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Voting begins for SUNY’s Mascot Madness


Red Dragon nation, Blaze needs your vote. And he needs it now.

Mascot Madness is back. Once again, the 64-campus SUNY system is hosting a competition to determine its most popular college mascot.

Online voting in the first round of the tournament-style mascot battle, set up in brackets like those used in the NCAA basketball championships, began today. SUNY Cortland’s Red Dragon is up against SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Walter Wildcat.

Students, faculty, staff, family, friends and strangers on the street are encouraged to vote for Blaze on the official website. First-round voting ends at 4 p.m. Friday, March 25.

Cortland voters are encouraged to cast ballots early and often, although they are limited to one vote per day. In order for your vote to count, you simply have to verify it via an active email address. In addition, bonus votes will be available via Ttwitter this round. Follow @SUNY and ‘like’ the tweet that mentions SUNY Cortland’s first-round match-up.

If everybody’s favorite flame-throwing, game-winning Red Dragon tames SUNY Poly’s wildcat in the initial round, Blaze will advance through the following schedule:

  • Round 2 — March 28-30
  • Round 3 — April 1-5
  • Semifinals — April 7-11
  • Finals — April 12-14

If you’d like to learn more about Blaze and his competitors, SUNY Administration has posted a series of mascot Q&As. The responses of SUNY Cortland’s Red Dragon are below:

  1. Who are you and who do you represent? I am Blaze, the mighty Red Dragon, and I represent the intellectual, physical and emotional strength and determination of students at the State University of New York at Cortland. Oh, and mythological fire-breathing lizards. I represent them too.
  2. What’s your favorite place on campus? Naturally, it’s the Student Life Center, which is EVERYBODY’s favorite place on campus. What’s not to love about 147,177 square feet of fitness, food, friends and fun under one environmentally friendly roof? Whether it’s climbing the rock wall, swimming laps or meditating in the ultra-cool mind/body room, there’s always something to do.
  3. What’s your favorite place or thing to do off campus? I enjoy snorkeling off the coast of Australia, working with children in India, and exploring ancient ruins in Egypt or England. Luckily, I’m able to do all that and more through SUNY Cortland’s study abroad programs, which offer 30 destinations on six continents.
  4. What’s your favorite movie/tv show/special that you streamed last year? My favorite streaming event was Cortaca Jug 2021, when the Cortland football team overcame a two-touchdown deficit and blocked a potential game-winning kick to beat Ithaca College, 28-27. I bookmarked the highlight reel, and it just keeps getting better! Looking forward to our 2022 re-match in Yankee Stadium.
  5. What’s your favorite comfort food to get through a cold winter? That’s easy, chicken tender wraps. No wait, make that mac and cheese bites. Or maybe sushi? Y’know what? Just give me some Dining Dollars and drop me off at Hilltop.
  6. With SUNY offering convenient new learning options through microcredentials, what’s a new skill or competency you’d like to develop? In keeping with my magical origins, I’d like to become a certified quidditch coach. I might also enroll in “Harry Potter: Morality and Human Nature,” an actual SUNY Cortland philosophy course exploring themes that develop throughout the popular series of fantasy novels.
  7. Where would you like to retire when your mascot days are over? I’d like to get away from it all and relax in the wilderness at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at Raquette Lake. This remote, 400-acre historic property has provided generations of SUNY Cortland students a deeply meaningful outdoor experience. With me around, there’d never be a problem igniting a campfire!
  8. How would you celebrate a SUNY Mascot Madness championship? A round of high fives and then on to the next challenge. With 25 national titles and more than 100 individual national champions, did I mention that Red Dragons are really competitive?