Before proceeding with today’s reading of “By The Numbers” a warning is being issued: 1) Read for entertainment only; 2) The only value this column has is that it may come in handy if you ever find yourself trapped in a Texas high school football version of Jeopardy and there is a category titled “Mascots”; and 3) No one was ticketed for violation of social distancing – because this is a made up tale, although the number of mascots is real and taken from Dave Campbell’s “Texas Football Magazine.”

So, while they may crawl, walk, fly, or swim, each Texas high school is undoubtedly proud of its own symbol or brand that represents team spirit. But which are the most popular from among the 1,046 UIL schools that field football programs in classifications 6-5-4-3-2-1A?

To answer that question, and to confirm a head count, mascots got together at an undisclosed location that BTN will only confirm as what could be termed the “Mascot’s Convention.” The number popularity of each mascot is in parentheses by the named mascot.

The call to order was made by the Bulldogs (89), who barely took the speakership role, from the Eagles (82) that were the largest flock of birds. The Bulldogs spelled themselves with suffixes that ranged from ‘Dogs to ‘Dawgs, and were easily the superiors among canine candidates. Lobos (11), and Wolves (9) had little bite even if they had combined forces. Huskies (8), Coyotes (7), Greyhounds (7), Timberwolves (3), and Silver Foxes (1), plain ol’ Foxes (1), and Grey Wolves (1) rounded out the “Dog Pound.”

Those Eagles, however, did represent the head of the largest contingent of mascots in the aviary that included Falcons (15), Hawks (14), Cardinals (12), and Owls (11) which all had more than three. Following the big birds were Golden Eagles (3), Chaparrals (3), Thunderbirds (2), Blue Jays (2), War Eagles (2), Parrots (1), Red Hawks (1), Ricebirds (1), Ro-Hawks (1), Golden Cranes (1), Seahawks (1), Swifts (1), Ganders (1), Ducks (1), Gobblers (1), Yellowhammers (1), Screamin’ Eagles (1), and Jaybirds (1).

Salivating at the prospect of some sort of feathered meal were felines of other various species such as Bearcats (14), Jaguars (10), Leopards (7), Black Cats (2), Sabercats (1), Lynx (1), Tomcats (1), and Wampus Cats (1).

Before formal opening ceremonies could get underway, however the Indians (29) at the convention started having words with the Cowboys (12) present. Finding themselves outnumbered, the ‘Boys called in specific assistance from Mavericks (9), Texans (6), Buckaroos (2), Westerners (1), Plainsmen (1), Pioneers (1), Vaqueros (1), and Fighting Farmers (1) who are not to be confused with plainclothes Farmers (1), Plowboys (1), Harvesters (1), and Cotton Pickers (1). Meanwhile, Braves (3) from among the tribes of Comanches (2), Apaches (1), Aztecs (1), and Kiowas (1) showed up to support their Chiefs (3), and Chieftains (1).

More help could have been used by the ‘Boys, but someone had to remain at the corral to tend the Mustangs (44), Broncos (10), Chargers (7), Colts (2), Mules (2), Stallions (1), Warhorses (1), and Yeguas (1). Wranglers (1) were kept busy handling various equines which had great importance for the Matadors (2), and Punchers (1) that were responsible for bovine inspections of Longhorns (23), Brahmas (8), Steers (5), Shorthorns (3), Bulls (1), Whitefaces (1), and Jerseys (1) which milked the whole udderly ridiculous situation for what it was worth.

When the western-themed brouhaha seemed on the verge of total chaos, a call was sent out for an army and within minutes Generals (2), and Colonels (1) had arrived with Volunteers (2) that included Pirates (27), Raiders (20), Trojans (16), Rangers (13), and Warriors (12). More bodies and firepower had to be shored up with Spartans (9), Patriots (9), Vikings (8), Knights (8), Rebels (8), Titans (6), regular Rockets (4), and Skyrockets (1).

Buccaneers (3), Highlanders (3), Roughnecks (3), Cavaliers (2), Gladiators (2), and Oilers (2) were barely more than the Blue Raiders (1), Marauders (1), Crusaders (1), (1), Silver Knights (1), Golden Knights (1), Minutemen (1), Apollos (1), Conquistadores (1), Troopers (1), Dons (1), Scots (1), Purple Warriors (1), Yoemen (1), Lumberjacks (1), Moguls (1), Fighting Irish (1), Mountaineers (1), Exporters (1), Cadets (1), and Buckeyes (1) looking to give anyone a blackeye.

After order was restored, the convention resumed a semblance of order with entertainment provided by the Pied Pipers (1).

Things went cold during the convention’s award ceremony to see who would be named winner of the Aggie (1) trophy. Frigid might be a better term because Blizzards (1), and Polar Bears (1) both wanted to put the trophy on ice. The significance of the trophy’s name is not known, except it’s assumed everyone knows what an Aggie is, while not much is known about what a Vok (1) is, which is what the trophy was to originally be called. The Blizzards eventually iced down the award while the Polar Bears took Pride (1) in being named best dressed in their Maroon (1) Blazers (1).

In the supernatural and mythology division, honorees were Dragons (9), Blue Devils (2), Red Devils (2), Demons (1), and Unicorns (1). The Unis tooted their own horn when they won.

Trying to throw water on the festivities were the aquatic mascots comprised of Gators (3), Sharks (2), Marlins (1), Sandcrabs (1), Stingarees (1), Hippos (1), Bullfrogs (1), Silver Tarpons (1), Bluecats (1), and Beavers (1). Over in the barnyard, unattended by the Farmers, fighting or otherwise, were Rams (12) Angoras (1), and Battlin’ Billies (1) that made up the Goats (2).

There was some social distancing in place in order to protect the domesticated species of mascots, and human types from wildlife topped off by Bears (20), Buffaloes (11), Badgers (8), Rattlers (6), Wolverines (5), Elks (5), Kangaroos (3), Antelopes (3), Javelinas (2), Bison (2), Jackrabbits (2), Bucks (2), Antlers (1), plain old Rabbits (1), Zebras (1), Armadillos (1), and Gorillas (1). There was no word whether the Bruins (1) were Cubs (4), Grizzlies (1), or Golden Bears (1). Also, no confirmation was given on if the Rattlers were Diamondbacks (1), but there was a sighting of some Cobras (1), and Vipers (1).

Things were buzzing amongst the Hornets (25), Yellowjackets (21), and Bumblebees (1) which were trying not to stick it to stinging, biting, and prickly critiques from Scorpions (2), ‘Skeeters (1), Red Ants (1), and Porcupines (1), but no fracas broke out because the convention was hastily adjourned when the perfect storm blew in with Hurricanes (3), basic Tornadoes (1), Golden Tornadoes (1), Whirlwinds (1), and Cyclones (1) that left everything covered with Sandies (1).

That’s entertainment enough for one time only.

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