Sports Sideshow

At some point during the last year, Brandon Hanning decided that Ohio University shouldn’t have to sit back and take the whooping that the Ohio State Buckeyes lay on the Bobcats every year.

But Hanning isn’t a player. Or a coach. Or even a student assistant on the training staff. Hanning is OU’s mascot, Rufus Bobcat, and this bobcat was on the prowl Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

Hanning’s plan: take out Brutus, Ohio State’s anthropomorphic tree nut mascot. And that’s just what he did.

As Brutus led the Buckeye charge onto the field, Hanning, disguised as Rufus, struck at about midfield. Brutus shed Hanning’s first tackle attempt, but after a year of scheming, the rogue mascot wasn’t going to quit.

He followed the Ohio State convoy, including players and cheerleaders, into the end zone and jumped on Brutus’ back, eventually wrestling him to the ground and landing a pair of punches on Brutus’ perpetually smiling face.

On one level, this kind of mascot-on-mascot brutality is hilarious. On another, it’s a little troubling to know that a football rivalry, even one as one-sided as Ohio-Ohio State, can drive a rational college kid to a year-long vendetta to throw down with an opposing mascot.

But who really cares about the psychology behind Hanning’s attack? In the end, it’s just a guy in a silly costume picking a fight with a guy in an even sillier costume. It’s the kind of thing we all want out of college life. Unless, of course, you’re the one in the mascot outfit.

Go to the Marquette Tribune website to see the video of the attack.