Inauguration of UCR Mascot Showdown

Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER
Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER

Many fans have an obsession they take too seriously. Usually in college, fans are obsessed with either the basketball teams, soccer teams or the dance teams. Others, however, lean toward the mascot.

This past weekend, for the first time in history, UCR held what will now be an annual Mascot Showdown. Secret enemies, Scotty the Bear and Norm the Navel, tested their dance skills, athletic skills and UCR pride, offering family-friendly fun for fans of all ages.

There were little to no limitations — the only rule was “do not kill the other mascot” — but all injuries must be taken accordingly.

So it began.

It was a nice and sunny Saturday afternoon in the Student Recreation Center. Children, parents and students all waited with anticipation for UCR’s most famous duo.

To kick off the showdown, Scotty and Norm were up for the first challenge: Oven Mitts and Balloons. In this challenge, contestants had to pop two balloons with oven mitts on their hands in one minute. No biting or stepping on the balloons was allowed. It was definitely not easy to pop the balloon, as both struggled to hold it still, but only Scotty successfully popped it.

The games grew tougher. Many fans bragged about Norm’s high talents when it comes to shaking his tushy. Well, it was time to put the rumor and his dance skills to the test with the second challenge: Wiggle While You Work. Participants had to strap four pedometers to their bodies, with one on each arm and leg. The first one to click the pedometer a total of 500 times by wildly moving their body was the winner. With hit song “Uptown Funk” playing in the background, the mascots wiggled their tails away. However, Norm’s pedometer hit 500 before Scotty’s — the rumor was true after all.

The crowd seemed to be enjoying Scotty and Norm making fools out of themselves, but they were also given the opportunity to entertain each other. At the door, every individual was given a raffle ticket, which gave audience members a chance to participate and help out one of the mascots. The third challenge was the Piggyback Ride Challenge. Two lucky winners mounted Scotty’s and Norm’s back. Scotty with a 10-year-old on his back and Norm with a 20-year-old had to race against each other, with whoever ran the longest distance being deemed the winner. At first Norm struggled to even walk. Scotty, on the other hand, began to skip, which caused him to trip over his own foot, sending the 10-year-old flying across the arena. Fortunately no one was hurt. Norm took advantage of the incident and managed to triumphantly run farther than Scotty.

Now it was time to further investigate the hidden talents these mascots possessed. While Norm is known for being an incredible dancer, Scotty is known for being an extraordinary basketball player. After spending so much time with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the skills were bound to rub off on him. The challenge was who could make the most free-throws in two minutes. Almost effortlessly Scotty destroyed Norm, 4-0.

The end of the showdown was near; however, Scotty and Norm were tied. Only one could come out victorious which called for the toughest challenge of the day. Being 2015, the last challenge was the Highlander Selfie. Using the newest invention of the selfie stick, each contestant had to take a selfie with a Highlander from the audience and whoever had the best selfie won. To determine who won the battle the crowd had to vote via text.

It was yet another hilarious scene as Norm and Scotty each tried to run up the stairs to find the perfect Highlander to take a selfie with. Votes were in and Norm tallied up 76 votes, while Scotty finished with 82. It was another close win, but of course, the one and only Scotty the Bear took home the championship and the crowd went wild.

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