Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ohio State's Brutus Buckeye

THE Ohio State University

Mascot: Brutus the Buckeye

Resembles: A neckless nut boy

Known for: His fear of squirrels, and promoting marijuana

Et tu, Brutus! Brutus the Buckeye is another favorite of mine, I have to say. After all, it is an incredibly stupid idea to stick a nut on top of a human body. And that’s why I like him. In 1965, Ohio State students Ray Bourhis and Sally Huber decided Ohio State needed a mascot. At the time, many schools brought live animal versions of their mascots to games. The initial idea was a buck deer, but that was thought impossible to use – maybe it would have gotten lose and gored some kids in the horseshoe or something. So instead, the buckeye nut was chosen, since the Buckeye is the official tree of the state of Ohio.

The road to the modern Brutus is as rough as potholes on I-71. He started out as some 2nd grader’s paper-mache project, making his grand entrance at the Minnesota vs. Ohio State homecoming game on October 30, 1965. (Coincidence that this scary thing appeared the day before Halloween?) Shockingly enough, the piƱata consistency lasted a whopping two weeks in Ohio’s crappy weather, and it was replaced with a fiberglass shell.

Then something went REALLY wrong – in 1975, Brutus just got all CREEPY. It was like a California Raisin mated with the guy from “Mask”. Sweet Jesus. Who the hell thought this would look good?

So, let's review this:

In 1977, Ohioans couldn’t stand the creepiness any longer, so they went back to the first Brutus nut, only this time he gained 60 additional pounds – 80 pounds total – to now cover the waist of the schlep wearing the nut body. He also gained a baseball cap… and apparently became a mute (no mouth) and cross-eyed. He also looks like he got roughed up a bit (probably from Pete's hammer), or perhaps he had some bad acne scars. Poor nut.

Finally in 1981, Brutus went back to being just a nut head, and with several facelifts and a scarlet and grey rugby shirt, we have Brutus as he is today. But I have to ask, why does Brutus wear that little towel over his nutty parts? Ohio State’s lack of balls? Hmmmmmmm.

And while we’re asking questions, here are a few more I have:

1. What’s with the “THE” of “THE Ohio State University”? As opposed to “AN Ohio State University”? or “HIS” or “HER” or “OUR” Ohio State University? Listen guys – it doesn’t make you sound more prestigious. In fact, it’s just annoying. Valiant effort, however.

2. What’s with the buckeye leaves on the helmets? Are those really the leaves of a “Buckeye tree,” or are they another type of earthy, organic, groovy kind of leaf? Check out this Ohio State player once he took his helmet off...

3. Why are Ohio State fans such cry babies? Like, whoa – it’s going to be OK. I think we’re being a little too dramatic here – although this touching piece on You Tube did make me feel a bit sorry for Brutus, as he wept from last year’s national championship loss to Florida… Alas, poor Brutus...

After that loss – actually two national championship losses to Florida - Brutus’ mental state took a serious hit. He became especially violent to his rivals, by fatally beating the Michigan Wolverine (once again Michigan – it’s pretty sad when other schools have to make a mascot for you. The Wolverine clearly deserves to wear a tutu.)

And by ripping off the Florida Gator’s tail, (thoroughly upsetting Albert Gator’s wife, Alberta Gator.)

Brutus also reported vicious night terrors of his greatest fears…

Here's a video of Brutus' worst fear, as he's relentlessly chased and mauled by an angry pack of blood-thirsty squirrels. I love it.

But, Brutus is a tough nut to crack, and he’s up and at ‘em again this year. Although, he doesn’t realize this Saturday he’s about to meet the toughest nut cracker of them all…

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
Brutus scores high for a lot of reasons, I mean - he’s a freaking nut with a human body. Inanimate objects always score higher than boring animal mascots. He has that stupid, frozen goofy grin (botox Brutus?) and notice that Brutus is one of the few fully dressed mascots – I might have given him a few extra points if he was missing pants, like the Wisconsin Badger, or bearing his chest like Smokey the Bear. But, he’s darn cute with a disproportionate head - so high scores from me, Brutus!

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