In the blistering heat of the summer, one can only dream of being in cooler places. Frozen strawberry margaritas help take you there, but actually being there is so much better. Usually this time of the year see the North being the ‘just right’ temperature. Thinking of the chilly north and the strawberry red margarita, it makes sense that this week’s mascot would be none other than Wisconsin’s Bucky Badger. We try to take a cool look at this feisty fella and hopefully stop sweating while doing so.
The nickname “Badgers” came from the miners in the area who had to dig a hole and live like the little suckers to fight of the cold of winter back in the 1820’s. The cartoon like mascot version didn’t show up until the 1930s in the newspapers and the official version took over in 1940. That year a live badger could be seen on the field for the first couple of games but had to retire due to its natural spunk. They used a raccoon named Regedab for awhile but dumped him and later on in 1949 the costumed Bucky was born.
The cardinal red and white sweater covers up Bucky and the big ‘W’ on it tells us what school he went to, Wisconsin. Much like any badger, Bucky wears a mean look to scare away the opponents and to please the hometown kids. The costume is the standard animal with clothes get up. The enlarged head helps Bucky look even more fearsome and fortunately his paws are de-clawed and his feet are sporting some Roos (what’s in his Roos?). A group of seven students annually volunteer to don the Bucky outfit and carry on the vociferous tradition.
Everything about Bucky says, “put up a fight.” Apparently in 1973 there was an attempt to replace him with a lame-o cow mascot that the kids love. The attorney general at the time thought it was a home run idea, but really why buck tradition to pander the children? If anything kids should learn to stand up for themselves and not lay in the field just chewing on grass. So to no one’s surprise, the effort failed. Bucky represents a fighting nature and it’s a good fit for a mascot. It’s even good enough for the Mascot Hall of Fame.
So while we are fighting the heat and are reminded just how hot the sun can be (it was a cold winter, shouldn’t it be a lukewarm summer?), we can look to Bucky to serve as a reminder to buck through the hard summer line. The costume itself is really sharp, probably like his teeth were. Wheather or not Bucky is the best mascot is someone else’s fight. We don’t want to mess with him. Oh and it seems Madison, Wisconson is fighting the heat as well. It’s 95 degrees out there today.