A student dropped by my office, and I told him this story. I may as well put in on here, too.
The first rounds of the NCAA Tournament are played in Nashville on a regular basis. We try to get tickets because it is a fun event to attend. You see some great basketball games, and you get to interact with different fan bases. We have seen great upsets and a lot of blowouts. However, one event sticks out that didn’t involve the players.
Several years ago, the University of Oregon played the University of Utah in a first round game. I can’t tell you anything about the game. I don’t know who won, and I have no idea if it was close. I can tell you what happened during one of the breaks in play.
The Oregon cheerleaders were performing a routine in the middle of the floor. Before I go any further, I must say that Oregon has the best cheerleading squad that I have ever seen. I have been to countless sporting events, and no one is better than them.
That’s also what my buddy was saying as they performed. “Oh!” But, it was followed by a “my!”
Anyway, they were going through their performance when the Utah mascot, some kind of bird, starting walking around on stilts. Apparently, the Oregon mascot, a duck, thought he was getting too close to the cheerleaders. That’s when the duck confronted the bird and motioned for him to get off the court. The bird didn’t budge, so the duck did what any good mascot would do. He grabbed the stilts and started shaking them.
That’s when the Utah bird came off the stilts and decked the duck. The duck retaliated, and, before we knew it, they had each knocked off the other one’s head. The fight was on. A duck with a human head and a bird with a human head were duking it out. This wasn’t some tiddlywinks fight, either. There were some good punches thrown before they started wrestling on the floor.
In the meantime, the male cheerleaders from both squads were bumping chests and about to brawl. (Editorial comment: Male cheerleaders get a bad rap. It looks like a pretty good job to me. On top of that, they have to be pretty strong.)
Before things got too out of hand, security came over and broke up the mascots and the male cheerleaders. But, here’s the thing. The cheerleaders who were performing never broke their routine. It was just like nothing was happening. Maybe, they see this kind of thing all of the time.
In a couple of weeks, I am traveling to Oregon to watch my team, Tennessee, play football against them. I am not sure how good the game will be, so I hope there will be another mascot fight. I think Smokey can take him.