Going Rogue: College Football's Greatest Renegade Mascots
Mascots are just another element that make college football great. Sure, the NFL has them, but do they really add anything to the professional atmosphere?
One of the best parts of college mascots is the fact that they're generally one of two things: live animals or college students. What do those two things have in common?
Whether it's getting in fights, taunting, clipping, or biting, college football mascots really get the crowd into it.
Here is a look at some of the baddest "bad boys" of the college football mascot world in no order other than No. 1.
Cavman's Horse Sabre (Virginia)
Traditionally, the Virginia Cavalier rides out onto Scott Stadium on a horse named Sabre, sword in hand, during pregame festivities while the UVA band plays its fanfare.
However, last season before the TCU game, it wasn't the riding that drew attention—it was the falling.
Just let this video do the talking:
Bucky the Badger (Wisconsin)
Apparently you're not supposed to crowd surf at Wisconsin football games. Bucky the Badger found that out the hard way.
During the second quarter of the 2004 Wisconsin-Penn State game, which the Badgers won 16-3, Bucky decided to take part in some crowd surfing within the student section.
UWPD officers saw this and were not happy, as they quietly arrested the mascot and fined him $181.
According to The Badger Herald, "body passing" is not allowed at UW football games.
From 1984-1992, John Routh played the role of Sebastian, the University of Miami's mascot. In 1989, he pushed the envelope during pregame festivities in Tallahassee before The U squared off with Florida State.
FSU tradition has Chief Osceola ride out onto the field at Doak Campbell Stadium and throw a flaming spear onto the turf.
Sebastian seemed to have other plans, as he carried a fire extinguisher onto the field, dressed in a coat and helmet borrowed from the Miami FD. Before he could pull any shenanigans, two Florida State Troopers grabbed Sebastian and slammed him into a fence as he began to run on to the field.
In 2001, Sebastian, no longer played by Routh, was the reason Miami received a 15-yard penalty after taunting Florida players following a touchdown.
What can you say? Rivalries bring out the best in this ibis.
The University of Colorado has had five living buffalo mascots over the years (Ralphie I, II, III, IV, and V), and having a wild animal in a stadium that holds over 50,000 people is sure to cause an incident every once in a while.
Ralphie has helped out the Buffs on the football field, once clipping a Kansas State player with her horns. On another occasion, she tossed with her horns one of CU's former Ralphie handlers, Meghan McCarthy, who graduated in 2003.
During the 2008 spring game, Ralphie caused a brief fiasco, escaping from all but one handler, bumping into the rest, but not causing injury.
Take it from someone who has stood in front of the 1,000-plus-pound beast, trying to get a great video shot at Folsom Field—seeing Ralphie charge at you is pretty scary.
CAM the Ram (Colorado State)
Staying in the Centennial State, we head north to Fort Collins.
In 2009, during the second quarter of the Rocky Mountain Showdown between in-state rivals Colorado State and Colorado, CAM the Ram instigated a fight against Chip (CU's dress-up mascot) in front of the Buffaloes' student section.
Whether the incident was planned ahead of time or not, there was a bit of shoving and physical involvement before ending in a water gun fight. I used to have video of this, but I've lost the tape.
Also, the real-life CAM once ran over a cheerleader while being led onto Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. This is often shown during FSN's blooper reels.
Fun fact: CAM will be one of 11 new mascots added to EA's NCAA Football 2011.
Georgia mascot Uga doesn't take to kindly to opposing players scoring in his end zone. In 1996, Auburn's Robert Baker found this out the hard way.
On the final play of the first quarter, Baker, a running back, scored on a six-yard reception, and before he had a chance to celebrate the go-ahead touchdown with his teammates, Uga lunged at him as if he were trying to bite.
Baker jumped out of the way and was not left with any teeth marks. While it's not 100 percent whether Uga was trying to bite or play, it's more fun to think the bulldog was trying to attack.
What is it with SEC dog mascots biting players from the state of Alabama?
While this one still is up for debate on whether the bite actually occurred, former Crimson Tide head coach Mike Shula says it did.
At Neyland Stadium before Alabama and Tennessee kicked off in 2006, Crimson Tide wide receiver Mike McCoy, then a freshman, jumped out of bounds to try to make a catch during pregame warm-ups, but the pass was too high, and he ended up falling on Smokey. The bluetick hound allegedly bit McCoy as a result.
Smokey's owner, Earl Hudson, says Shula was wrong and Smokey never bit McCoy. At the same time, why would McCoy make it up?
While the alleged bite would have been a mere act of self-defense, give credit to Smokey for standing up for himself.
The Oregon Duck (Oregon)
In Oregon's 2007 season opener at Autzen Stadium, the Oregon Duck decided to duke it out with Shasta, the mascot for the Houston Cougars.
Shasta was allegedly imitating the warm-up routine of the Duck, which got the Oregon mascot angry. So what did he decide to do? Fight! What started as looking innocent turned into punches with force being thrown.
I don't know about you, but for a mascot modeled after a Disney character, that's not very characteristic of Donald.
Peruna is an absolute killer. Literally.
While maybe looking puny due to being a Shetland pony, according to the SMU Daily Campus, Peruna is the only mascot in history to ever kill its counterpart from another school.
In a game against the Fordham Rams during the mid-early 1900s, Fordham's ram handlers had their mascot standing too close to Peruna, and with one swift kick, the pony instantly killed the ram with a blow to the head.
If that's not enough, Peruna once made an attempt at "PDA" while trying to mount Texas Tech's horse, Misty. Also, he was able to take down Bevo of Texas with a single kick to the side.
While Peruna might not look tough, it's hard to argue that he's not the most renegade mascot in college football.