This is personal for me. According to my folks, the roots of me becoming a loyal State fan (to a fault) stemmed from my fascination as a toddler with the Strutting Wolf.
The Tuffy of my childhood was rugged and vicious, leading us to a national title and two ACC titles. In the mid-90s, they tried to replace him with Sonic the Hedgehog, unsuccessfully (thank goodness). A few years ago they redressed him and gave him a trim and a shave to make us more marketable; few of us were pleased, most of us incensed. Now, heâ€™s become increasingly scarce altogether; instead, we have Snake Eyesâ€™ trusty companion Timber howling at the moon, sometimes with a few of his buddies (all guys aged 25 to 30 know that Snake Eyes was the coolest GI JOE).
Theyâ€™re constantly trying to shove new traditions down our throats, like sing-a-longs after the third quarter to be more like the Red Sox (stupidest idea ever), or that ridiculous-looking new Howardâ€™s Rock wannabe statue. Meanwhile, all Tuffy has done is win championships â€“ now thatâ€™s tradition â€“ and they keep trying to replace him.
Please, for my sake, and State fans everywhere that donâ€™t care if random people in Ohio are buying State merchandise, donâ€™t let it happen.
Please, save Tuffy.