Monday, January 14, 2008

Chuck Norris Had a Son and His Name is A.J. Graves

"Section 20, Row AA, Seat 4" writes, "Dear Blue, Why doesn't A.J. Graves like you?"

Dear, Sec. 20, Row AA, Seat 4, I assume you are referring to the fact that A.J. doesn't pet me during the announcement of starting lineups before home games.

Well, for those who haven't been keeping score at home, I'll back up and set the scene.

Since I arrived as mascot in 2004, I've started a few traditions of my own. Before basketball games, I make my way out to the court to greet the starters when the starting lineups are announced over the public address system.

From there, the players took it upon themselves to give me a pat on the head, and after all of the starters are announced, I run back across the court to the north Dawg Pound where Jake Skierkowski and members of the "Pound" are waiting for me with an oversized rawhide bone.

For the last year or two, every starting member of the basketball team makes a point to give me a pat on the head as they are introduced. Even new freshman starter Matt Howard caught on quickly. But for whatever reason, senior gaurd A.J. Graves has never shown me any love.

While it has never really bothered me, it sure seems to have the Butler faithful up in arms. Every game I attend, fans go on and on about how if A.J. would pet me, they'd feel better, or his shooting slump would end, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I guess people think I'm good luck. And I supposeI can't argue with them. Afterall, I was the one lucky English Bulldog in the world selected to be Butler University's mascot. I'd say that's pretty lucky.

I've had students tell me that giving me a pat before an exam brought them good results, and plenty of fans at the game say that their visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse isn't complete without seeing me.

In fact, there's one guy that swears by a game day good luck rub for me. His name is Arni Sribhen and while he's a Texas Tech grad, Arni is now a converted Bulldog fan and season ticket holder. Arni works with my dad in the IndyCar Series and if you follow viral internet campaigns, you may remember seeing Arni last summer in his role as the "Indy Insider." He's a pretty funny guy. You can watch his video blogs here:

Anyway, Arni says, "Butler is 13-0 when I get to play with Blue at halftime. They are 16-1 when I’m in the house… (No halftime pet vs. Notre Dame, Indiana and Purdue at Conseco and SIU at Hinkle). "

Maybe the entire Bulldog squad is feeding off of my perceived "luck." Since my first season on the job in 2004-05 and on through January 12, 2008, in games that I have been in attendance the men's basketball team record is 41-7. Overall the men's basketball team is 78-36 since I first started.

Okay, I digress, back to Mr. Graves. Last year I was with my dad and we ran into graduated Bulldogs, Brandon Crone, Brian Ligon and A.J., at the HRC. Brandon and Brian gave me a warm welcome and some attention, but A.J. just kind of hung back.

Then, Brandon and Brian started to give A.J. a hard time about it, but he just played it cool and just said something like "it's not that I don't like Blue, I just don't really do dogs." That or said he just didn't want to pet me. I can't remember exactly anymore, but regardless, it doesn't matter. I respect that.
How can I not? I mean, after all A.J. has done to lead our team to victory, he could tease me with Milk Bones and I wouldn't care. We're talking about the same A.J. Graves that has a laundry list of achievements that makes the Mitchell Report look like a children's book.

If he doesn't want to pet me, then I'm not mad at it. Just keep doing what you're doing, A.J.! In the meantime, I think A.J.'s getting covered up enough by all of those double team defensive schemes from our foes in the Horizon League, so let's lay off of him a bit. Shall we?

And with all of that said, I'll leave you with this, courtesy of

"If A.J. Graves can't find a basketball he just dribbles a cow until it turns into a leather ball. "


neckthai1973 said...

Thanks for the shout out Blue. I think the halftime pet works, though. Are you willing to not try it anymore?


Butler Blue II said...


My dad always says, if it isn't broke, don't fix it. So I'll be seeing you next home game at half time. Got it?


Lohman said...

I'm lovin' the blog. I see you at the HRC all the time, you must be in great shape!!!! Take it easy on the running track though, you can really wear out fast up there!
Keep the laughs comin'.

Butler Blue II said...

Thanks "lohman!"

Actually, while I am at the HRC quite often, I leave most of the physical activity to my parents. As you saw by my one lap run (1/10 of a mile), I'm not much for heavy excercise.

However, if I'm not taking a snooze in my cage behind the control desk, a lot of times you can find me holding court back there with the student workers and you can hear my barking bouncing off the walls in there.

Other than that, I enjoy riding the elevator and helping the students with the laundry.

Good times there at the HRC!