Archive for the ‘Squirrels/bunnies/mascots’ Category

Have you hugged your squirrel today?

Well hello there, friend!

OK, so I lied about yesterday being the best holiday. Because today actually is. Know why? Because it’s SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY!!!!

That’s right, a whole day devoted to loving our little fwuff friend, The Squirrel! So, in honor of this magnificent occasion, here are some fun squirrel facts, courtesy of squirrels.org and squirrelnet.com:

  • Squirrels can jump up to 20 feet. They have long, muscular hind legs and short front legs that work together to aid in leaping.
  • The hind legs of squirrels are double-jointed. This helps them run up and down trees quickly.
  • A male squirrel can smell a female in heat up to a mile away. Mating season is February through May, with a 44-day gestation period. Typically, two to four young are born per litter.
  • Squirrels have five toes on their back feet and four toes on their front. Their front toes are very sharp and help in gripping tree bark when climbing.
  • In addition to residing in the eastern U.S., eastern gray squirrels can be found in many Western states, Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa.
  • Squirrels are found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
  • Squirrels can eat their own body weight (around 1.5 pounds) in food every week.
  • Squirrels can fall up to 100 feet without hurting themselves. They use their tails both for balance and as a parachute.
  • The hibernating arctic ground squirrel is the only warm-blooded mammal able to withstand body temperatures below freezing.
  • Squirrels’ eyes are positioned in such a way that they can see some things behind them.
  • The word “squirrel” means “shadow tail” in Greek.
  • There are more than 365 species of squirrels in seven families, including the tree squirrel, ground squirrel and flying squirrel.
  • In the summer, squirrels are most active two to three hours after sunrise, and then they rest in the afternoon. They usually resume activity two hours before sunset. The squirrel will retire to its nest well before dark and will rarely leave the nest at night. In the winter, the squirrel will complete its activities between dawn and mid-day, then will remain in or around the nest until the next day.
  • The squirrel’s erratic path while crossing a street is an attempt to confuse the oncoming vehicle in hopes of  making it change direction. Unfortunately, this is often the squirrel’s biggest — and last — mistake.

And here are some adorable photos of squirrels from around the world! What a great day!

So, if you haven’t already, be sure to go hug your neighborhood squirrel! You’ll be happy you did!

Unless you end up like this guy. But hey, it’s totally worth the risk!

It’s not over yet, Griz Nation!

All right Griz fans, I know this season was tough. We’re hardly used to losing one game in a season, let alone four.

And standing outside in 6-degree temperatures watching our beloved Griz (if that’s who were playing in those god-awful uniforms…) lose to the Cats at home? Worst. Day. Ever.

Half of Griz Nation is probably still in bed, commiserating the loss and the no-playoffs-for-the-first-time-in-18-years announcement. It’s been a rough couple of days.

But the good news is we still have a shot at the national championship. “But how is that possible, Squirrel? HOW?!” By voting for Monte in the Capital One Mascot of the Year competition, of course!

That’s right — Griz fans have done such an awesome job voting so far that Monte has moved on to the playoffs! This week, he’s up against defending champ Bearcat of Cincinnati. If he loses, he’s out, and our dreams of winning a national title will deflate for good.

I mean, if our football team is out of the running for a championship, we can at least vote our mascot to one, right? Right!

Let’s do this, Griz Nation. We Montanans don’t give up that easily when the going gets tough; we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps (or ballet-flat straps, in my case) and get the job done.

So vote. Daily. Or hourly. Or during every single free moment you have. Bookmark the website and vote whenever you’re just messing around on Facebook or I Can Haz Cheezburger or whatever site you frequent when trying to avoid productivity.

(Unfortunately, you MUST vote online for the rest of the contest, as the text-message option has been eliminated, so be sure to click on capitalonebowl.com several times a day.)

If you’re still not convinced we can do this, let me give you one last incentive:

I really am taller than him, I swear.

See that adorable little fella? That’s Mo. Mo is Monte’s little brother, who dreams of filling his big-brother mascot’s shoes some day.

All Mo wants for Christmas this year is for Monte to be the Capital One Mascot of the Year. Unlike the rest of his mini-mascot friends, he doesn’t want a Squinkie or an XBox 360 Kinect or a Sing-a-ma-jig or anything.  He just wants his big brother to win the championship.

Now, look into those big brown eyes and tell Mo you’re not going to vote for Monte every chance you get. Just try.

That’s what I thought.

Heil, Monte!

(DISCLAIMER: I in no way condone the mocking of Grizzly Athletics, UM or the fair state of Montana. That being said, the following video is hilarious.)

Up next, straight from the If You Can’t Make Fun Of Yourself Then Who Can You Make Fun Of Department, is a video put together by someone affiliated with Eastern Washington University. And, despite my affliation to the video’s target, I have to say: Well done, Eastern Washington. Well done.

OK, comparing Montana to the Third Reich is a bit over the top, but I suppose comparing anyone you don’t like/disagree with to Hitler is hip these days. And listening to people speak in German is funny no matter the subject.

And I’m sure it’s really only amusing to those who follow Montana football or the Big Sky  Conference in general, and especially to those who hate the Griz for (usually) being so good. (If you don’t fall under one of those categories, here’s a rundown: Basically, UM has dominated the conference, brought in record attendance, been a threat for the national championship, yadda yadda, for the past 15 years. This is, ahem, an off year. And EWU recently put in some god-awful red turf.)

Without further ado, the video:

Just goes the show: When everything else is falling apart, at least we still have Monte.

Don’t forget to cast your vote this week!

In which Monte burns down the University Center

So, you think your mascot is the coolest around? You think he/she/it deserves to be Capital One’s Mascot of the Year? OK, but only if he/she/it has a better fire-throwing dance than Monte.

A-like so:

What’s that? Your mascot doesn’t have a fire-throwing dance?

Oh. AWK-ward …

Yeah, OK, so those are actually glow sticks, but they could be flaming balls of fury if UM didn’t adhere so strictly to silly fire codes. Point being that since Monte is the only mascot in the field who can throw fire while dancing to a Jimi Hendrix song of the same name, he’s the only one who deserves to win the title. Please vote accordingly.

Deep mascot thoughts, UNCUT

To fulfill one of my duties as the official UM blogger for Monte’s bid in the Capital One Mascot Challenge, I answered some questions for Danielle at extraordinarymommy.com, who is running the blogger competition. She recently posted profiles of all the bloggers based on the answers to these questions.

Now, because my passion for mascots runs deeper than is typically considered “normal,” my answers were quite long and were edited down significantly for the profile, which is completely understandable. Unfortunately, some of the more humorous excerpts didn’t make the cut, and the world has now been deprived of these thought-provoking observations and theories in mascotology.

ALL THREE MASCOTS!!!

But do not fret, dear Squirrel Thoughts reader — your loyalty has deemed you worthy of an exclusive peek at what some mascot experts are calling “a stroke of pure genius,” as I’ve posted my answers in their entirety below. Enjoy!

Why did you apply to represent the University of Montana for this blogger challenge?
Because win or lose, I love Griz football. But I won’t for a second pretend to understand the nuances of the game ― I know very little about play calls, formations, coaching decisions, etc.; I’m usually just watching whichever player I think has the ball (I fall for fake hand-offs quite often).

I’m more about the camaraderie that comes with experiencing a game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on UM’s campus. Sure, Wa-Griz only holds about 25,000 people ― small beans compared to the 100,000-plus some big-name college stadiums accommodate ― but you wouldn’t guess that the first time you heard the deafening roar following a Grizzlies touchdown.

And what I lack in football knowledge, I make up for with my expertise in mascotology. That’s right, I just made up a word, but there’s really no other way to explain my obsession with UM’s mascot team, which includes Mo and Rocky, along with the indefatigable Monte, of course.

Plus, I know Griz Nation will step up to crown Monte the first three-time Capital One Mascot of the Year. How can I be so sure? Because, even though he came up short, Monte received more than 200,000 votes during his epic battle with ODU’s Big Blue. That’s more than one-fourth of Montana’s population. You other schools in your densely populated states, with your millions of people and fancy-pants big cities, may think you have an edge in this contest. But face it — when it comes to fan dedication, you ain’t got nothin’ on Griz Nation.

How do girls compare to guys when it comes to being ‘fans’ of their teams/schools/mascots?
I’m not sure about all guys, but my boyfriend doesn’t seem to share my fascination with UM’s mascots. The Griz will be storming toward the end zone, and instead of paying attention to the game, I’m tugging on his sleeve and gesturing toward where Monte and his adorable little-brother mascot, Mo, are doing the worm, and their dopey yet lovable balloon cousin, Rocky, is trying to impersonate them. We both miss the Griz touchdown and have to settle for the replay on the JumboTron. I’m perfectly fine with this, since it’s not like I really understood what was going on anyway. The BF, however, is less than thrilled, and threatens to move seats if I keep distracting him with my silly mascot infatuation.

Share one memorable experience about your time at your University/time at a game/watching a game.
Last December, when the Grizzlies beat Appalachian State to earn a trip to the FCS national championship game, the high temperature in Missoula that day was a crisp 17 degrees. By the start of the second half, a bone-chilling wind had whisked a blizzard into Washington-Grizzly Stadium. But with the score gridlocked at 17, no respectable Griz fan dared leave the stadium, and it was clear this wasn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill football game.

The flurry settled in, completely blotting out the green turf, and I swear you could feel the stadium shake from the collective shivering. The Griz began charging down the field just as the fluffy flakes really started coming down, and the announcer roared, “WELCOME TO MONTANA FOOTBALL!” UM went on to score a touchdown with 1:31 left in the fourth quarter and held off a Mountaineers TD attempt in the final seconds to win. I don’t mean to get all unicorns-and-rainbows on you, but it was kind of magical.

How do you show your school spirit?
I once tackled a fan from our rival school to the ground because he tried to swipe a stuffed Griz paw off my hand. He was twice the size of my 5-foot-2, 110-pound frame. Poor sap never even saw it coming.

Any unique ways you plan to get votes for your mascot?
To know Monte is to love him, so all I have to do is introduce him to the rest of America. Plus, I work in the public relations department at the U, so I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. 😉

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