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, he’s become increasingly scarce altogether; instead, we have Snake Eyes’ 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).
They’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 Howard’s Rock wannabe statue. Meanwhile, all Tuffy has done is win championships – now that’s tradition – and they keep trying to replace him.
Please, for my sake, and State fans everywhere that don’t care if random people in Ohio are buying State merchandise, don’t let it happen.
Please, save Tuffy.