In case you don’t follow us on Twitter and haven’t seen highlights from what was an eventful day for Stanford’s Tree, this post will get you up to speed. Most importantly–and excitingly–Tree was the lead interviewee in a mascot article published on SI.com by college football writer Andy Staples. Following the hysterical assault of Ohio State’s Brutus last Saturday, Staples decided to pen a whimsical take on the incident, and cite a handful of college mascots from around the country. (Staples is a great college football analyst and columnist, and he gave The Daily Axe a Twitter shout-out this week. If you don’t already, you should read his work regularly.) Unsurprisingly, Tree (aka Ben Cortes) provided the best quotes. Here are all of Cortes’s thoughts that Staples published, with The Daily Axe’s favorites in bold:
- “He’s clearly a tenacious [compound adjective]. Kudos to him for being able to finally tackle someone he clearly does not like.”
- Note on this one: we think Staples meant compound noun, which would suggest the word one angrily assigns to a man that engages in sexual acts with maternal figures. If so, that may be the gutsiest diction ever used in a Sports Illustrated interview.
- “But that said, I think mascots need to up their game. We can’t just let random people get to the sidelines representing us. If someone had my tree costume on and just goes around tackling [Cal mascot] Oski, I end up looking like an aggressive [jerk].”
- “I recently installed arm branches to give the vicious pythons I sport at the end of my shoulders free reign.”
- “Should any [stuff] go down, I have a couple fists — one I call Iron, the other I call Justice — and I just rain both down on the heads of any would-be attackers.”
- Earlier this school year, Cortes had 10 [Tree Protective Services] members escorting him through campus. “That,” he said, “was mostly for navigation purposes.”
- “When we go to Oregon, I’ll have to round up a bunch of homies.”
- “I’ve taken on way worse than him in my travels and wanderings. If [Cal mascot Oski] happens to throw some punches, that might just make my day.”
In other news, Capital One–the company that is threatening to single-handedly ruin the integrity of multi-sport awards for collegiate athletics programs–is once again holding a mascot contest. Though Tree is not a contender in the regular ballot, he is a leading write-in candidate (in the top 5). Once you vote through the week’s match-ups, you’ll be asked for a write-in vote. Just find California on the drop-down menu, find Stanford University, and click Tree. You’re done, and the good Cardinal karma will certainly grant you future sporting success.
We’re throwing in the Ohio State mascot incident at the end, mostly because it is legitimately hysterical. Watch and laugh.