pleased to announce that the NCAA has officially declared me FREE to attend the Final Four in Houston. #freeButlerBlue2 is retired!"

Though he will be there in person,there is also a spiffy Butler Blue 2 mask available to print and wear. (The original Butler Blue 2 masks, sans astronaut helmet, were available in the earlier rounds of the tournament so Butler fans could support their team with Blue's likeness.) 



 

 


Bleacher Report: Power Ranking the Mascots of the 2011 Sweet Sixteen


RichmondSpider2011Denver Vin Getz breaks down the mascots of the 2011 Sweet Sixteen with clever, sometimes informative, write-ups for each one at Bleacher Report.com.

A few tidbits I learned: 

*Disney designed the Hink costume for Butler. Correction: Just found a Butler.edu article that said current Hink cosumes designed by Street Characters. Maybe stolen ones were designed by Disney. 

*The Richmond Spiders got their name from the baseball team's spindly legged pitcher back in 1894. 

Kudos for including the mascot couples: Albert & Alberta Alligator from Florida and Wilbur and Wilma T. Wildcat from Arizona. For whatever reason, the Albert and Wilbur perfrom solo duing basketball games. 

A few oversights: San Diego state recently added a costumed jaguar, Zuma, to add levity to the Aztec Warrior. However, I don't see Zuma on the sidelines during the UCONN game right now. Maybe there's an NCAA rule that allows only one mascot. Goofy NCAA mascot rules

Also, from what I understand, Florida State's Chief Osceola only appears at football games. (Can any FSU fans confirm that?) 

 

2011 Sweet 16 Merchandise!