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Bruiser knocked out of contest

Nov. 30, 2005

by MARISSA NEWMAN, reporter

Baylor's Bruiser the Bear met defeat against Purdue Pete this week as the mascots competed in the final round of the Capitol One Mascot of the Year contest.

The final round consisted of the top six mascots. The other mascots were Nebraska's Herbie Husker, Massachusetts' Sam the Minuteman, UCLA's Joe Bruin and Tennessee's Smokey. The other bottom four mascots will be facing off next week.

"The last I saw on Sunday, voting was very close. But it was fun while it lasted," said Lori Scott-Fogleman, Baylor's director of media relations.

More than 15 million voted on the final mascots. Baylor ended up placing fifth overall. The playoff rounds will last three more weeks. The winner will be announced at the Capitol One Bowl on Jan. 2.

"With bragging rights on the line, we're expecting the gloves to come off now that we're in the playoffs," Capital One representative Pam Girardo said. "Voter turnout has been unprecedented this year, and we've still got almost three weeks to go."

Students had an opportunity to either vote online or text message their votes once a day.

"We'll send in a video again next year," said spirit coordinator E.J. Williams. "It's great PR for Baylor, and being a finalist gives us another chance at making the team again."

The top 12 receive a $5,000 prize to use toward buying a new mascot uniform. The winner of the competition receives an additional $5,000.

Baylor has six people who rotate on the mascot team: Sarah Heldt, Kim Brooks, Zach Kelty, Laurel Chick, Zak Kelley, Tommy Madeja and Ira Rauls.

Sulphur Springs junior Zach Kelty was the mascot chosen to represent Baylor in the Capital One commercials.

"I think it's a positive thing for Baylor, with the football team getting better and Bruiser becoming a nationally recognized mascot," Kelty said. "On behalf of Bruiser and the mascot team, I would like to thank all of the Baylor students and professors who voted for Bruiser all semester long."

The Capital One team is chosen from Division IA and IAA schools with football teams. The mascots are judged by interaction with fans, originality and pedigree. The judges include mascot expert Dr. Roy Yarbrough and representatives from ESPN and Capital One.