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About Me:

Hello! I’m Blue2, the official mascot of Butler University. Just thinking back off the top of my furry head, some of the obvious things that come to mind are my appearances at Butler sporting events. Whether it's leading the football team onto the field, greeting the starters on the basketball court, doing my "tricks" during a timeout at center court, or serving as the halftime entertainment at a soccer match where I displayed my own soccer techniques, those are all great instances where I steal the show. Of course, there's more than athletic events, there's also the performing arts. I've been a part of the limelight at several events such as YMCA Geneva Stunts, YMCA Spring Sing and JCFA's REJOICE! where the students sang "Blue Christmas" and I came out on stage riding a sleigh with Santa Claus. I also make appearances at university/campus events for University Advancement, Admissions, Student Affairs, and much more. Basically, I do it all. If you are on campus, be sure to stop by my office and bring me some treats!

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The Indianapolis Monthly Interview – Uncut

The July 2010 issue of Indianapolis Monthly will forever be special to me as it was their annual pet guide edition and yours truly graced the cover.

Blue 2

The July 2010 issue of Indianapolis Monthly will forever be special to me as it was their annual pet guide edition and yours truly graced the cover.

Included in the magazine was Q&A that I did with Indianapolis Monthly and while I received a lot of compliments regarding my answers, what was printed was just a snipet of the actual interview. So, for your reading pleasure, here is the Q&A in its entirety…

IM: As the Butler mascot, what are your “job responsibilities”? And, are you compensated?

BB2: At the core of my “job responsibilities” is to truly be an ambassador for Butler University. I’ve found that if I stick to that, then the rest seems to take care of itself. Of course, you can find me at university sporting events, performances, dinners, receptions, admissions events, etc. You name it, I’ve probably done it. I’m also a bit of a spokesdoggy too, having done numerous media appearances and a great deal of community relations work.

As for compensation, well, I guess I’m well cared for and I have some great sponsors that fulfill almost my every need. So I’m compensated well from that standpoint. I haven’t, however, ever seen any actual dollars. I’m considering a change in personal agents and a revised contract.

IM: What training is required for you to do your job?

BB2: I took six, count them, six total “puppy obedience classes.” That’s it. I had a good teacher and learned a lot, but let’s tell it like it is here…I set foot on Butler’s campus before my parents even took me home. This is all I know. My dad taught me right from wrong, my mom taught me some awesome tricks, and Brad Stevens taught me the Butler Way. I may not be sniffing out bombs in airports or keeping the blind from walking out in traffic, but I like to think I do pretty well for myself.

IM: In addition to being present at basketball games, what other sporting events do you attend?

BB2: I tend to work all of the home men’s basketball games and football games. After that I get to the majority of home volleyball and women’s basketball contests as well. From there I try to get to at least one of each of the other team’s events during the year. That’s easier said than done, however and doesn’t always happen. My goal for 2010-11 is to make it to every sports’ senior day contests and to appear in all of the Butler team photos.

IM: Do you make appearances, such as giving autographs (paw-tographs?), photo with fans, on TV commercials, etc.?

BB2: I make countless appearances these days. I’ve always done appearances, especially as it relates to the university, but I’ve done my share of community appearances in my six years as well. However, since the NCAA Final Four, I probably get an appearance request on a daily basis. Everything from being a part of a student presentation, to serving as the grand marshal of parades, to book fairs, to private parties; you name it and chances are I’m being requested for it.
I get autographs on a daily basis too. The whole paw in ink thing doesn’t really work and is incredibly messy, so don’t ask for a “paw-tograph.” Not happening unless you’re really, really important. I’m happy to sign headshots and pictures, however, and I’m getting regular request for that as well.

Posing for photos with fans is probably my most requested activity. Anytime I’m out in public, it’s inevitable. I’m usually happy to do it, but sometimes I’m on the move and I don’t have time. I think it’s pretty cool that people would want to kneel down and get their picture with me. At the Final Four it wasn’t just fans making the requests either, I had everyone from CBS executives, members of the media and security folks asking as well! And when I got back on campus after those big games, it was funny how the student interest in photos picked up too!

I think the only TV commercials I’ve been on are Butler basketball promos for season tickets and for our games on MyNDY. But, I will say that I am available and affordable, so for those companies that want to align themselves with the Butler brand and have a really handsome spokesdoggy, then now is the time to get in on the ground floor while I’m still cheap!

IM: Any funny stories from your experiences as a mascot? Have you ever failed to give a high-five or run to the end of the court and get the bone? Any accidents on the court?

BB2: I’ve had my share of funny moments during my career. Like the time that I chewed up a Michigan State Spartan hat almost on cue on live national television while shooting for the CBS Early Morning Show. But, the funniest moment probably had to be when I accidentally (on purpose) tripped my two-legged mascot counterpart, Hink, as we ran the football team out onto the field. It’s tradition that Hink and I run the guys out onto the pitch before each home game. Normally the cheerleaders go first with their flags, then me, then Hink, followed by the team. Well, Hink took off at virtually the same time I did and well, I thought I’d have a little fun with that. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to run right under Hink’s feet and watch him tumble. You see, Hink’s line of sight is all of a matter of inches so he never saw it coming. Down Hink went and sometimes I was able to scramble loose and keep going. Don’t worry, Hink didn’t get trampled by the football team or anything. His pride may have been hurt, but there were no hard feelings; just a collective gasp from the crowd followed by lots of laughs. Thankfully my mom caught it all on her iPhone. Priceless. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL2Yn1x3RI0

IM: What are your favorite activities outside of your life at Butler?

BB2: I suppose I’m just a normal pet or dog outside of Butler. I love the outdoors and tend to think that I’m an farm dog. I love helping around the yard. I also enjoy going to visit both sets of my grandparents where I get to ride the four-wheeler and tractor, go boating, go to the hardware store, and of course, sleep.

IM: Favorite treat?

BB2: Ice cream. No question. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of the favorites such as peanut butter, cheese, filet mignon, etc., but ice cream is all the rage. Always has been, always will be.

IM: Favorite toy?

BB2: That depends on how you define “toy.” I have this thing called a Tail Wagon which is made by Burley. It looks like one of those nylon chariots you see kids being hauled around in, behind bikes on the Monon Trail. Anyway, I have one of those and it might be my most favorite toy/contraption that I’ve ever had. Ever. Outside of my tail wagon, I’m a huge fan of small latex chew toys, teddy bears and basketballs.

IM: And finally, please describe your experience at the NCAA Final Four. Were you at all nervous about being surrounded by 70,000 screaming fans?

BB2: My experience at the NCAA Final Four was incredible. That’s the best way that I can explain. There really are not words that exist that allow me to really describe the magnitude of that experience. It made me the most popular dog in America and it made Butler a household name. While Coach Stevens and the men’s basketball team were the focus of the Final Four, I like to think I played the role of best supporting actor. It was the best experience of my life so far and I certainly hope to do it again someday.

I wasn’t nervous to be in front of 70,000 fans. I think that was evident to anyone that was there or whom was watching at home. I live for this sort of thing after all. However, I will say that I did feed of the energy that was in Lucas Oil Stadium during those two games. There was so much positive directed toward Butler…the kind that makes your hair (or fur) stand up on end. I felt it as soon as we would enter the stadium each day…it swelled my broad chest with pride, perched my ears forward, heightened my tail-end, and gave me a strut that would make George Jefferson blush.

I will say that tend to carry and internalize the collective hopes and energy of the Butler nation. That may sound weird, but I’m a perceptive dog and I know what’s up. I knew what was at stake in Lucas Oil Stadium and I also knew what it meant when my pal Gordon Hayward’s shot didn’t go in at the buzzer. I, like the Butler faithful, was crushed. My dad tried to get a rise out of me moments after the championship game. Usually I’m the one doing the consoling, but this time I could sense the pain, anguish, sorrow and disappointment that saturated the heart. I was stone cold. I wanted that championship. I wanted to be top dawg. After sleeping that night I awoke that Tuesday morning still wishing that the outcome would have been different. I continued to contemplate on it. I even went to the pep rally at Hinkle Fieldhouse later that day. By the time I went to sleep that evening, I realized that I was top dawg after all. The score didn’t matter, Butler has already proved its worth. I’d still like to have that trophy, don’t get me wrong, but I think we may have taken home so much more. There’s never been a better time to be a Butler Bulldog, let alone THE Butler Bulldog.

The mascots behind the mascot

During my six years of service as official mascot for Butler University, there have always been a few mascots behind the mascot. And no, I’m not talking about Hink and all of those other human-in-suit varieties running around Hinkle Fieldhouse on “Mascot Day.”

I’m talking a couple of feline counterparts that claim campus shrubbery as home and taunt me with kitty kibble, lightning quick reflexes and strange scents.

Yep, it’s true; when I’m not on campus at night, there are a couple of cats that seem to watch over the place for me. So, I consider them pseudo-mascots, if you will. They are certainly less visible and sociable than yours truly, but they’re holding it down at 46th and Sunset nonetheless.

If you exit Jordan Hall toward the north, turn right, and walk due east to a point that intersects with a point coming from the other way if you were to walk west out of Irwin Library, turn right and head directly north; then you’ve found the natural cat campus habitat. That probably doesn’t make any sense, but suffice to say at the northeast corner of the mall, there is a corner of shrubbery, pine trees and grasses that have made for nice landscaping and a feral kitty cat safe-haven.

cat haven

Look a little closer into the deep line of bushes and you’ll see a bowl or two, often spilling over with cat food kibble and other remnants of kitting living. Rarely do I look in and see a cat, but I have spotted at least two of them; an all black cat and a black and white cat. There may be more, but reports are unconfirmed at this time.

On Campus

I think it’s nice that the lady is keeping these cats alive and somewhat well and it gives me hope that someday if I ever found myself in a similar situation that I could live in the bushes around Butler and someone would come by every now and again to keep me fed. But really, who exactly comes to a college campus at seven in the morning to feed a couple of feral cats in the bushes?

I know it’s been going on for a while as I’ve seen the food in the bowls, that are in the bushes, but what also reaffirmed it was watching the cats (who had no idea I was up and on campus at that hour) come scurrying over to their “home bush” to meet the lady and their precious kibble. Like a couple of Pavlov’s dogs, those cats came running at the sight and sound of that lady and her van.

Blue II

Gordon Hayward: A Jazzy Bulldog

So Butler Bulldog Gordon Hayward got himself a new gig last month when he was selected ninth in the NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. There were fist pumps and cheers of joy at the Kaltenmark house when NBA Commissioner David Stern made the announcement. And ever since, people have been asking me what I think about it all.

Air Gordon

While I hate to see a kid cut short his one chance to be, well, a kid, I am quite happy for him. If only we could all be so fortunate to have such an incredible opportunity to follow our dream, do what we love, and get paid handsomely for it.

You see, I’m long over the sadness of Gordon’s decision to leave Butler early to pursue a career in the pros. Sure, I would’ve loved to have him give me a pat on the head when introduced at every home game for the next two years, but that’s not going to pay him $2 million a year either.

Gordon Hayward

So to see Gordon represent Butler on a National stage like the NBA draft, get selected ninth overall and go to a fine organization like the Utah Jazz, well, that just makes my big bulldog chest swell a bit more. And I just couldn’t be happier for the kid given the circumstances, I mean, just think about it…

Jazz

-The Utah Jazz are a successful organization. They win basketball games and a lot of them too. They regularly make the playoffs and win many of those games as well. From the front office to the end of the bench, they have winners.

-The Utah Jazz have room for a player like Gordon which means there’s a good chance he’ll get to play sooner rather than later. Not only that, but Gordon may have the opportunity to be a real impact player for the team.

-The Utah Jazz wanted Gordon…they recognize his game, the understand his abilities, they see his huge potential, and they believe they can help him overcome any weaknesses.

-The Utah Jazz have University of Evansville standout and graduate, Jerry Sloan as their coach. Not only does he have Indiana connections, but he’s also has the longest standing tenure as a head coach in major professional sports.

-The Utah Jazz play in EnergySolutions Arena. Gordon has played their twice. He defeated Syracuse and Kansas State in the NCAA West Regional Semi-Finals and Finals. He’s yet to lose a game there.

-And last, but not least, the Utah Jazz fans make humorous YouTube videos in his honor as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laBPh2gncgY

The list goes on and on, but I think all Butler Bulldogs can rejoice in the fact that Gordon Hayward will now be a Jazzy Bulldog. So go get your Utah Jazz/Hayward apparel and be prepared to actually follow the NBA this season.

Congrats to Gordon and may have a safe and blessed professional career. I know he’ll make Butler very proud.

Speaking of pride, how about that cover of the July 2010 Indianapolis Monthly? That’s one good-looking dog!

Well, that’s about the only insights I have for you these days. I’m still making plenty of appearances and booking requests. From pet parades, to summer camps, nursing homes, and media announcements, you name it, I’m doing it. I don’t mind…it’s good to get out and see the people and its good job security too.

Big projects of late…my children’s book, my 2011 calendar, and the 10th annual Bulldog Beauty Contest on Oct. 23rd.

Go Dawgs and Go Jazz!

Blue II

Like a Dog on a Bone

If you’ve cracked open your online edition of the Indianapolis Star at http://www.indystar.com/ and checked out the game recap info and photos from last night’s Butler men’s basketball contest against Loyola of Chicago, then perhaps you saw your’s truly.

Indy Star photographer, Heather Charles, captured me on my pre-game ritual charge to the Dawg Pound
to pick up my over-sized bone. That’s Butler student, Ty Anderson,
getting ready to make the hand-off and my old man jogging behind.

In case you were wondering, the Bulldogs dispatched the Ramblers 63-50.

Next
up are the Flames of Univ. of Illinois – Chicago at 2 p.m., tomorrow,
at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Come on over to campus for the game and you can
watch me make my run to the bone first-hand.

For Indy Star coverage of the game, visit here: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080125/SPORTS06/801250447

For the Indy Star game photos, visit here: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=MULTIMEDIA

For Indy Star Butler Beat Writer, David Wood’s Butler Insider Blog, visit here: http://blogs.indystar.com/butler/

Want to talk Butler Hoops? Visit here: http://p214.ezboard.com/Butler-Basketball/fbuhoopsfrm1

 

Working like a Dog

I get asked a lot about what I do all day, how much I come to campus, etc.

Well,
like a lot of you, I’m a working stiff too. That’s right, I show up to
work 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., nearly every day. Granted, I take a lot of
naps and walks during that time, but I’m still in the office, so that
counts for something, right?


First I’ll tell you the story and the setup, then I’ll take you through a typical daily routine in my next post.

So my dad, he’s the Director of Annual Giving at Butler. That’s a section of Development which falls under the University Advancement umbrella. In a nut shell, he hits alumni and other university constituents up for money. So break yo’ self and send him a gift already!

Our office is in the basement (those glass half full types call it the “Garden Level”) of historic Jordan Hall where other Development and Advancement offices are located as well.

I
pretty much have the run of the place down there, but I call my dad’s
office home base. Below is a picture of me and my closest office
colleagues from the Office of Annual Giving.

Pictured:

Kyle Smith – Assistant Director of Annual Giving (left)
Michael Kaltenmark – Director of Annual Giving (right)
Shelby Roscoe – Sr. Secretary – Annual Giving (back left)
Leslie Renner – Assistant Director of Annual Giving (back right)

Anyway, my predecessor, Butler Blue I, (also a member of the Advancement team, but resided in the Office of Alumni & Parent Programs in Robertson Hall) used to only come in on Friday’s. I think they were affectionately called “Bulldog Fridays.”

Well,
I was headed down that same path, only coming in on Fridays, but
luckily everybody became too attached and too used to the idea of
having me around.

My first day on campus was May 20, 2004, also
the day (that’s me, first day on the job, down below) my dad picked my
up from the breeder (Kong King Kennel of Lizton, Ind.). I weighed 7-10
lbs. and was only about 7 weeks old. If you read up on English
Bulldogs, you’ll find that we aren’t the most sociable breed. In fact,
we can be quite skittish and scared of the most mundane, inanimate
objects.


So
to ensure that I would be tolerant of all things and all people, my
pops thought it would be a good idea to bring me in to the office early
and often. As a puppy I was introduced to many different situations in
an effort to over stimulate me and to get me as socialized as possible.

All
of that pretty much meant that I came into work everyday and I guess I
never really stopped. I think I got too used to coming in and everybody
else just got too attached. Makes for a pretty cool work environment,
that’s for sure!

It blew my mind when my dad told me that most
dogs have to stay at home all day, many of them in cages. Can you
believe that?! And I thought I was bored. (That’s me as a puppy in my
cage…for effect.)


If you are out and about on campus, come on down and say hello. Don’t
be surprised if I’m sleeping or out doing something else, but chances
are, I’ll be around. Hope to see you sometime soon!