Friday, October 16, 2009

Bulldog Beauty Contest Recap & Fall Update - 2009

So I figure I owe my readership a recap of the Bulldog Beauty Contest, especially now that it’s been almost two weeks since the event has come and gone. I would have done an immediate follow-up, but my old man, also my designated keyboard specialist, decided to be gone all last week and didn’t have time to get to my blog, or so was his excuse. (He took a little trip via semi to Miami, Fla. You can read all about it here:

So I’m behind on the blog, but that’s nothing new. I am getting to be quite the busy bulldog these days so a late blog is unfortunately becoming the norm.

How about that Bulldog Beauty Contest?! 2009 was undoubtedly our best contest to date as we had a record 87 dogs pre-register and 93 dogs participate (believe it or not, we finished in one hour!).

A hearty congratulations goes out to this year’s category winners, including our overall winner and “Best in Show” for the second consecutive year, Mr. Hugo Casey, owned by Butler alumna, Kearsten Casey of South Bend, Ind.

Hugo earned the honor of “Best Butler Spirit” by wearing a No. 54 Matt Howard basketball jersey, wristbands, Dawg Pound cap, basketball necklace/medallion, etc. in order to advance to the final round and win his second “Best in Show” title. He was handsomely rewarded for his efforts with a year’s supply of Holistic Select dog food courtesy of Eagle Pack Pet Food, WellPet and our good friends at City Dogs Grocery. That’s more than a $600 value for Hugo!

Not only that, but later on in the day, Hugo caught up with his likeness, Mr. Matt Howard himself and the pair got their picture together. All I can say is the resemblance is uncanny…brothers from different mothers.

In addition to Hugo, here are a few more of my favorite contestants from this year's competition:

For more contest pictures, please visit this nice photo album put together by our good friend Rick Miller of New Palestine, Ind.:

I’ve got to offer up my sincere appreciation to our expert panel of judges which grew to seven members strong this year to accommodate for our two celebrities, Paul Poteet and Tom Davis of WRTV-6, Indianapolis’ local ABC-TV affiliate. Paul and Tom had a good time at the event, shot some footage and even had a couple of contestants in the studio on Monday morning, Oct. 5th, to recap the event.

Joining Paul and Tom at the judges table was Kim Netherland of City Dogs Grocery, Dr. AJ Stump and Kathy Dearing of the Ovid Butler Society Executive Committee, Thom Burleson of the Alumni Board, and Jonathan Spear of the Butler University Student Foundation.

Backing them up was a great group of volunteers made up of my colleagues and Butler staff, and of course, a record crowd that filled all five sets of bleachers and more.

Finally, a BIG thanks goes to our sponsors that made this event possible…City Dogs Grocery, WellPet, Eagle Pack Pet Food, the Ovid Butler Society Executive Committee, Woodland Animal Hospital, VCA Animal Hospitals, Susan Smith, Dr. Kurt and Julia Phillips, and Dr. Deborah Rowley. They deserve all of the credit! Thank you!

Also, Butler student Alyson Ahrns put togther a nice video recap of the event for the Butler Beat that you can watch right here:

While Homecoming weekend is always a great time to reunite with friends, family and your alma mater, it has also served as a quasi kick-off to a wonderful fall season on campus. In case you didn’t know, it’s a great time to be a Butler Bulldog…and I’m not just talking about the cooler weather.

The men’s football team is the only undefeated NCAA Division I football team left in the state of Indiana with a 5-0 record; most recently winning in dramatic fashion at Homecoming with a last second field goal over San Diego. Combine that with the fact that men’s soccer is 8-1-1 and ranked no. 18 in the latest Soccer America poll, our men’s cross country program is ranked No. 20 in the nation and basketball practice starts TODAY and I’m more than excited about being THE Butler Bulldog.

Of course, with all of that means that my social calendar is filling up for the fall…between athletic contests, student events, alumni events, school visits, photo shoots and whatever else people can think up, I’m booked solid. It’s a tough life, but somebody’s gotta do it.

I’ll just try and be better about updating you with my engagements and events as they happen, as opposed to waiting weeks in between blog posts. Of course, you can always keep closer tabs on me through my Twitter feed (, which is updated much more frequently and features exclusive photos.

On the docket is a full-plate Saturday for this ol’ pooch. We’ll get started bright, early and bushy-tailed at Hinkle Fieldhouse to welcome a very select few guests who signed up early to witness one of the first practices for the top-15 ranked men’s basketball team. Then after practice head coach Brad Stevens will address the group and share his outlook on the season and our incredibly tough schedule. This event is being put on by the Central Indiana Alumni Chapter is our own version of “Midnight Madness,” only much more subdued and with less fanfare…The Butler Way.

After that I’ll head outside to hit up the tailgating festivities in preparation for the men’s football game at 1 p.m. versus Valparaiso. I planning on cruising by the Butler Football Class of 1959 tailgate and the Butler faculty and staff tailgate, but I’m open to hanging out with anyone who is out there filling the crisp fall air with warm Butler spirit. And maybe while my dad isn’t looking you could slip me a little something from the food table! Shhh, it will be our secret.

And hey, in case you missed it, you'll probably get to see me on TV a bit more often this winter as our athletic department has struck a new TV deal with Indy's local MyINDY-TV, Channel 23, which will broadcast 13 LIVE game telecasts from historic Hinkle Fieldhouse as well as on the road! Combine that with the eight games scheduled for ESPN, the one on BTN, the other on FSN and we have a chance to have 26 of our 28 regular season games played on TV! You could be seeing a lot of me in your living room this winter!

Alright, that should be plenty of Butler Blue II scoop for now, but before I sign off, I did want to let you know that progress continues to be made on my 2010 calendar. So hopefully we can get it sent to print and on the Butler bookstore shelves in time for the holiday season!


Blue II

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Butler University Homecoming 2009: A Dog's Eye View

It’s finally here, it’s homecoming 2009! Much like Christmas day, a birthday, first day of summer vacation, or any other highly anticipated day or event, homecoming week is one of the highlights of my job as mascot. I just love how the campus always comes alive with energy amongst a beautiful fall backdrop. And just as there are great events, activities and offerings, there’s even better reunions, renewed relationships and just people connecting with each other, their alma mater and/or this great university. Homecoming certainly is a special time.

As you could imagine, as mascot, I’m quite busy come homecoming week, although, I’ve spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday doing a lot of resting up by emphasizing a routine of lounging around the office and sleeping in anticipation for the hustle and bustle that is Thursday, Friday and Saturday of homecoming. Butler President, Dr. Bobby Fong only thinks he’s busy this weekend…he should see my social calendar!

On Thursday I have just a couple of appearances including my annual photograph with the Butler University Board of Trustees…nothing like getting a little face time with the “Top Dawgs!” And while they may have the reins to this place, I think they know who really calls the shots…why else would they put me front and center in their picture?

Thursday is a fairly light day, all things considered, but in addition to the trustee photograph, I’ve got an interview about the annual Bulldog Beauty Contest and an appearance at the dedication ceremony and grand opening of the new College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences building on campus.

Before I get started on my homecoming responsibilities on Friday, I’ve got a little personal business to tend to with the annual “Blessing of the Animals” service put on by our neighbor, the Christian Theological Seminary. The ceremony is held in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures and its officially celebrated on Oct. 4th, but CTS holds their service a couple of days early so that it’s during the week. That’s Friday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. in the CTS courtyard if you are interested in attending. I rather enjoy the event and frankly, I’ll take a good blessing anytime I can get it!

After that, it’s back to campus and back to work. There’s a women’s soccer match at 4:30 p.m. versus defending Horizon League champions Milwaukee in the Butler Bowl that’s also an opportunity to support a very special cause…Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Come out and support the Butler women's soccer team as it hosts its Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

All fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness and the first 150 students in attendance will be able to attend a halftime tailgate, with each student getting a free hot dog, chips and a drink.

Friday's women’s soccer festivities will begin with a ceremonial pregame coin flip featuring Butler women's basketball coach Beth Couture, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring. Couture, who has won 363 games in her career - including 105 at Butler - is set to have her cancer treatments completed in time to lead the Bulldog basketball team this season. The women's soccer team will also be wearing pink warm-ups. Also at halftime, the Bulldogs will honor Joy (Aschenbrener) Sweeney (1995-98), who was inducted into the Butler University Athletic Hall of Fame last spring.

I might just have to trade in my blue jersey for a pink shirt on Friday afternoon. I’m not one for pink, my name is “Blue” after all, but I am one for a good cause so I’ll see what I can do.

Back across campus at 5 p.m. I have an open house to attend in the Fairbanks Building for the School of Journalism and then it’s off campus I go to the home of our resident IndyCar driver and 2003 Butler grad, Ed Carpenter, as I’ve been contracted to do an appearance for his daughter’s birthday party. I don’t normally do that sort of thing, but it’s a special friend and a special request, so I make exceptions.

After the birthday party, I’m headed home to host my grandparents who are coming into town and staying at my place. I’ll also use that time at home to rest up and get ready for a big Saturday on campus. Meanwhile, I’ll send my dad back to Butler in my stead to attend the President’s Dinner…formal dinners aren’t really my thing…that whole begging for food at the side of the table is considered faux pas, I guess.

On Saturday I can be found all over campus, whether riding in a Corvette for the parade, running the undefeated football team on to the field for their match against San Diego, showing my face at the young alumni Barktoberfest event, cruising the Butler Bowl parking lot for some handouts/table scraps at the tailgates or attending the volleyball game in the evening at Hinkle Fieldhouse. It’s sure to be a busy, but fun day.

And while all of that is well and good, perhaps there’s one event that I’m most looking forward to…an event that makes Butler’s homecoming different than any other homecoming. That event of course would be the annual Bulldog Beauty Contest!

You saw my post last month about the contest and it appears that my predictions were true as once again this year we are set to have our best competition to date! We have 74 dogs pre-registered for the event as of 9 a.m. on Oct. 1st and that’s a new record. Last year we had a total of 75 dogs show up, including walk-ups, so we are certain to exceed that come this Saturday, Oct. 3rd at 10 a.m. !

Keep in mind this event is free and open to the public, so whether you have a bulldog to compete with or not, you definitely want to attend…and bring a camera! Who knew a bulldog beauty contest would be such the spectator sport?! We’ll have increased seating this year (five sets of bleachers) for your viewing pleasure as well.

Held on the main mall, just south of Norris Plaza, these 74+ dogs (mostly bulldogs) will parade on a stage and catwalk and compete for the honor of being named the top dog in one of the following categories.

-Cutest Bulldog
-Meanest-Looking Bulldog
-Best Dressed Bulldog
-Best Dog Trick*
-Most Butler Spirit*
-Best Wannabe Bulldog*
-Oldest Bulldog
-Youngest Bulldog

-Best in Show*

Categories ending with an asterisk are the only categories open for non-bulldogs.

Keep in mind the “Best in Show” this year walks away with the grand prize of one year’s supply of dog food provided by Eagle Pack Holistic Select Pet Food, WellPet, and City Dogs Grocery! That’s a more than $600 value! Other category winners will take home prizes from City Dogs Grocery and all participants will receive a pack of Holistic Select Treats from Eagle Pack, WellPet and City Dogs Grocery. (a full list of sponsors is listed on the image below)

Oh, and we’ve increased our panel of judges this year from five to seven to include a couple of celebrities and our good friends at Indianapolis’ ABC affiliate WRTV-6…morning weatherman and traffic reporter, Paul Poteet and Tom Davis.

Why Paul and Tom? Well, we thought they might be able to help us on the weather and traffic Saturday morning, but even more than that, we know these guys like to have a good time. Just visit and their “Off the Cuff” videos for proof.

I hope to see you on Saturday morning for our Bulldog Beauty Contest…trust me, you don’t want to miss this event! If you can’t make it, then hop online as I’m going to try and do a live twitter-cast of the event either at and/or

So that’s what my Homecoming weekend looks like, but of course, that’s just a highlight of events during Butler’s homecoming weekend…at least the ones that I’m involved with anyway. So for a complete listing, visit and take a look at the complete schedule of activities this weekend.

And if you can’t make it back, I’ll be tweeting my homecoming adventures at, so feel free to log on often for status reports and pictures!

Here’s to a great homecoming weekend, filled with victories, reunions, good times and great weather!

Go Dawgs!

Blue II