By Sarah English/For The Independent
He has 7,873 Facebook friends, nearly as many Twitter followers, and 460 Instagram followers, but game-day crowds do not surround him as he walks anonymously around campus. While the football players and spirit squads are pictured in the game day programs and greeted by fans wherever they go, that is not the case for the athletes that portray Butch, the 2006 Capitol One Mascot of the Year.
Named after Cougar quarterback (1925-1927) Herbert “Butch” Meeker, who was described in the Chinook Yearbook as “the fightingest little football player ever to don a Cougar uniform,” Butch the mascot continues to lead the athletic fight with tremendous Cougar spirit.
From 1927 to 1978 a live cougar energized fans on game day. A succession of six cougars, presented to Washington State University by the presiding governor, lived just outside of the stadium in a cage where the Cougar Pride statue now stands. Since the passing of Butch VI a much larger and perhaps more loveable Butch, in the guise of a plush costume, has rallied athletes and fans. Athletic Director Bill Moos shared his thoughts with the student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen, that now “[Butch] is a little easier to pet and a lot more fun to hug.”