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Rufus the Bobcat's attack on Brutus Buckeye Eye Witness Report

October 11, 2010 - Michael Palmer
Ohio University’s mascot Rufus the Bobcat decided to attack Ohio State’s Brutus the Buckeye as he ran on the field. I was standing in the endzone shooting the approaching mascot leading the team onto the field helping a cheerleader with the flag at the front of the wave of scarlet crossing the turf.

It was almost surreal when the attack occurred, and like many present, I beleived it to be a staged stunt perhaps linked to the Posie Bowl II theme for the game. However, it seemed that Brutus was unaware of the upcoming assault.

His first attempt was thwarted when as he attempted to wrap the Buckeyes mascot in a frontal attack Brutus lowered a shoulder into him. Brutus shook off the tackle like he had played some high school football leaving Rufus laying on the turf beheaded - he stood above the opposing mascot looking down with the maximum destain a large horse chesnut can muster.

Brutus got up, smiled and put his head back on then followed Brutus into the endzone and took him to the ground with the second attempt, a cheap-shot takedown from behind. Like myself, none of the other cheerleaders or the players who were taking a knee in the endzone as part of their pre-game ritual suspected foul play and assumed it was a publicity stunt.

It was not - and a security guard from the sideline, who noticed the blows to Brutus were a bit overzealous for a stunt stepped in to escort the Bobcat mascot out of the endzone and off the field.

Ohio University issued an apology. The person who dressed up as Rufus has been banned from affiliation with Ohio University athletics. As it finally was revealed, this person who donned the Rufus mascot gear wasn't even a student at Ohio U, and went out for the mascot gig specifically to get the opportunity to take down Brutus the Buckeye according to a post on Bucknuts web site.

Rufus the Bobcat's attack on Brutus Buckeye isn't the first against the Ohio State mascot. It happened once before that I can recall in 1983 in the Big House. A Michigan fan, (according to the M-Zone web site he was a letterman on the swim team) took a flag waving Brutus down with a nice form tackle to the knees. Maybe Michigan's coaching staff should hunt this guy down and hire him to coach their defense.

I had a throng of cheerleaders blocking my shots for the second attack but got a couple nice images during the first on the field that I am attaching. The video is on You Tube if you missed the game. (Bobcat Mascot Attacks Brutus) I really didn't think much of the incident at the time, however, since the publicity and questions keep buzzing, I thought it would be appropriate for a blog.

The first photo is the impending confrontation.

The second is the tackle attempt and I like it because my daughter says it looks like Rufus is biting the left arm of Brutus.

In the third you can see is an image that I beleive summarizes the game on the field. Brutus is towering over the Bobcat - who attempted to attack him - as the poor beast lays on the ground with his head detached.

The fourth is the strange man who premeditated and committed the juvenile college prank gone wrong.

NOTE: For all my photographer friends: No burst mode - Manual Focus - 80-200 Zoom shot at full zoom with the little dial thingy on top of the camera on the letter M.

 
 

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