Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Murphspot Mascot Bracket 2015: West Region

#1 Wisconsin Badgers vs. #16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Even more than I like mascots that are crafted from out of nowhere (either as an obscure animal or based on an early 20th century toy), I can get behind a mascot that seems like it resulted from a committee one-upping itself. Sticking sort of near the concept of the Gamecock used elsewhere in the University of South Carolina system wasn't enough.

"Let's make it a rooster!"

"No, wait. Let's make it a blue rooster!"

"No. Hold on. You guys. You guys. Let's make it a Chaucerian blue rooster."

"This is why we put you on the Committee, Chair of the English Department."

I know that this is supposed to be a fight to the death, but to be honest, I'm not sure that the Chanticleer doesn't wield some sort of unspeakable rooster magic. I'm sorry, Bucky.

And now I really wish a team of Foxes was available in this part of the bracket.

Coastal Carolina advances.

#8 Oregon Ducks vs. #9 Oklahoma State Cowboys

On the face of it, I'm not sure there should be much of a fight here. On one hand, waterfowl. On the other, The Second Incarnation of the Eldritch Pistol Pete.

I've never been too sure about the OK State Pistol Pete; primarily because he looks a little more plastic and melty, but he's still got a gun.

His eyes follow you no matter where you move. I don't just mean while you're looking at the screen. I mean permanently and always

I've tried to research historical interactions between Cowboys and Ducks, and it appears that the closest one can get to the topic is "Ducks of the West", Season 1, Episode 36 of DuckTales, wherein Scrooge's oil reserves dry up and I presume he goes after Daniel Day-Lewis.

The important thing to note is that there were apparently way more episodes of DuckTales than I'd have guessed.

But yes. Guns.

Oklahoma State advances.

#5 Arkansas Razorbacks vs. #12 Wofford Terriers

So, I've lived in Chicago for around a decade now, and I know this is going to be difficult to believe, but it's left me sort of lacking in knowledge about feral pigs.

I know.

I'm not really sure how frightening they are (although the term Razorback is pretty great), and most of what I've found on the subject seems to be that they're really, really annoying if you're a farmer/rancher. I get that.

Terriers, though, are not something I'd imagine are up to the task of actually fighting the feral pigs. Finding? Sure. Barking at? Absolutely. Actual feral pig combat?

I'm sorry, Terriers.

Arkansas advances.

#4 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. #13 Harvard Crimson

And so we've arrived at another "team named after denizens of the area" mascot. In this case, at least, Rameses exists, who I presume was the result of some manner of B-horror movie wherein the Pharoah attempts to preserve his consciousness to allow future generations to experience his greatness directly, but there's a radioactive ram? I guess? And then here we are.

Look upon my works, ye mighty, and applaud politely.

The Crimson could be argued as, maybe, the aftermath of the field of battle once John Harvard is done with you. But, at the end of the day, we've got some sort of ram-man fighting an early 17th century clergyman.

North Carolina advances.

#6 Xavier Musketeers vs. #11 Brigham Young Cougars

What's that? The actual tournament's already begun and this is now impossible? Fie, I say.

Here's the thing with the Musketeers. They've got military training. They're armed. And they've got the all-important Facial Hair Category in their favor.

Also, boot cuffs.

The argument you could make for the Cougars is that muskets themselves may not be terribly accurate, and it's possible that when going through the whole rigamarole with the ball and the powder and the ramrod, the Cougars could have a chance to strike.

I'm going to give the Musketeer the benefit of the doubt and presume he's got secondary armament and sufficient sass to prevail here.

Xavier advances.

#3 Baylor Bears vs. #14 Georgia State Panthers

Damn you, Bear vs. Big Cat.

The thing is, bears are effectively monsters with razor claws and a thirst for blood. So that's one thing. The Georgia State Panther, on the other hand, is an unnatural shade of blue that leads me to believe he's either got some sort of additional Blue Panther abilities or he's just really, really into Manic Panic.

These are always a tossup, but while I feel like I can't quite predict either opponent, I've only heard of one of them getting stuck in the entry to a Sears at the mall.

Georgia State advances.

#7 Virginia Commonwealth Rams vs. #10 Ohio State Buckeyes

On one hand, you've got a sheep. A horned sheep, sure, and one who's named Rodney, which is one of the better mascot names in the bracket.

On the other, you've got a nut. Or a delicious peanut butter and chocolate confectionery, but I'm going to presume Brutus is instead the actual nut. Buckeyes are poisonous, so Brutus' only real method of attack is waiting to be eaten, which it seems likely that a ram like Rodney might be vulnerable against.

Frankly, I don't really buy it, Brutus.

But that really seems like a loss for both parties. Sure, the ram is sort of sick, but the buckeye's been eaten. Instead, I think this ends with Rodney sort of nudging Brutus away and then going about his day.

Virginia Commonwealth advances.

#2 Arizona Wildcats vs. #15 Texas Southern Tigers

I don't want to besmirch the honor of the noble Wilbur and Wilma. Of the Wildcats in the bracket, though, for some reason I don't feel like I can trust Wilbur. I think it's either because his eyes are shaded by his characteristic Stetson, or because what I believe is supposed to be a Stetson occasionally gets a little too floppy and starts heading toward the dreaded "Bucket Hat" territory, and if that's the case, he's likely to wind up stranded on an island despite visits from the Harlem Globetrotters.

Maybe some starch would help?

But, despite the direction I've gone with some of these today, this is a fight to the death and frankly, small feral cat doesn't stack up well against a 400 pound cat, no matter what kind of headwear is involved.

Texas Southern advances.

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