Captain's Cabin

Pirate Lord of the Platinum Coast
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Friday, March 21, 2008

Floofyhead Friday - Faux Rutgers


Faux Rutgers

This is Faux Rutgers. He is a Floofy Golden Retriever and he was named for a real Golden Retriever named Rutgers.


The real Rutgers was in turn named for the University of Rutgers, the alma mater of his owner, Dave. Rutgers was the mascot of our baseball team, the Fort Myers Miracle. He traced his linage back to Jericho, the first mascot the team had when it moved back to Fort Myers in 1992.

Rutgers was "traded" along with his owner to a team in the New York-Penn league following the 2003 season and things have sort of downhill ever since. He was replaced by a human in a smelly, ugly, furry suit, which is about normal for mascots.

What happened that last year in 2003 is that Rutgers was startled at the beginning of the season by Swampee, the Florida Everblades Hockey Team mascot. He was on the ice at the time and he slipped and injured his back leg. This required him to have MCL surgery and he was laid up for most of the season.

The Fort Myers Miracle are the High-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. One of the player's parents had come over from Australia that year to watch their son, and they had been collecting mascot dolls for every team their son had played on. They got to Fort Myers and inquired about a stuffed Rutgers.

The gift shop didn't have any. "Well why not, he's your mascot."

"He's not a mascot, he's a dog."

"Nonsense. I saw his picture on your website and it stated he was your mascot and I want a Rutgers."

So after hearing this story, my Bean trotted down to Toys-R-Us and picked up several Golden Retriever Dogs including this large one who became Faux Rutgers.

Faux Rutgers

Faux Rutgers has seen better days, in part because once she took him to one game, she was instructed to bring him to all the games. With Rutgers in a cast and laid up, the intern staff decided to make use of the floofyhead one and pressed Faux Rutgers into service, walking - or being walked - around the stadium and giving hugs to children and even running the bases. Not that he ever won. He and the real Rutgers at least had THAT much in common.

He still knows several tricks, but being an aging floofyhead, it's harder to get him to do them. Like sit up. He does however play dead pretty well.

As our baseball season starts in just under 2 weeks, I felt it appropriate to introduce a bit of history to you.

It should also be noted that Golden Retrievers continue to serve as mascots for several teams. The Trenton Thunder in AA employs one. Jake the Diamond Dog is a traveling profession mascot that makes appearances with many teams in the Midwest and occasionally down into the South.

Pee Ess: Smudge when over the bridge last night. My poor little friend, I am so sorry to see you go. We will meet again sometime in the future during better days when you are not in pain.
Rest easy now in the temple of Bast.

Purr for Smudge


Parker said...

Dear Diamond, my kitty heart broke when I learned that Smudge lost his fight. Our prayers and purrs go out to his wonderful family.
Faux Rutgers looks well-loved!

-d ma said...

geez those australian parents seem pretty pushy... i'd much prefer a real bear over TC as the twins mascot...

snowforest said...

Rutgers is a cutie! We iz very sorry to learn about Smudge's passing away too!
Purrs from the SnowForest family :)

Dragonheart & Merlin said...

We are very sad that Smudge went to the Bridge.

Rutgers is a very cute floofyhead.

Cheysuli and gemini said...

It is sad to hear about Smudge.

Gandalf & Grayson said...

It is so sad that Smudge has gone to the Bridge.

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

we just found out about Smudge. isn't that sad. we'll all meet someday...but still.
i think your rutgers looks like a good mascot and a good snuggle buddy. i'm sorry the real live woofie got hurt. that is no fun. at least he knows your rutgers can fill in for him. (probably better than a bean in a suit!)

Cecil the Cougar: said...

I am very sad about Smudge, he was such a good cat, I am purring for his humans.

PS- Rutgers (both of them) are very cute. My Mommie likes Golden Retrievers A LOT.

Icon Baxter Bentley said...

Faux Rutgers is very cute!

Purrs go out to Smudge & family, too.

Eric and Flynn said...

We were furry sorry to about Smudge. We will all meet again one day.
Faux Rutgers and real Rutgers both look very nice.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

What a nice floofyhead. We are sad dat Smudge didn't win his battle. Some of thos mascots are kinda scary...

Southbay Girl said...

Diamond, We think your mom really likes baseball alot!!!

We are very sad to hear about Smudge!

Kodak, Winton and 3 Perf

Karen Jo said...

Faux Rutgers is very cute and the real Rutgers is very handsome. I am very sorry that he got hurt. What was a dog doing on the ice at a hockey game, anyway? I was heart-broken to learn that Smudge went to the Bridge.

goldenshade said...

We didn't know Smudge but are still saddened as we know how sad his family is. So young too.

Faux Rutgers is very cute!

Mickey said...

It was good to learn all about Rutgers!!
I was very sad to learn about Smudge :(
Purrs Mickey

Jimmy Joe said...

I really like that story about Rutgers the mascot, Diamond. The Faux Rutgers looks like a nice floofyhead to have around, too.
Your buddy, Jimmy Joe