Here’s a quick breakdown of how we here at TMF view this year’s Final Four matchups. We’re of course talking about which school’s animal mascot would emerge victorious in a real-life tussle if they were to meet in the wilderness or wherever. For the sake of making the matchups more competitive and in the interest of keeping PETA off our backs, let’s just assume these bouts are non-lethal skirmishes where the victor just needs to force a submission or chase his opponent away.
As for the actual Final Four, I have no idea who will win the games. The last time I paid close attention to college basketball I was still collecting pogs. So while I can’t really speak to the basketball aspect of the Final Four, I have spent plenty of time thinking about who would win in various animal skirmish scenarios. So that should lend a certain gravitas to these very important predictions.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Kentucky Wildcats
At first glance, this may look like a pretty easy win for the wildcat. A wildcat is much bigger than a badger and certainly would seem to have just about every physical advantage. It is no doubt a finely tuned killing machine that would have no problem dispatching most NCAA mascots (including my beloved Sebastian the Ibis, who would no doubt be quickly savaged by even a juvenile wildcat).
The tale of the tape points to the wildcat making quick work of the undersized badger. But the badger has a number of intangibles you should never underestimate – whether you’re wagering on some sort of underground badger fight (please don’t wager on underground badger fights, or if you accidentally stumble upon one, report it to the authorities immediately) or if you encounter a badger in the wild. The thing about badgers you have to keep in mind that they are absolutely crazy.
While American badgers are not nearly as ferocious as the famously clever and fearless/impervious-to-pain Honey badger, they are still quite scrappy. But is a badger’s scrappy enough to defeat a wildcat’s scratchy?
Now usually, regardless of species, if there’s a big guy fighting a smaller guy, you put your money on the big guy. But if a big guy is fighting a little guy who happens to be crazy, I’m taking the little crazy guy every time. Whether you’re an animal in the forest or a human in an Applebee’s parking lot after 5-for-1 margarita & bold flavor apps night, size is much less important than a deranged willingness to endure a torrent of blows. The crazy factor is why I’m taking the badger in what would surely be an intense scratch-fest.
UCONN Huskies vs. Florida Gators
This is an intriguing matchup. North vs. South, snow vs. swamp, disgusting scaly reptile vs. adorable fluffy mammal.
Once again, on paper, this would appear to be a major mismatch. Gators have been at or near the top of the food chain for millennia, meanwhile huskies have been domesticated and made soft by excessive petting, tasty reward treats, and doggy play-dates. Huskies, a once-proud species known for pulling things through snow, have been emasculated and forced into suburban lives of leisure. Most huskies nowadays are no more useful than your average Chihuahua or congressman.
But as with all dogs, huskies maintain a latent spark of wild savagery within. I see flashes of it in my own dog, whenever the UPS man dares to drop a package at our door, a distant squirrel runs up a tree, or a small non-threatening child approaches. At a moment’s notice, a husky can transform into Spitz from The Call of the Wild!
But could a husky somehow defeat an alligator?
I don’t know – maybe it could climb up on its back and just start biting it like crazy?
FACE-OFF CHAMPIONSHIP – Huskies vs. Badgers
Both the Huskies and Badgers pulled off impressive upsets to get to the championship bout. Unfortunately, only one can reign supreme. Who will it be, a badger or a husky?
After much internal debate, we have reached a verdict of whose mascot animal has what it takes to win this year’s Final Four. Without further ado, or further unfounded animal battle speculation, we give you this year’s champion…