June 17th, 2011 at 2:36 AM ^

...Michigan is a bastion of intellect.  Wolverines are extremely vicious and unpredictable.  Football games are played in public places with over 100,000 people there.  It doesn't take a PhD in math to add it all up and figure out why Michigan doesn't have a live mascot on the sidelines.

Even if they found a cage that was heavy-duty enough to be foolproof, imagine the clusterfuck that the PETA demonstrations outside of the stadium would cause.  


June 17th, 2011 at 2:41 AM ^

I doubt PETA would really make a big deal out of it.  Georgia, Colorado, Texas, Auburn... they all have live mascots.  Probably lots of others, too.  I do agree that it would be ridiculously dangerous to cage a live wolverine on the sidelines though.  Rather, we should put it on a leash and tie it to the goalpost in the opposing end zone.  Score on us at your own risk, opponents.


June 17th, 2011 at 9:27 AM ^

a bulldog mascot we had while I was in the Marines. On our training base which was a naval base, we had an area that was "our" area. We trained our dog "Bones" to go after any sailor that was wearing those goofy white hats. It was funny. He hated those hats as we disciplined him with one, so whenever he saw someone wearing one, he would give chase.



June 17th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

I was at Michigan during the reign of Willy the Wolverine, and I don't remember any cages or PETA protests. Most everyone liked him, in fact. There was a certain amount of grumbling when the lawyers got rid of him. As the article said, it was a matter of who got what money, not whether the mascot was liked, which he was for the most part. I'm not sure that I really get the Rich Eisen types that get traumatized by seeing kids play with a big, furry goofball, and have the time of their lives as they do so.

My take on it is that it is something that gives a block of fans something to have fun with it. If it is really that upsetting, go steal the Who-Hams or something, but let the kids have their fun, as lots of people really seemed to love getting their pic with Willy, or watching him do his thing. Nobody is going to force anyone to watch, and it is a football game, not church. Nobody is defiling hallowed ground by bringing a mascot into Michigan Stadium.


June 17th, 2011 at 2:49 AM ^

David Brandon:

You can't get your picture taken with a Block M. Mascots are really embraced by the youth demographic and we want to take advantage of that, for all the reasons that are obvious.

I disagree. Take a picture in front of this (I did):

Naked Bootlegger

June 17th, 2011 at 8:07 AM ^

Love the creativity...or lack thereof.   Its simplicity makes it appealing.  The eyebrows slanted give it a mean streak, but the kids would still love it and beckon it to come and hug them (although the lack of arms would make it difficult to hug back...would it just lean over and rub up against the kids?  That's kinda creepy).  Sure, some may have nightmares about a block M w/ huge eyes, no arms, and scrawny legs sticking out from it, but that's a small price to pay for this cute monstrosity.   The only other downfall...this might be a bit unwieldy running out of the tunnel to lead the football team.   I can't envision it being easy to jump up and touch the banner in this thing.   Well done, mgopoo. 

Kinda Blue

June 17th, 2011 at 4:09 PM ^

I have generally thought of myself as anti-mascot.  But, as a father of three young boys (all growing into UM fans), I can see Brandon's point.  My kids like getting their picture taken with anybody in a giant character suit at any amusement park and would be twice as happy to get a picture with a UM mascot.  And if they'd get joy out of it, then so will I. 

After thinking about it in those terms, my predisposition for mascot outrage is no more.


June 17th, 2011 at 4:05 AM ^

No mascot please.  Do children these days really need/want/appreciate/take pictures with visiting (or any) mascots?!  Why don't they identify with Denard/Brady Hoke/the ghosts of Bo/Crisler/Yost/Ufer/etc.?  Identify with the "Spirit of Michigan" as Ufer called it, not with some felt creation with a horrible name. 

I guess that's just life passing me by.  Out with the old, in with the new, it's "pro"gress.


June 17th, 2011 at 4:28 AM ^

That's a pretty easy one to answer... Kids like flair something they can relate too. When you bring a young child to their first game they love stuff like mascots. It gets them interested at a young and it usually grows from there. That's when you get them identifying certain players, coaches, etc...  Its more or less about money in the end you attract a younger fan base more revenue from the parents, grandparents, etc..


June 17th, 2011 at 7:12 AM ^

Let's just adopt the "Methed out yellow eyed" Bobcat and put a throwback jersey on it. Schembechler Hall could have a whole hallway filled with pictures like this^, Sparty,Buckeye....Pricless


Think about it, in a hundred years people will ask, "Why the hell do the Michigan Wolverines have a cracked out yellow eye bobcat mascot that attacks other schools mascot?"



Solar Bob

June 17th, 2011 at 4:57 AM ^

That wolf abomination in the article just pushes me farther into the no mascot camp. Live Wolverines will never work, if they had trotted Benny and Biff out to meet the Navy goat I expect it would have gone over like that scene from jurassic park where they fed the cow to the raptor pit.


June 17th, 2011 at 5:19 AM ^

The more I think about it, we should have a live wolverine on the sidelines.  Before the team runs out, we throw a stuffed doll of the opponents' in the cage with it and watch it tear it to shreds.

One can hope, right?


June 17th, 2011 at 6:12 AM ^

From the article: "Expanding the Michigan tradition wasn't the students' only motivation: they were in it for the money ..."

Ha -- I remember this issue well. I'd guess that money was their *only* motivation.

I suppose you could do worse than Willy, but I thought he was an abomination and that his founders/owners were annoying. (Smart guys, though, obviously ...) Who knows? If they'd taken a different tack (one involving less than, say, 97.7% of all proceeds), Willy might have gained traction.


June 17th, 2011 at 7:21 AM ^

One of the hardest things to do is to make a "cute" cartoony Wolverine.  Wolverines are ugly, mean little sacks of atomic rage.  They don't take well to "cute". 

See, not taking to "cute"

So either you have something that doesn't look like a Wolverine*, or something so hideous that no one wants their picture taken with it.  However, I do think DB will eventually lean towards something based around this:

By the way, unspoken in that DB quote: "We need a mascot because we keep getting left out of the This is SportsCenter ads and Red won't do them, I've asked."

*-No, it's OK, we still love you Wolverbear.


June 17th, 2011 at 9:04 AM ^

"Wolverines are ugly, mean little sacks of atomic rage."  If Brandon takes this to heart when reviewing designs for a possible mascot, he probably won't go wrong.

Frankly, I can't imagine any plush animal conveying "ugly, mean little sacks of atomic rage" but I've never seen a better description of a wolverine.


June 17th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

so we could take a look at the Wisco mascot and find a way to get him on steroids. Maybe take the Wisco mascots head, and sparties arms....

Wolverines are incredibly vicious. Youtube them. You'll find one fight off an entire pack of wolves, another scare away two black bears, and another approach a black bear who made a kill, kill the bear, then eat the bear and the kill. They're much smaller than black bears but can eat a large proportion of their body weight in a sitting and go long periods betwen meals.


June 17th, 2011 at 10:22 AM ^

Ideally, we get something similar to the hat there. Instead of a brown lump of fur, stick with Maize and Blue. Anyone with crazy photoshop/ms paint skills want to give a mascot a try. I'd be really interested to see what people here can come up with.


June 17th, 2011 at 7:33 AM ^

and their coupon packs. They were trying to market it to make money for themselves. I recall we all wante to punch those guys in the face. Also the character was highly cartoonish and lame.
<br>No mascot...just hotter cheerleaders please.


June 17th, 2011 at 1:51 PM ^

Figures one of the guys who start Groupon. 

But Willy sucked. His design was way too cute, and the actually mascot (pictured in article) looked like something a child molester would wear.  And "Willy"? Yeah, no one will ever make fun of that. Others have tried, and it just doesn't look good.

And Brandon, we've had well over a hundred years of Michigan football, and somehow kids still like it and it's been popular with out a mascot.  I don't think we're missing out on a marketing opportunity here. Next thing you'll know we'll have toys and a kid's cartoon to promote it.


June 17th, 2011 at 7:38 AM ^

For the most part I'm a traditionalist—not a fan of the faux throwbacks, for example—but I think DB is on the mark with his comments about younger fans and the lack of a mascot. If nothing else, there's a revenue stream that's just waiting to be taken advantage of, and I'd much rather see a mascot down on the field than advertising. Anybody who thinks kids really get off on being photographed next to the large inanimate block M either hates kids or has no clue about what makes them tick.

The "We're Michigan and we're too good for a mascot" attitude reminds me of those who were opposed to the stadium renovations because they were going to ruin the purity of the bowl.

I agree with Brandon that the key task is to design a mascot well. A bad mascot is much worse than no mascot at all.


June 17th, 2011 at 7:47 AM ^

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about the fans who dress up in outlandish maize-and-blue costumes and capes and ring a bell all game long, or go shirtless, painting themselves blue and yelling at the TV cameras holding their very creative "we're #1" fingers aloft?


June 17th, 2011 at 7:54 AM ^

I, personally, am a painter. Shirtless, painted maize and blue head to toe.  I love getting decked out for the game.  AND going batshit crazy.

Differences are:

1. I am not commissioned by or directly affiliated with the university (except as an alum)

2. People shouting and dressing up ridiculously is completely different from a fully grown man dressed as a leprauchaun dancing an irish jig.

Fans are fans at any school, but we don't need buffoonery to be commissioned and supported by the university.  That's what we have the student section for.


Section 1

June 17th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

I'm shocked that Brandon's attitude is anything other than, "We are not doing a mascot at Michigan, and we will sue anyone who proposes a mascot."

I hope to hell that Dave Brandon is a U.S. Senator before he can inflict a mascot on the Michigan Athletic Department.

As for small children who want a Michigan mascot, I have just finished reading a book by Swift, and I think I might have a Modest Proposal...


June 17th, 2011 at 8:25 AM ^

Yeah, that's the Sparty statue in EL. It's actually bronze, not maize and blue obviously. It's not even their original Sparty statue - this one looks far more like some dude from 300 (although they said they had to replace it bc of weather damage... color me skeptical).