#9 Missouri Tigers vs. #11 Belmont Bruins
I've been harping on Truman's over-earnest demeanor brow this entire time, and yet we're in the Final Four and he's still here.
Maybe I just like the idea of a mascot being named after a President who happened to be from the state, though not one who attended the University (as Harry Truman didn't have a college degree; I assume everything he needed to know, he learned in the hobo camps he slept in.)
I really do not want to know what one learns in hobo camps. I'm ok.
I am a little disappointed that they didn't restrict themselves to alumni, if only because we'd have a chance at the University of Missouri Fightin' Berengers.
I could have gone with Platoon Tom Berenger, but Major League Tom Berenger seems more fitting.
In the end, though, Bruiser just seems more determined, in addition to the fact that he's probably got a few hundred pounds on Truman and razor sharp claws.
#16 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. #5 UNLV Rebels
Hey Reb! gets points for being the only mascot in the bracket whose proper name includes punctuation. It makes him seem more dynamic, which builds on the whole "soul-consuming eyes" and "fire conjured from his fingertips" mythos that we've previously established.
He's also got a big ridiculous statue on the UNLV campus.
I'm not entirely sure how Hey Reb! sees things. Maybe he's like a Ringwraith, but with a hat instead of a ring and Las Vegas instead of the Realm of the Unseen
So he's durable. And yet, at the core, he's a frontiersman. He's looking to get to the top of the next hill to see what's on the other side.
Big Red's already on the top of the hill, with his Shin Guards of Madness and Surprisingly Slender Ankles. He's also three years older than Hey Reb! (Hey Reb! in 1982 in order to replace controversial Confederate symbology with a frontiersman, while Big Red was designed in 1979 in order to make life better.)
I don't know how this would go down, as the minds of mere mortals would be shattered upon actually watching this battle.
But in the end, only one can win.
Western Kentucky advances.
#11 Belmont Bruins vs. #16 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
And now we come to the unstoppable force against the immovable object. Or, I guess, the immovable object against a bear. I've always been pretty big on making up the rules as I go along for this thing, so while some other brackets would have eliminated Big Red long ago for not being something that can fight to the death, he's finally made it to the Final.
I appreciate Bruiser's physicality. It's built into his name, and he seems more than willing to tear something limb from limb. But in the end, I really don't think it's enough to withstand the overwhelming and probably pathological Joy represented by a mascot who doesn't seem to mind all that much that the primary directive for his design was to make his head look like a hill, because the college is on a hill and hills are nice.
It's his year.
2013 Murphspot Mascot Bracket Champion
BIG RED - WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY
Post Bracket Comment
I've been writing this bracket for six years, watching it get progressively longer and more ridiculous and never quite sure who's reading it. I enjoy it, and I hope that it makes at least a few of you laugh.It was sort of a goofy, though nowhere near original idea in 2008 (when the Xavier Musketeers won over the Cal State Fullerton Titans by virtue of having actually existed), and looking back on those entries, they were really, really short compared to what I've got going now, and I'm not sure which is better.
I'm never quite sure whether I should keep doing this each March/April, but then someone winds up asking me about it and I decide to go ahead again, so I hope this was to your liking. Mostly, I just wanted to thank whoever's reading this for reading. I'll hopefully continue updating with non-mascot bracket related personal blogging (which I've gotten away from in recent years), but I won't post that all over social media.
Also, my sister and her husband have a dog who looks like the Billiken, and now I'm kind of frightened of him.
The stuff of nightmares