Mascot Bracket Round 2: Albert and Alberta Gator versus Butler Blue
Albert E. Gator and Alberta Gator are the official mascots of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Costumed in plush, Albert and Alberta areanthropomorphic representations of American alligators, which are commonly found throughout the state of Florida. The University of Florida fielded its first official intercollegiate sports team (football) in the fall of 1906. It adopted orange and blue as its official colors, combining the orange and black of the former Florida Agricultural College in Lake City with the blue and white of the former East Florida Seminary in Gainesville, the university’s two oldest predecessor institutions. The football team did not initially have an official nickname or mascot, and was often referred to as the “Orange and Blue” or “Pee Wee’s Boys,” after the team’s first head coach, Jack “Pee Wee” Forsythe. In 1908, local merchant Phillip Miller and his son Austin Miller, with no official sanction from the university or athletic association, selected the alligator as an emblem to represent the university on pennants offered for sale in Miller’s Gainesville store. With the state of Florida being home to millions of alligators, the ‘gator proved a popular choice among members of the student body, and the Florida football team began to refer to itself as the “Gators” during the 1911 fall season. A live alligator named Albert first appeared at football games during the 1957 season, and served as the mascot of the football team on the field before the costumed version of Albert became the mascot in 1970. He was joined by a female version, Alberta, in 1984. They often appear as a couple, but also appear alone. They both cheer on the football team, but Albert appears solo at Gators baseball and men’s basketball games, while Alberta cheers on the women’s basketball and gymnastics teams, among others. Watch the UF college video tour here!
Butler Blue is the English Bulldog mascot that serves as the official live mascot of Butler University. There have been three bulldogs to bear the name. Butler Blue III (born December 23, 2011), also called Trip, has served since May 2013. He weighs 62 pounds and is distinguished by his red brindle and white markings passed on by his parents, Sire, Ch. Exact Classic Comet, and Dam, Kongs Sarah. Butler Blue II (March 27, 2004 – August 31, 2013) (often called simply Blue II or Blue) served from 2004 to 2013. He was known by the tagline “Butler’s Mascot, America’s Dog.” He rose to national prominence when the Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball team made unexpected runs to the 2010 and 2011 Final Fours. Blue II was retired on May 20, 2013 and replaced by Butler Blue III. Watch the Butler University college video tour here!