October 30, 2020

Watch out MSU’s Bully and LSU’s Mike the Tiger, PETA aims to boot you off the sidelines

Should one restless steer ruin perhaps the cushiest job for some college football’s most unique sideline mascots?

By now, pretty much every college football fan has had a chuckle over the video from last week’s Sugar Bowl when the Texas Longhorns’ mascot Bevo pushed his way through his barricade and lumbered into the direction of his Georgia Bulldogs’ mascot, Uga.

Animal rights group PETA is using the momentary animal sideline showdown to call for the removal of all live animals as football team mascots.

Bevo’s handlers were quick defend the 1700-pound steer’s good nature.

Silver Spur alumni association executive director Ricky Brennes, who is in charge of handling the steer, said Bevo was simply agitated because he wanted to walk and was being restrained.

“He had kind of gone up and bumped the barricade a few times before,” Brennes said. “He ran through the gate and into where Uga’s area was. It really was more just unfortunate timing and he wasn’t aware Georgia’s mascot was there. It had nothing to do with the dog.”

PETA, however, feels differently.

“Steers, like all animals, are individuals with unique personalities,” the organization’s spokesperson said in a press release. “It’s quite possible that Bevo was simply scared by the noise, lights, and chaos in the stadium and tried to flee from the confines of his makeshift pen. But that doesn’t change the fact that Uga or any of the humans standing nearby could easily have been trampled and killed.

“This frightening near-tragedy is yet another example of the reason most colleges and professional sports teams retired their live-animal mascots decades ago—and the handful who haven’t yet should quickly follow suit,” PETA said.

Many popular college football teams still use live animals as mascots including LSU’s Mike the Tiger, Mississippi State’s Jak (aka Bully XXI) and Baylor University’s bears, just to name a few.