Viking competes in SUNY mascot madness

Tyler McNeil, Staff Writer

Hudson Valley beat Herkimer County Community College by 977 votes on Tuesday, Mar. 18 in round one and game 14 of SUNY’s second annual “Mascot Madness” tournament.

Students representing 44 SUNY campuses will vote in an online competition determining the ultimate mascot in the state on Thursday, Apr. 3 at noon.

This season is Hudson Valley’s debut in the Mascot Madness tournament. Round two voting began on Wednesday, Mar. 19 and ended on Sunday, Mar. 23.

In 28 games, SUNY mascots totaled an estimated 278,000 votes in the 2013 tournament.

Last year, with 34,660 combined votes, New Paltz’s “Hugo” beat Stony Brook’s “Wolfie seawolf” by nearly 50 votes in the Mascot Madness championship round.

During the 2013 tournament, mascots seeked social media attention through viral YouTube skits such as Walter the Wildcat’s “Wildcat’s Dream” and the Ellsworth Eagle’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio” parody.

The Hudson Valley Viking posted a video titled “Vote for the Viking in SUNY Mascot Madness 2014” on Mar. 19, a day after the Viking beat Herkimer County Community College in round one of the tournament.

The video, posted on YouTube, shows the campus mascot in a training montage, lifting weights, doing cardio and shooting a slam dunk.

Seeding in the competition is determined by enrollment, quantity of varsity teams and campus fields.

The official bracket for the 2014 competition was released on Feb. 20.

“Mascot Madness is a unique opportunity for students, alumni, and members of the public to show their pride for SUNY,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.

“[Mascot Madness] helps to raise the profile of the world-class education and unique learning experience that we all choose to receive at SUNY colleges and universities,” said Tremayne Price, SUNY Student Assembly president and student trustee.

A profile of the Generation SUNY blog voting page includes brief  “interviews” with mascots.

The Hudson Valley Viking describes his beginnings on the blog page.

“After jumping ship on a North American voyage some 600 years ago, I froze in an iceberg that became lodged under the Troy-Menands Bridge. Eventually in the early 1960s, I thawed and made my way up the hill to Hudson Valley.”

The “Viking” mascot was adopted in the early 1960s voted by Hudson Valley staff, faculty and students. It has made it’s way into Hudson Valley’s culture to the present day with the current motto, “Be Bold. Be a Viking.”

The Hudson Valley Viking represents 16 Division I teams across campus.

In the Fall 2013, SUNY hosted “Music Madness,” a three round tournament seeking out SUNY’s most popular musical act. “Somewhere up there,” a five-member SUNY Oneonta band, beat New Paltz’s own Analise & EJ Rios and Hello, Seattle in the final round.

With a total of 2,738 votes from Hudson Valley in round two, the Viking ended up losing to Brockport’s Ellsworth Eagle by 333 votes.

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