Michigan Football: The Wolverines Have a New Hero

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Michigan Football: The Wolverines Have a New Hero
AP/OhioCollegeFootball.com Dan Poel

Think back to all of the Michigan greats over the years. All of the men who have made you proud to be a Wolverine. Desmond Howard, Bo Schembechler, Charles Woodson, Chris Perry, Tom Brady, and most recently, Denard Robinson.

Well, make room for one more, and this one may surprise you. The newest Michigan hero has absolutely no affiliation with the University of Michigan, but yet shares a common bond: a hatred of The Ohio State Buckeyes.

His name is Brandon Hanning, aka Rufus, the former mascot for THE Ohio University. I say former because his recent actions at the Ohio State/Ohio football game on September 18th, 2010, caused him to not only lose his job as mascot, but also got him banned from attending another Ohio University athletic event, ever.

What could a mascot do that could be so reprehensible? Only what every Michigan fan across the country has thought of doing at one point or another—assaulting Brutus the Buckeye in front of his home crowd.

Words cannot possibly do it justice, so you have to enjoy the video here to truly see what a great moment it was.

But I think it's important to get the back story of the gentleman that once called himself Rufus.

You see, this was no impromptu act. This was a premeditated attack that took over a year of planning and a dedication to seeing a dream through that most of us have never been able to muster.

While a student at Ohio University, Brandon Hanning was watching a previous OSU/Ohio football game, and while watching the mascots, thought it would be funny if someone were to tackle Ohio State's mascot, Brutus.

The mere thought of seeing Brutus being slammed to the ground by another mascot was enough motivation for Brandon to put his master plan in motion. He set out to become the next Rufus mascot for Ohio University, for no other reason than to humiliate Ohio State, and more importantly, their mascot.

What that entailed was actually BEING Rufus for all of the other Ohio University sporting events. Hundreds of hours spent acting out a role simply to go unnoticed when the time to strike came. On Saturday, September 18th, 2010, in Columbus, Ohio, the moment had arrived.

Hanning's plan was to attack at mid field, just as the Buckeye's were coming onto the field at the beginning of the game. And sure enough, just as Brutus and the Ohio State football team ran onto the field, Rufus made his move.

He sprinted to midfield and met his nemesis with a tackle. But the blow failed to bring down the mighty Brutus. In fact, it knocked the head off of Rufus himself. Collecting himself, Rufus got his head together and went in for a second, far more devastating attack.

Following Brutus into the end zone, Rufus struck again. This time jumping onto the OSU mascot's back from behind and wrestling him to the ground, all the while striking blows to the nut's head.

As the two mascots separate, without words you can clearly see that the only thing Brutus asks is, "What the [EXPLETIVE]?"

And as quickly as the attack had begun, it ended. Rufus was pulled aside by security and told to stay away from Brutus. His dream had come to fruition in dramatic style, and in an instant he was admired as a hero to many, and an enemy to the Ohio State faithful.

Since the incident occurred last week, Hanning has received a wide range of responses. Some people have gone as far as to threaten his life while others have said he deserves a statue honoring the moment. Whatever abuse or reward he may receive, the memories will last a lifetime.

Thank you Rufus, you are now officially Michigan's adopted mascot!

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