Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart

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Mascot v. Mascot

They’re both blue, made of fuzzy foam, and have the job of boosting school spirit. But which Chippewa Valley university mascot would win in a fight?

V1 Staff

UW-Eau Claire

NAME: Blu (although known in a prior incarnation as “Chip E. Wa”).
ALMA MATER: UW-Eau Claire.
OFFICIAL DEBUT: 2013.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Wingless blue and gold man-bird.
REMINDS US OF: One-quarter pre-Columbian bird god, three-quarters Muppet.
ORIGIN STORY: Discovered roosting in Council Oak when university was founded.
OFFICIAL STATUS: Student body mascot managed by the UWEC Student Senate. The university itself has no official mascot, just a disembodied nickname, the Blugolds.
MOST IMPRESSIVE FEAT: His (or her?) mere existence. UWEC has a long and convoluted history of not having a mascot.
PROS: Swift, birdlike movements; opposable thumbs.
CONS: Foam beak largely useless for combat or consuming birdseed.
QUOTE: “There’s some controversy with alumni that want to keep (the mascot) the Blugold spirit, but I think in today’s day and age it is important to be able to point to something and say, ‘That’s what I am,’ ” Erica Rasmussen, Student Senate Public Relations Commission (The Spectator, Nov. 6, 2013).

UW-Stout

NAME: Blaze.
ALMA MATER: UW-Stout.
DEBUT: 2011.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Broad-grinned blue demon with sweatpants.
REMINDS US OF: Crownless version of old Burger King mascot, but less creepy.
ORIGIN STORY: Arose from the blue flames of a welding torch in a manufacturing tech class.
OFFICIAL STATUS: The real deal. UW-Stout’s teams have long had the “Blue Devil” nickname, but the first official mascot was created just a few years ago.
MOST IMPRESSIVE FEAT: Defeating other Chippewa Valley mascots in an Aug. 5 dance-off at the National Night Out on Crime in Eau Claire. (Seriously, Blaze can break it down.)
PROS: Rumored satanic powers; blindingly white teeth distract opponents.
CONS: Freakishly oversized head causes neck pain.
QUOTE: “Blaze is appropriate. We want our Blue Devil athletic teams to be hot in their sports, so Blaze will fit right in,” then-Chancellor Charles Sorensen, when Blaze’s name was officially revealed (athletics.uwstout.edu, Feb. 13, 2012).

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.