johnnie-O Puts NCAA Mascots Head-to-Head

Bracket time around here is pretty serious and headed up by one of the biggest sports fans in our office. It only makes sense that I felt our Blue Room needed to offer up some johnnie-O topspin on the traditional March Madness banter and handed off the reins to our very own Johnny G, who created the Mascot Matchup. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Just like the rest of the world’s sports fans, I suffer from a seasonal depression that typically hits the Sunday following the Super Bowl. The only true cure to this football deficiency occurs around mid-March, when March Madness kicks off. Rather than bore you all with my expert team analysis and predictions based off historical trends, we decided to mix it up and choose 32 mascots from teams featured in our Collegiate Collection to face each other head-to-head in a one-round battle.



UCLA’s Bruins vs. George Washington University’s Colonials

Setting aside the fact that our fine country was built on the work of colonials, I don’t think they are any match for a bear. Assuming that these are not gun-wielding colonials, UCLA takes the win here.

Fordham University’s Rams vs. Williams College’s Purple Cow

Now I’m sure you’re immediately thinking a cow would easily lose in a fight to a ram… probably even to the death, and normally, you would be right. But this cow is purple, that’s the kicker. I’m going to assume that a purple cow has some sort of mystical powers. I’m taking the purple cow, hands down, because I just can’t trust purple things… especially cows.

Bucknell University’s Bison vs University of Virginia’s Cavaliers

According to my extensive Google research, based on a scientific study from 2000, the bison in Yellowstone National Park are actually more dangerous than bears in the area. They have charged 81 people, in comparison to a measly 30 bear attacks. However, cavaliers are typically sword-wielding, which is why I would take the Cavs here in a hard-fought battle.  

College of Charleston’s Cougars vs. Lehigh University’s Hawks

This is one of the more challenging matchups, but I’m going to go with the hawk. These guys can take down animals much bigger than they are, and cougars are among the smaller species of cats.



Colgate University’s Raiders vs. Trinity College’s Bantam

While apparently bantam are chickens known particularly for their aggressiveness, I don’t think they could take down a raider or any human being for that matter. Toothpaste University takes the win here.

Cornell University’s Bears vs. Fairfield University’s Stags

Not going to lie, I wasn’t positive what a stag was prior to this blog post.  I did my research though, and determined it is in fact a male deer. Hey, why not make our mascot a creature that is constantly living in fear? The Fairfield Stags vs. the Westfield anxieties! This one clearly goes to Cornell.

Boston College’s Eagles vs. St. Lawrence University’s Saints

While saints are often associated with peace and nonviolence, St. Francis of Assisi was known for his ability to tame wild beasts. They also are able to transcend life on earth. Saints with the W here.

Georgetown University’s Bulldog vs. Providence College’s Friars

Friars don’t exactly strike me as the most intimidating type of people. I think a vicious bulldog would be able to take one down. Georgetown wins.



University of Dayton’s Flyers vs. Northwestern University’s Wildcats

When I think of a “flyer”, I envision one of those old school twin engine planes with a pilot’s head popping out, rocking the aviator hat and goggles. Those type of people don’t really strike me as “threatening,” so I’m going to go with the wildcats on this one. Things also didn’t work out so well with one of the most famous flyers, Amelia Earhart, so I’m not putting any money on them at the moment. Too soon?

Miami University’s Redhawks vs. Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish

As I’m sure you all know, the johnnie-O brand has significant origins from Irish ancestry (O’Donnell family). We are a relentless group of people that can’t be taken down without a fight. Irish with the victory here.  

University of Chicago’s Phoenix vs. College of Holy Cross’ Crusaders

A phoenix is a bird that apparently can obtain new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. While a crusader is most certainly tough, I’m going to go with the phoenix on this one. Hard to beat Greek mythological creatures.

Kansas University’s Jayhawk vs. University of Richmond’s Spiders

Jayhawk is another mascot I was unfamiliar with prior to this blog. I’m happy to find out the term actually has a deeper, commendable meaning according to the KU website. The name combines two birds – the blue jay, a noisy, quarrelsome thing known to rob other nests, and the sparrow hawk, a stealthy hunter. Jayhwakers describes Kansas natives who would go to Missouri and steal back slaves for their freedom. While spiders can certainly be deadly, Jayhawks take the cake.



Wake Forest University’s Demon Deacons vs. Villanova University’s Wildcats

Again, I don’t find the wildcats to be the most intimidating of the cat family. I think a human could take one on, especially a “demon deacon”. Wake Forest takes it.

Vanderbilt University’s Commodores vs. University of North Carolina’s Tar Heels

“Tar heel” is another strange mascot name. A number of legends exist describing the origin, one of which references the local North Carolinian troops that would “stick to their ranks like they had tar on their heels” during the civil war. I’m not sold on it. Commodores (Navy ship captains) would clearly win in a battle, sorry NC folks.

Rollins College’s Tars vs. Southern Methodist University’s Perunas

According to my Wikipedia research, a tar is a sailor and a peruna is a pony. Nothing against ponies, but I think the clear winner is the tar here. Ponies aren’t defeating a sailor any time soon.

Texas Christian University’s Horned Frogs vs. University of South Carolina’s Gamecocks

This is an interesting one. A fighting rooster versus a horned frog. This would actually be a match I would like to witness. I’m going to have to go with the gamecock. Only because they are specifically meant for cockfighting. If it was a regular rooster versus a horned frog, it could be a different story.


And that’s it for this year’s johnnie-O Mascot Matchup. There were some good fights and a few slaughters, but overall, in the end, we had fun, and that’s all that matters. I hope the real games are as interesting as the ones here, and your bracket wins you the big bucks this year. Don’t forget to root for your team in style, and order from the johnnie-O Collegiate Collection.


– Johnny G