Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Tough Loss, Tomorrow's Leaders and the Former First Daughter

Unfortunately, the Butler University men’s basketball season came to a close yesterday afternoon as our Bulldogs were defeated in overtime by the University of Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by a score of 76-71. It most assuredly wasn’t our best showing on the court this season, but one thing is for certain, like true Bulldogs, our team never gave up…they fought tooth and nail to the bitter end, an end that came all to quickly for this mascot.

In spite of the tough loss, the boys had an incredible season totaling a school-record 30-wins and only four losses, including a Great Alaska Shootout Title, Horizon League regular season and tournament championships and the team’s highest ever national ranking of 8th.

Thus, this team made me, Butler Blue II, the most decorated Butler mascot in school history with regard to men’s basketball. Not only did I witness our first 30-win season, but that added to my overall record of 92 and 39 since the 2004-05 season. Of the games that I've actually attended, I am 49-8 and in the NCAA Tournament I have a record of 3-2.

In appreciation of the team’s efforts, I was present at their arrival back to campus on Sunday night outside of Gate 1 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. It was a bit of a somber affair, but the students in attendance did their best to let the team know just how proud of them we were. Like so many of our teams in the last several years, they made us proud to be Bulldogs and they helped to put our school on the map.

For a video of their return, visit BlueTube at: www.YouTube.com/butlerblue2.

The hangover of defeat was heavy on the hearts of those on campus on Monday. There was just no way around the sadness so I retreated to my cage on Monday morning to sleep it off. I just wasn't ready to see the season end and I guess David Letterman wasn't either: http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2008/03/25/david-letterman-thinks-butler-deserves-another-chance-against-te/

Monday night was bath time as I had to get prepared for my big day today. I started off the morning with a trip to Pine Tree Elementary School in Avon, Ind. There my dad and I visited eight classes between kindergarten and third grade. We read books to over 250 kids and handed out my READ posters and bookmarks to the teachers and students.

Actually, I let my dad handle the book reading while I took care of the "looking good" part. We make a great team.

After that it was back to campus to rest up for my next big visit with former “First Daughter,” Chelsea Clinton and actor Sean Astin, better known as “Rudy, ” or "Mikey" from The Goonies or son of Patty Duke. Take your pick.

Both were on the campaign trail, stumping for Democratic Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton. Keep in mind, I don't do politics, so I could care less about their background, their beliefs, policies, experience, etc. I just ask that people register to vote and then do so on election day.

Sean was really excited to see me, saying something like "This dog is awesome!" But for as much as Sean was impressed, I'm not so sure Chelsea was all that awestruck. Perhaps she's still partial to Buddy, the former First Dog, God rest his soul.

We all posed for a quick photo-op before Sean introduced Chelsea in front of a packed Starbucks cafe in Atherton Union.

Tomorrow I get to visit with more of "tomorrow's leaders" only this time on Butler's campus as those young students participating in the College Mentors for Kids! program will be coming to campus.

Of course, Thursday is my fourth birthday and the Butler University Student Foundation is inviting all students, faculty, and staff to Starbucks from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to celebrate my big day. There will be free cupcakes and treats, pin-the-tail-on-the-dawg, and other fun games and prizes.

I'm not sure all of that is necessary, but I'm happy to oblige.

I'll report back after the big birthday bash with a full commentary on the event and the day itself. Here's to hoping I get something good present or two!

Blue II

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