Raider Red: The Best Mascot in the Country?

Guns up! Texas Tech's red-headed Yosemite Sam-doppelganger is one step away from winning the Capitol One Mascot Challenge. And he's joined the “Gangnam Style” craze.
Sun December 16, 2012 8:40 am
YouTube | Screenshot

Update:

Raider Red is in the final ! Voting for the Capitol One Mascot Challenge continues until 10:59 a.m. on Monday.

If Red's superiority to Cocky the Gamecock wasn't already obvious, check out the video above of him presenting life at Texas Tech "Red Raider Style" (i.e., a parody of "Gangnam Style").

Also, as noted in the comments: Red was based on a drawing by cartoonist Dirk West, but was  brought to life (such as it is) by Saddle Tramps member Jim Gaspard, who created the actual mascot. 

Original Post, December 4:

Guns Up! Raider Red is going somewhere that the Texas Tech men's basketball team probably won't this year: a final four.

Tech's red-headed Yosemite Sam doppelganger is in the semi-finals of the Capitol One Mascot Challenge, which has been going on since the beginning of football season. The winner is determined by votes, and at stake is not just pride, but a $20,000 scholarship for the winning school's mascot program. 

Red's been dominant,  finishing second  out of the 16 contestants during the "regular season." He won every head-to-head match-up except--go figure--the one with the University of Delaware's YoUDee.

But where's YoUDee, now, huh? Defeated in the quarterfinals by University of Miami's Sebastian the Ibis. The Ibis and Red, which beat Missouri's Truman the Tiger in the quarterfinals, are currently facing off in the semis. 

The other semi is between Colorado State University’s Cam the Ram and the University of South Carolina's Cocky the Gamecock.

We're afraid that Cocky, the #1 overall seed, could be tough to beat in any contest where a large part of the electorate is intoxicated college students on the Internet. But let's get Red a win against that duck that claims to be an ibis first! 

Outrageously, a Texas mascot  has never won the challenge , though of course, our best ones are real animals. That's actually why Raider Red was  first put into action , in response to the Southwestern Conference's 1971 ban on live mascots at road games. As we wrote in our "20 Reasons to Love College Football package" last year, Red has especially good pedigree, having been designed by artist (and one-time Lubbock mayor) Dirk West, who also created Herbie Husker.

As Capital One points out on its bio page for Red, a big part of his mystique is that his "true identity is hidden from the public and Tech community at large." You can get in on the voting  here.

And below, via SBnation, a Raider Red highlight from Tech's win over the University of West Virginia. GIFs up!

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