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If Lil' Red Doesn't Make the Mascot Hall of Fame - It's All YOUR Fault!

Lil' Red. Isn't he cute?

The Husker athletic department wants you to vote for our very own Lil' Red so he can make it into the Mascot Hall of Fame.

I know you won't do it, though because I know you hate Lil' Red. I've seen the comments you make. He's not manly enough to represent the University of Nebraska. A mutant. Satanic. You find him embarrassing. You think he's a freak. What is it about him that brings out such nasty comments?

Look, kids like him. He's entertaining. He bounces when he runs. He stands on his head better than anyone I know. He never says anything and he's at all the Husker sporting events. He's a true fan. And yet there is such anger directed towards him. I've tried to understand how people could direct such animosity towards a guy who represents nothing but innocence. The only reasonable explanation I can come up with is that it's not just him you don't like. You don't like his kind. You know what I mean. You have a hatred or fear of balloon creatures. You have globophobia.

Senor Cactus. Your First Love.

Something must have happened in your past that caused this. Maybe at some point in your life you felt deflated by a balloon creature. Perhaps someone in Lil Red's family came to your seventh birthday party and no one else showed up so you spent the day with him. Maybe it was Senor Cactus. You had no one else to play with, so you gave all your love to Senor Cactus and when the end of the day came, they took him away. He was your only friend and then he was gone just like that. You've resented it since and now you've transferred that resentment to Lil' Red.

Burning Man. Needs Counseling. Badly.

They say that you don't know someone until you've walked in their shoes. I'm not saying that I've walked in Lil' Red's shoes, but if you take just a moment to think about his life you might see him a bit differently. What happens at his family reunions? Holiday dinners? Can you imagine all those different personalities coming together?

Like Lil' Red's cousin Burning-Man festival dude, having to endure constant jokes about being set on fire. Or the constant Lord of the Rings Ent reference - "Hey, man, where's Treebeard?" It's left him a neurotic mess.

Jimmy? Confused about identity.

And then there's this .... uh, rainbow colored dancer guy. I think his name is Jimmy. He's got a lot of internal conflicts - constantly trying to find himself, his true identity, where he fits into the world. Doesn't talk much, even to anyone in the family, because his self-esteem is so bad. Everyone thinks he's happy all the time, but I'll bet his inside is rotten, maybe even moldy.

Frank. A real nightmare.

Or maybe you felt threatened or frightened by Frank. That's understandable. He's huge. He's kind of scary. He's cranky all the time because he has to work all day and then he's illuminated at night. Always has to wear the same stupid "Monster Sale" sign. Lil' Red has indicated that he's a real problem at family reunions. They have to get a couple kegs just for him and the other balloons don't talk to him very much. I suppose it's understandable given that he's . Can't do any tricks (like dancing on his head), unless there's a huge wind and then people are screaming at him like he's alive or something.

The members of Lil' Red's family are jealous of his abilities. Most of them can't jump or run. Most of them are stationery. He is special. Some mascots suck. Some blow. He's the only one that does both. The envy has left Lil' Red a little lonely. And there you are taking out all your anger on him.

Well, this time you can make it right. Lil' Red needs your help. Look at the competition he's up against: Brutus Buckeye (Ohio State), Smokey (Tennessee), Big Red (Western Kentucky), The Ibis (Miami) and Sparty (Michigan State). You can't let those guys beat him. You can make amends.

Put Lil' Red into the Mascot Hall of Fame! It's the right thing to do!