Mascot Bracket: Otto the Orange versus Goldy Gopher
Otto the Orange is the mascot for the Syracuse Orange, the athletic teams of Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, USA. Otto is an anthropomorphic orange, wearing a large blue hat and blue pants. Otto can usually be seen at Syracuse sporting events in the Carrier Dome and other university sporting events. In the summer of 1980, the cheerleaders and mascots were at a UCA Cheerleading Camp in Tennessee and the students who were chosen to suit up in the costume narrowed the field down to two potential names — “Opie” and “Otto”—as a new orange costume was made. It was concluded that the name “Opie” would lead to the inevitable rhyme with ‘dopey’, and settled on “Otto.” Later that fall, word got out that the cheerleaders were calling the latest mascot costume Otto, and the name stuck. For 17 years the university did not settle on an “official” mascot until the chancellor appointed a group of students and faculty to create a mascot and logo. University administration considered introducing a new mascot (a wolf or lion were likely candidates), but the student body supported Otto. He was recognized as the official mascot of Syracuse University by 1995.
Goldy Gopher is the mascot for the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus and the associated sports teams, known as the Golden Gophers, as well as the defending UCA Mascot National Champion. During the year, Goldy makes over 1000 appearances and is at virtually all home games for University teams, usually wearing the appropriate sporting attire. From 1952 until 1990, the Gopher appearing at U of M sports events was a member of the Marching Band, and a symbiosis developed through the years that on more than one occasion kept Goldy out of trouble. With a propensity for attracting tail-pulling kids, Goldy relied on the band to save him from their clutches. And when the opposing team’s cheerleaders or band members managed to `kidnap’ the unfortunate rodent (a Big Ten tradition, it seems), band members would always come to the rescue. In the late 1980s the U of M Athletic Department began to make use of Goldy at an ever-increasing number of events, and actually held University-wide tryouts to secure a number of students who could cover the busy schedule. The marketing wing of the Athletic Department officially took charge of Goldy in 1992. The students that portray Goldy maintain anonymity throughout their tenure. They are also recognized as student athletes due to their vigorous schedule and amount of work that goes into it.