Sunday, August 8, 2010
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.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
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.
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.
Typically, when they see me, they scram and my pops says that I’m typically not awake enough on my way into work to even catch that. So a cat sighting for me is rare, but I know that they are there. I like to stop by that spot on my slow walk into work each morning to give it a good sniff and leg-raise. (Sorry kitties, this is still my turf!)
I’ve also been known to try and drag pops on into the bushes to score some cat food, but I’ve never quite made it in that far. I wonder what that stuff tastes like. Probably not as good as my Holistic Select brand food, but I’ve always wanted to try it.
So why am I bringing this up now? Well, as I happened to get to campus early this morning (just after 7 AM) I finally spotted the lady that keeps these cats fed. I saw her from afar, but she was nobody that I recognized and she had a tan mini-van with nothing “Butler” on it whatsoever.
Here all of this time I just assumed that the grounds crew or one of my cat-loving colleagues were doing the honors of filling those bowls with foods, but what I found out this morning was that it was a complete stranger. ..and that makes this story really strange.
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.
Oh well, it’s doing me no harm and like I said, those cats watch the place for me at night so I’m not going to complain. Plus the cats and their natural habitat are a nice distraction for me on my way in to work each morning. And, not to mention, I’m living the good life and I think all animals should be so lucky…let them have their delivery kitty food every now and again.
So, the story of the campus kitties will live on as far as I’m concerned. It’s just a little Butler lore that I wanted to share with all of you. Now, about those squirrels always taunting me from the trees and sidewalks…they’ve got another thing coming!
Go Dawgs…and maybe even cats too!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
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.
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…
-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!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I’m honored to have both the cover of the Indianapolis Monthly and the new PETBOOK Magazine for July. I don’t know if it’s as much about me as it is a sign of Butler’s success and popularity these days. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s never been a better time to be a Bulldog!
You’ve probably already seen the latest Indianapolis Monthly in your mail box or in the checkout aisle at the supermarket, but I still wanted to post it on my blog for all of those non-Indy readers.
Here’s a link to the article and some photos from the photo shoot that I participated in: https://bumail.butler.edu/owa/redir.aspx?C=fae6e65027384fa78b6069ee59236ad8&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.indianapolismonthly.com%2fblue-the-butler-bulldog-photogallery.aspx
The photos are fantastic!
Unfortunately, they didn’t have room to submit the entire Q&A and I had some pretty sweet answers to their questions. So, I’m thinking that I’ll post the entire Q&A on this blog in August after the July issue is off the store shelves. That is of course, if the fine folks at Indianapolis Monthly allow me to do so.
Also, if you find a PETBOOK magazine at a local vet office or pet store, take a look at the photos in that piece as well. Those were also great and shot by Red Hydrant Pet Photography. You can see some of those here: http://www.redhydrantphotography.com/
Okay, that’s it from me for now. Short and sweet. After all, I’ve got a kiddie pool calling my name…gotta beat the heat…doctor’s orders! Okay, not really, but it is effective and fun!
Next entry I’ll share my perspective on Gordon Hayward’s recent job offer from the NBA’s Utah Jazz. Until then, stay cool!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Speaking of being busy, that’s exactly what I’ve been. I thought that once the Final Four ended things would settle down. They didn’t. If you’re following me on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/ButlerBlue2, and I have no idea why you wouldn’t be, then you know that life since the Final Four has been so much more than it was before the Final Four. And, I wouldn’t say I was just taking it easy before the Final Four either.
I think there’s another guy (no, not my dad) who’s feeling the same pain and that’s Butler’s men’s basketball coach, Brad Stevens. You may know him as John Wooden, Jr. Yeah, he’s in high demand these days too. So much so that he hired IMG Worldwide to handle his PR, marketing and appearances. Nice. Now, can I get in on that?
If you’ve missed all of this, then you’ve been living under a rock or watching too much of the NBA Finals. Don’t watch that stuff, it’s where fundamentals go to die. However, in the future you are allowed to watch games that Gordon Hayward plays in.
At any rate, I think ESPN’s Diamond Leung summed it up perfectly in his short “Brad Stevens is Very Marketable” entry on June 4th. Of course he got it right, he mentioned me in the piece! Anyway, here’s what he had to say:
Butler coach Brad Stevens at least on the surface doesn't give off the vibe of a guy who says things like, "Have your people call my people."
But indeed Stevens does have "people" now, as IMG Worldwide announced Friday that Stevens had hired the powerhouse agency to manage his business affairs, including licensing, literary, speaking, broadcasting and marketing representation.
Fresh off a national title game appearance, Stevens is everywhere now, most recently literally being placed on a pedestal to wave the green flag at Indianapolis 500 festivities.
On its website, IMG lists college coaching clients such as Cal's Mike Montgomery and Villanova's Jay Wright, but might it also consider extending its influence into mascots?
Butler Blue II, after all, wants the agency's representation as well.
Yes, it’s true, I wouldn’t mind some representation of my own, but I don’t see that happening. So I’ll just keep my bootleg Ari Gold, AKA my dad, and pick up Brad Stevens’ scraps.
Speaking of which, catch me on Sunday, June 20 as the grand marshal of the 2010 Zionsville Pet Parade! Big headlines in the Indy Star the other day; read all about it: http://www.indystar.com/article/20100608/LOCAL0202/6080391/1001/NEWS
I’m also going to be in the Wabash Animal Shelter’s “Pet on Parade” in Wabash, Ind. on Saturday, June 19th as well. I’m staying with my grandparents next week in Wabash while my parents take a well-deserved “babymoon.” So my grandpa, a Wabash Co. Commissioner, proudly booked his granddog (read: me) as a celebrity dog in the local pet parade. I’m happy to oblige.
Oh, and on June 20th at 11:30 a.m., look for my new Holsitic Select pet food commercial on Pet Pals TV which airs on WTHR NBC Ch. 13.
Otherwise, just try and keep up on Twitter. I’ve got plenty more appearances sprinkled in and around this stuff so it should be fun.
And when I’m not appearing in public rest assured that I’m working on a few special projects including my 2011 calendar and a new Blue II children’s book. It truly is the dog days of summer for yours truly!
Extending my 15 minutes,
Monday, May 3, 2010
I had so much fun doing so many media and community appearances that week. It was certainly a first in a lifetime experience for me. And, if you've kept up with my life on Twitter, then you know that the fun has yet to end as I continue to get several requests from both the Butler community and the community at-large for additional appearances.
People have been asking me just how many media interviews and appearances I did during the Final Four and since. So, my pops and I sat down and took a tally. To give you an idea of just how much I was "in demand" during the Final Four run, here's a bit of info for you to chew on...
Between March 27 and April 5 (10 days), I participated in approx. 30 local radio, tv and print interviews. These included several interviews with the Indianapolis Star, an interview with Pet Pals TV, multiple interviews with the local TV affiliates, and a good dose of the local FM and AM radio stations.
Regionally, I granted at least two interviews with newspapers from Pittsburgh and Detroit and I think I did more than that, I just can't remember them all.
Nationally, I was interviewed by Yahoo Sports, the Bob and Tom Show (clip below), CBS Sports, the CBS Early Show, Sports Illustrated.com and the Associated Press. Thanks to the AP love, my mug appeared in national print including the USA Today, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Indianapolis Business Journal and the NCAA Tournament Commemorative piece created by the USA Today.
Now since that March 27th date, I've been busy with more than just the aforementioned media tour. Since that day I've also completed, or have scheduled myself to appear at approximately 35 community events, including grand marshal of a pet parade in Zionsville, Ind., host of the American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life in Carmel, Ind., and two Indiana Pacers games. Not to mention, there are approximately 20 additional appearance requests sitting on my dad's desk that we've still yet to deal with!
Since the Final Four I've also done an interview for Indianapolis Monthly and their pet issue which will come out later in the year. And, I did another interview with Pet Pals TV where they came to my house, MTV Cribs style, and I did an interview with PETBOOK of Indianapolis as well.
If if that wasn't enough, the noteriety has allowed me to close another sponsorship deal (Good Dog Hotel & Spa) and have led to talks with a couple of other potential sponsors and partners. I've got another sponsor announcement coming soon!
Plus, you dog and bulldog owners will be happy to know that I'm working with another partner to not just make more Butler licensed dog accessories available to the general public, but I'm also investigating my own line of bulldog and large dog breed clothing as well.
But wait, there's more! Discussions for the Blue II 2011 Calendar have begun! The goal is to have it available and for sale in August 2010.
So the Final Four has made me a household name and business is certainly booming. I'm a very blessed bulldog. But that's not the moral of the story here. No, the moral is to stick to the guiding principles that got me, us, to this point; The Butler Way.
In other words, I'm trying not to let all of this go to my head and neither should any of us Butler Bulldogs. The success has been great and we should certainly celebrate and enjoy it. But along with all of this comes the perfect opportunity to show the world exactly what it is that got us here.
The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness, accepts reality yet seeks improvement everyday while putting the team above self.
That basically means that there's no resting on accolades, so we might as well "ctrl+alt+del" our lives in the wake of our Final Four success and get focused on being the Butler Bulldogs we always were.
That's not to say we shouldn't acknowledge the extra feather in our cap and all that comes with it, but at the same time, we have a new task at hand...a new task that requires the old instructions.
So look for more of me working like a dog in the weeks and months to come. It's my hope that you'll see me being loyal like a dog to the Butler Way.
Yep, when you see me out working, I hope you see the same Blue II that you knew before I ever set paw on the court at Lucas Oil Stadium or wagged my tongue on national TV. True Blue.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Of course, I've been those things for a long time, but now I've got the sponsorship support to make my cleanliness that much easier to come by as I'm pleased to announce that Good Dog Hotel & Spa is now the exclusive and official groomer for Butler Blue II (that's me!).
During all of that March Madness stuff I got a call from Jen Funk, a fellow Butler grad who worked at Good Dog Hotel & Spa and wanted to recognize Butler's advancement to the Final Four. To commerate the occasion, she was planning a "Bulldog Party" and was offering a discount to all bulldogs (four legs) in the neighborhood that wanted to get cleaned up for the big game.
Of course, she invited me to attend as an appearance fee, she granted a full-service grooming. You may remember the occasion being televised by many of the local TV stations and featured in print thanks to The Indianapolis Star. (http://photos.indystar.com/galleries/9232-blue-ii-spa-and-party)
I still have people telling me they loved watching my spa treatment and frankly, I loved it so much that I wanted to come back for more. So the kind folks at Good Dog Hotel & Spa were happy to oblige and now I get to come back whenever I want! To know me, is to know clean and happy from now on!
In case you missed out on the excitement of the aforementioned Bulldog Party, Good Dog Hotel has PHOTOS and VIDEO on their website (www.gooddoghotel.com) for viewing. Be sure to check it all out!
I'm looking forward to partnering with Good Dog Hotel & Spa on may projects and special events in the future. They are good bunch over there and I'm happy to add them to my sponsor lineup which includes...
Woodland Animal Hospital (Dr. Kurt Phillips)
WellPet & Holistic Select
City Dogs Grocery (Susan Smith)
VCA Animal Hospitals (Dr. Deb Rowley)
Good Dog Hotel & Spa
Many thanks to Good Dog Hotel & Spa, owner Matt Kurtz, my contact Jen Funk, and all of the great people there. Here's to a great partnership!
Now get your dog to Good Dog!
P.S. Don't forget to follow Good Dog Hotel & Spa on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/gooddogindy and look for them on Facebook too!
P.S.S. I've got another partnership to announce very soon and there's potential for even more on the horizon! Stay tuned!