I’ll report on the snow first, since that seems to be the most pressing bit of news in Central Indiana today as it's Indy's biggest snowfall in 13 years and sixth largest in Indy history! After sleeping in a bit today, I ventured outside just to see how deep a foot of snow actually is. And let me tell you, for a bulldog, that some deep snow! As you can tell by the pictures and videos, I had a blast romping around in the stuff.
The snowfall actually got started the evening prior and so I got my first taste of it, literally, on my way out of work. Finally, a healthy dose of that fluffy white precipitation blanketed campus and I got to be around to experience it. It was glorious! Below are a couple of photos of my dad's idea of trying to get me ready for the weather...
And here’s a bit of video of my campus snow fun as well…
For more of my snow frolic videos, be sure to head to BlueTube!
Now, back to the anniversary celebration…in my previous post this month, I failed to mention that January 13th marked the first anniversary of “The Life and Times of Butler Blue II.” In my first year, I (read: my dad) pounded out a total of 89 posts, which averages out to be 1.7 posts per week!
A quick look at the dashboard reveals some pretty telling stats about my blog too. A snap shot of just the last four months (since the release of my “search for the bulldog costume” video) shows that my blog has been visited and read by folks in 60 countries! Amongst the United States and its territories, I’m only missing a visitor from those in Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska…so if anyone knows people in those states, could you tell them about my blog and have them check it out?!
The blog has received a total of 5,500 page views with about 4,664 visits and a bounce rate of 88.8% since September. A bounce rate that high would not be ideal for say, a business, but for a blog it typically means people are just coming in to read the most recent post and then moving on. Thus, I’ve got some repeat offenders, i.e. a solid following.
However, my blog is currently syndicated to http://go.butler.edu/cs, and that adds another 12,257 visits and 18,302 unique page views from the past four months! So all together I’m not doing half bad…consider me an internet superstar!
Perhaps what’s most fun about reviewing the stats is to see how some people stumble upon the blog. In other words, what key words are people using in their Google search that leads them to my blog. Here are some of my favorites from the past four months…and no, I did not make these up.
Some of the most bizarre Google search keywords that have led internet users to my blog include:
- “Cardboard Box”
- “UGA VI Breeder”
- “Turner and Hooch Slime”
- “Is there an IHOP coming to Butler”
- “Buy and English Bulldog of UGA Lineage”
- “Ed Carpenter and Friends”
- “Indianapolis Blues Veterinarian” (Drs. Phillips and Stephan, you can thank me later for that!)
- “Selling Booth at Bulldog Beauty Contest” (Not a bad idea…I may have to pursue that!)
- “Vacuum Covers”
- “Vets for Rooster Food”
Kind of makes you wonder what the most bizarre Google searches are in all of Google. I’m sure there are some real strange ones, to say the least.
Another one year anniversary milestone is also coming up for BlueTube, which was founded on Feb. 28, 2008. Since its founding, the Butler Blue II YouTube channel (aka BlueTube)has logged 37,942 video views!
A special thanks to all of my faithful readers (and viewers) for your support over the last year. I hope that you’ll stick around to enjoy another year of my futile blogging and maybe recruit some friends and colleagues to log on from time to time as well.
In an effort to keep the blog somewhat fresh, I added a new feature in the top left corner which displays my recent status updates that I’ve posted on Twitter. That’s right, I’ve got my own Twitter account, so if you Twitter as well, then be sure to “follow me.” Or, if you find Twitter to be a bit technologically advanced for you, then no worries, that is why I installed that new little widget.
Other than that, I just want to encourage all my readers to feel comfortable using the comments section of the blog. I always love the feedback and the added dialogue tends to led to some better blog posts so knock yourself out!
Moving on, how about those Butler Bulldog basketball teams? Both the men’s and women’s teams have been tearing up the competition like I would an innocent stuffed animal. The women’s team has an overall record of 12-6 with an impressive 7-0 record in Horizon League conference play.
Meanwhile, their male counterparts have racked up an 18-1 record and are also undefeated in the Horizon League with a 9-0 start. Those are both university records making this the fastest start in Butler basketball’s 117 year history! And they’re doing it with a second year head coach, age 31, and his cast of starters that include three freshman, one sophomore and one junior. In fact, there aren’t any seniors on this team! Their impressive play has earned them the 13th spot in the national rankings, which includes both the AP and ESPN polls.
Last Saturday some 9,400 fans, including myself, packed Hinkle Fieldhouse to watch them destroy the Horizon League’s second ranked team, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers. This Friday, Jan. 30th at 7 p.m., the next victim will be the Crusaders of Valparaiso University. You know that you don’t have anything else to do this Friday, so get your butt over to Hinkle for the game…you’ll love it! Its basketball played the right way; The Butler Way.
While I may just be the second, in what we all hope is along line of “Butler Blues,” I may just go out the with the most wins as a “Butler Blue” in all of time. If nothing else, I’ll have a tough reign as mascot to beat by my predecessors!
Speaking of basketball and mascots, at one of the recent games, the official name was finally revealed for Butler’s costumed bulldog mascot, formerly known simply as “Bulldog.” When the university had that whole missing mascot costume fiasco, the local news agencies started referring to that bulldog as “Blue.” That, of course, is incorrect since “Blue” is my name, and I certainly wasn’t missing.
So, a need for name for the costumed mascot was identified and as a result, the “Name that Dawg!” contest was created. After several great submissions and a fantastic voter turnout, the name “Hink” was selected. Why “Hink?” After the late, great Tony Hinkle, of course! Regardless of the name, at least the costume has one now. So, problem solved, right? Wrong.
(photo below by Heather Charles, Indianapolis Star)
“Hink” was announced and what do half the people I stumble upon at subsequent games call me? Yep, “Hink.” I thought Butler people were supposed to be smart. For those keeping score at home, let’s go over this one last time. My name is Butler Blue II, or just “Blue,” for short. Got that? The real looking bulldog that appears to be a living, breathing mammal, (a la ME), is named “Blue.” The over-sized, not-so-bulldog-looking, guy-in-suit version is named “Hink.” This shouldn’t be that hard. Oh, and there will be a test…it’s called life…don’t screw it up.
And while I’m all worked up, let me just chime in on all of those comments I’ve been receiving lately about my weight. I’ve got news for all of you chumps with Chihuahuas, dachshunds, and other ankle biting dogs, I’m exactly where an English Bulldog should be…62 lbs. In fact, I’ve probably weighed between 60-62 lbs. for the last 3-4 years, so no; I have not gained weight this season. Got that? I’m not fat and I’ve not put on weight! Sorry, I just had to get that out of the way and clear the record, yet again.
The topic of my weight is a nice segway into my next item of discussion regarding my new custom tailored Nike jersey. Thanks to the good folks at Nike, the Butler athletic department received a few yards of Butler blue Nike jersey material which is to be used specifically to fashion a new, custom jersey for me. So my dad called up his haberdashery at the Tom James Company and they agreed to fit me and complete the creation and tailoring of the jersey.
Much like UGA’s jersey (pictured below) mine will have a block “B” on the chest, with my name “BLUE” across the back and the Roman Numeral II for my number. Nice! It’s in production now, so when it’s time for a fitting, I’ll be sure to post some pictures and possibly some video. Until then, many thanks to Nike and the Tom James Company for their efforts!
In other recent news, the annual top-10 dog breeds were announced by the American Kennel Club, and not only did the bulldog make the list again this year, but we moved up from 10th to eighth! Remember last year when we made the list we did so after a some 50 year hiatus. So it feels good to be back, and to be moving up! Watch out dime-a-dozen labs, the bulldogs are coming after you for that top spot!
Here’s the official list…
1. Labrador Retrievers
2. Yorkshire Terriers
3. German Shepherd Dogs
4. Golden Retrievers
10. Shih Tzu
Finally, I leave you today with a story from this past summer (July 2008) that I missed regarding a fellow colleague in the bulldog mascot ranks, Chesty the Marine Corps mascot. Chesty called it quits this past summer and hung up the rifle, baton, or whatever piece of weaponry he uses, to enjoy the fruits of retirement. It’s a good story, so be sure to check out the video below. Chesty, I hope that you are enjoying retirement and continuing to live life to the fullest!
I hope to see all of you soon inside Hinkle Fieldhouse for a men’s and/or women’s Butler basketball game!
Until then, Go Dawgs!
P.S. Did you see me this past weekend on the intro to ESPN's SportsCenter?