After a semifinal round that was neck and neck until the very end Friday, SUNY Oneonta’s beloved dragon mascot, Red, will advance to the final round of SUNY’s annual Mascot Madness competition, where students, alumni and fans vote to determine New York’s favorite college mascot.
The bracket-style friendly competition began March 16 with 34 mascots randomly divided into four SUNY regions and ranked by the number of athletics teams each mascot represents.
This is the first time since 2016 that Oneonta has participated in Mascot Madness. In 2015, Red made it all the way to the finals and lost to Baxter Bearcat from Binghamton University. Last year, the competition was not held because of COVID-19 challenges.
Although not able to campaign in person because of COVID restrictions, Red has been spotlighted across the college’s social media throughout the competition and on SUNY’s website. Special content has included a look back at Red’s makeovers over the years as well as a list of reasons Red’s the best, including the fact that the mascot has its own video game, is an avid zipliner and kayaker, and is a favorite in getting the crowd fired up, whether that’s at a sporting event or new student orientation.
In Round 1 of Mascot Madness, Red defeated Oakie Acorn from SUNY-ESF. In Round 2, Red took on Mo Mustang from SUNY Morrisville and, again, dominated the competition. Round 3 was a closer contest, with Red facing – and ultimately beating – SUNY Adirondack’s Eddy Rondack.
In the semifinals, Red faced the toughest competitor yet, SUNY Empire’s Blue the bluebird. It was a wild round, with Red and Blue taking turns in the lead the whole way through. After voting closed Friday at 3 p.m. and SUNY tabulated results, which included a bonus social media component this round, Red came out on top by just 14 points.
On to the Championship Round!
Now, Red will face Boomer T Cannoneer of Jefferson Community College in the finals, which run from noon on Monday, April 5, to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 7. The winner will be announced on Thursday, April 8.
Anyone can vote, and Red appreciates support from students, faculty and staff, alumni, parents and Oneonta community members! Votes can be cast once every 24 hours and the link will be posted here as soon as voting opens.
Email verification is required. A few minutes after voting and entering an email address, each voter will get a confirmation email from Crowdsignal with a link that must be clicked in order for the vote to be counted. Email addresses are required for verification purposes only and will not be added to any mailing lists.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Red so far… Let’s bring the Mascot Madness trophy home to Oneonta!