Time for another rant. No, this time is not about the band and its attempt to bring back the sweet sounds of 1930s Middle America to the hip-hop generation…..no it is time to give another UK staple a swift kick in the rear….the UK mascot. As we all know, the Kentucky cheerleading team is one of the university’s best programs. The Cats win the national cheerleading championship virtually every year and their routines are considered the best in the land. Sitting on press row last year, I actually gained a new respect for their athleticism, as I watched up close, as they showcased their unbelievable talents, both in stunts and holding fake smiles on their faces for untold amounts of time.
And part of that cheerleading excellence in recent years has been the UK mascot. Usually one of the members of the cheerleading squad, the mascot is part of absurd antics that usually involve dancing with kids or rubbing bald men on the top of their head. I am not a big mascot guy (unless it is a Hilltopper), but as far as mascots go, the UK Cat has always seemed to be ok by me. In recent years at UK football games, the mascot has taken to doing one-armed pushups every time UK scores (stealing the tradition of other schools), and doing the number of pushups equating to the number of UK points. It is a decent tradition and when UK has had impressive mascots, it has been quite entertaining.
Well that was until this year. For those of you that havent been to a UK football game this year, our mascot’s attempts to do one-armed pushups this year have been absolutely putrid. The mascot (who clearly has beeen to the weight room almost as much as our offensive line) does a “pushup” that essentially equates to ducking his head towards the ground quickly while moving his pelvis in a downward direction, but finding a way to not actually “push” anything up. It sort of reminds me of my attempts at pushups in middle school when my glasses were too big for my face and any movement in a downward direction was sure to have the glasses fall off my face and the class to burst into laughter….but i digress. The Jumbotron always focuses on the mascot during this farce and it has become the case that an audible laugh goes through the stadium as it is shown. Our mascot is openly mocked for his (in my best Governator voice) “girlie man” strength.
Look I am not saying one-armed pushups are easy, but either get someone who can do them or end the tradition. It is as simple as that. I think a better tradition would be to have Woo, wearing a floral shirt and blue jean shorts (and outfit he seems to like) on the field after every touchdown waving his arms the number of times that equates to the amount of points. It is fun, entertaining and doable….and it involves Woo. We all win….and the mascot can be left to do what he does best…..scare little kids and shoot t-shirts into the hands of fat guys in the crowd who knock over little girls to catch a shirt that wont fit them. Oh yeah….and stop the wave too…..