Dearest Panthers, I must leave you. Why, I cannot say. Where, you cannot know. How I will get there, I haven't decided yet. But one thing I can tell you, any time I hear the wind blow it will whisper the name Pitt. And so let us part with a love that will echo through the ages. ---Jamie
So... how's everyone feeling?
Look, I know it's been a rough few days. Between the abrupt (and uggggggly) end of the season on Friday night, to the departure of Jamie Dixon to TCU after 14 seasons as Pitt head coach, it's an emotional time. I've been happy. I've been sad. Mostly, I've tweeted too much while punching photos of Scotty Reynolds and Matt Howard and crying a little.
But the show, it must go on. You're gonna be ok. We're gonna be ok. And you know what will make you feel better? Mocking dumb fake birds and a stupid blue horse, that's what.
And maybe mocking this. Just a little.
Look who's coming Home pic.twitter.com/YIavUR8SC3— Chris Del Conte (@_delconte) March 21, 2016
The dreaded "Air Quotes of Doom." Ooooooooh.
Last week, you narrowed March's sixteen worst mascots down to this week's four matchups, and folks, there's not an easy call left in the bracket. These are the truly bad, the lame de la lame.
Vote below, and take your mind off all the... unpleasantness.
1. Syracuse Orange vs. 8. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Syracuse Orange (def. N. Iowa Panthers 89%-11%)
Whoops. I do that every time.
There we go.
Much like they did this past weekend, the Orange benefited from a favorable draw, proving to be a far, far worse mascot than the noble Panther. And much like they did last weekend, they still have an impossibly stupid mascot. Listen here, ‘Orange,' all the fluky Sweet 16s in the world won't change the fact that you're either the worst crayon in the 8-pack or citrus from central New York.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (def. Texas Tech Red Raiders 63%-37%)
Poor Blue Raiders. Looks like Syracuse really has your number, eh? On the other hand, looking at My Little Mascot up there, I'm not doubting that you can shock the world again.
5. Green Bay Phoenix vs. 13. Wichita State Shockers
Green Bay Phoenix (def. All Bulldogs 51%-49%)
You're such an uninspiring choice that you barely snuck by an adorable dog. You still look ridiculous, and your name makes no sense. Maybe - MAYBE - it would have made for a good moment if you'd made a big comeback during your game so Gus Johnson or whoever could get off an ecstatic "The Phoenix RISES!!!" Too bad you lost by 27. On the other hand, I guess a Phoenix laying an egg was appropriate.
Wichita State Shockers (def. Duke Blue Devils 58%-42%)
Two rounds in the bracket and one name that stinks. Yeah, I could've come up with something that rhymed there but I'm a little more mature than that. (citation needed) Anyway, congrats on beating Duke in round one, Intimidating Corn Cobs.
3. Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. 6. UNC Wilmington Seahawks
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (def. Buffalo Bulls 70%-30%)
Most places, if you ask for a "Tulsa Golden Hurricane," it's gonna cost you double. And as if that name weren't bad enough, here's your current mascot:
Not only does that look like a store brand cereal mascot, it's an improvement on your last attempt!
From 1994 to 2009, Tulsa's mascot was Captain 'Cane, an anthropomorphized golden hurricane with human attributes such as biceps, clothes, and a perpetual smirk. This representation of Captain 'Cane was named by Fox Sports as the second worst mascot in the country.
I don't think anybody wants to face Tulsa in this bracket.
UNC Wilmington Seahawks (def. SFA Lumberjacks 54%-46%)
If you voted in round one, you know that there's no such bird as a Seahawk. It's not real. It's a made up thing, like Harry Potter or a list of James Franklin's best wins.
10. West Virginia Mountaineers vs. 2. Stony Brook Seawolves
West Virginia Mountaineers (def. Chattanooga Mocs 63%-37%)
[Nelson Muntz voice] HA-HA!
You lost to a 14-seed and a guy with a better beard that your terrible mascot. Sure would be a shame if you were scientifically proven to have the worst mascot in the field. Hell, with the way the election season's going, you weren't even the most well-known person to embarrass himself on TV this weekend with a dead rodent on his head.
Stony Brook Seawolves (def. Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners 64%-36%)
Kudos to commenter h2p_1787 who pointed out in round one that Stony Brook's logo is virtually identical to a minor league hockey logo. That is weak sauce, Stonies. At least the Hartford Wolfpack is named after, you know, wolves. Seawolves, to my continued disappointment, are still particularly ugly fish.