Mascot Bracket Round 2: Purdue Pete versus Brutus Buckeye
Purdue Pete is a mascot of Purdue University. Despite his visible and constant on-field presence at Purdue sporting events, Pete is not the official mascot of the university. The official mascot of Purdue is the Boilermaker Special. Purdue Pete was first designed as a logo by the University Bookstore in 1940. They would put it on their products and portray him dressed up in different clothes for the different majors. He got the Purdue part of his name from Purdue University. The owners of the bookstores gave him the name “Pete”, yet no one officially knows why this was chosen to be his name. He was given a physical identity in 1956 as he came out and helped the students cheer at a pep rally. Over the years, the appearance of Purdue Pete has gone under several drastic changes as well as several minor changes. His original head was made of paper-mâché, pasted onto a chicken wire frame. This was very inconvenient for the person who would be underneath because it would limit his movements, yet he was still expected to move around and do stunts. This head was changed to a giant fiberglass head where the person inside would use a harness to support it. This was impractical due to the sheer size of it. In the 1980s, Purdue Pete acquired the appearance he is now associated with. Proposals to switch to a soft-sculpture costume were rejected in 2006 and 2011. Watch the Purdue college video tour here!
Brutus Buckeye is the athletics mascot of Ohio State University. Brutus is a student dressed in Buckeye colors with a headpiece resembling an Ohio Buckeye nut. Brutus made his debut in 1965, with periodic updates to design and wardrobe occurring in the years since. As a member of the cheerleading team, Brutus Buckeye travels to many events around the university and often makes appearances around Columbus. Ohio State students Ray Bourhis and Sally Huber decided Ohio State needed a mascot in 1965 and convinced the athletic council to study the matter. At the time, mascots were generally animals brought into the stadium or arena. A buck deer was contemplated but rejected as impossible. Instead, the buckeye was selected, as the buckeye is the official state tree of Ohio. A simple papier-mâché chocolate was constructed by students, worn over the head and torso, with legs sticking out. It made its appearance at the Minnesota vs. Ohio State homecoming football game on October 30, 1965. The heavy papier-mâché chocolate did not last and it was soon replaced by a fiberglassshell. On November 21, 1965, The Columbus Dispatch reported that judges picked Brutus Buckeye to be the new mascot’s name after a campus-wide “Name the Buckeye” contest. The winning name was the idea of then Ohio State student Kerry J. Reed, 21. “Block O” agreed to care for Brutus in December. In the early 2000s, the Brutus costume was stolen before a game. The mascot was forced to wear the old costume. Brutus has a buckeye head and block O hat, scarlet and grey shirt emblazoned “Brutus” and “00”, red pants with an Ohio State towel hanging over the front, and high white socks with black shoes. Male and female students both serve as Brutus Buckeye; generally two to five per year. Watch the Ohio State college video tour here!