CU’s mascot will take part in the 2007 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship
CU may not have a nationally ranked football team, but its school mascot is one of the top 10 in the nation and will head to Florida in January to compete for the No. 1 spot against nine other carefully selected mascots.
Chip, CU’s buffalo mascot, will attend the 2007 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship at the Walt Disney World Wide World of Sports complex to perform a 90-second skit that will make up 50 percent of the final score. The skit will be judged on aspects such as animation and enthusiasm, prop usage, creativity, crowd interaction and overall impression.
The other 50 percent of the score comes from an entry tape that was submitted in October. The tape featured a variety of clips showing Chip’s performances at sporting events and his contributions to the community. It was scored according to crowd involvement, character development, community service and overall impression. Out of 36 entries, Chip’s video placed 10th, just barely squeezing him into the competition.
Travis Prior, CU’s cheer coach, said the mascot’s achievement will provide some much-needed positive media for the university.
“The event is sponsored by Nike and has been one of the most-watched shows on ESPN in recent years,” Prior said. “It has opened up the concept of what this university has to offer.”
Although there are several students who play Chip, Prior explained that the one who will perform at the nationals will not be determined until January, after they have all practiced the skit.
The team of people who support Chip “all qualified because the video involved clips of all of them, but we want to evaluate who looks best in the suit and who can manipulate the props and improvise the best,” Prior said.
One of Chip’s supporters, a senior applied math major who wishes to remain anonymous prior to the competition, said there is a certain personality the mascot tries to promote at all of his appearances that will set him apart at the competition.
“Chip is goofy, a little bit mischievous and flirtatious,” he said. “Flirting – that’s a big thing.”
Besides entertaining spectators at CU sporting events, Chip also attends events for the Herd Alumni Association and regularly visits Children’s Hospital and local elementary schools.
“You have to be really energetic, outgoing and animated all the time, because you never know when you are being watched. You’re always being watched,” he said. “It’s hard to maintain such high energy all the time.”
The competition will be held Jan. 12 in Orlando, Fla., and will air on ESPN and ESPN2.