Mississippi State Athletics purchased one of the dogs ("Bully VI-A") from Sid Parker of West Point in September 1947 to serve as the mascot for the varsity football team. An over-sized papier-mâché Spartan head, which was six-feet tall and weighed nearly 60 pounds, made its debut in 1955 at a pep rally thanks to the arts and crafts project from Theta Xi fraternity brothers Donald Pais, Kenneth Roberts and Don Bauer.  Tonka died on June 28, 2011 at the age of 11. Webb brought a sample back to East Lansing and asked Alumni Association Graphic Designer Dave Giordan to create a Spartan version.
In 1985, MSU Alumni Association Graphic Designer Dave Giordan was asked to draw a muscular Sparty in full body armor. © 2020 www.lansingstatejournal.com. Physical requirements include various attributes such as height (5-11''-6-2''), waist, etc. But the Sparty we know and love today, didn’t start out that way. , Beginning the 2008-2009 school year, Mississippi State added a Bully mascot to its Meridian campus.
Sparty on:MSU's longest-serving female mascot shares her experience inside the suit, Putnam:MSU Staters?
Joker served as mascot from 1964 to 1966. Champ died on August 21, 2016. He dances. History of MSU In 133 years, the sweep of history has carried Morehead State University and its predecessor institution, the Morehead Normal School, from one makeshift classroom to the high-tech world of Internet-based classes and a radio telescope/space tracking system which reaches from a campus ridgetop literally to the stars. Since then, there have been over 50 individuals (both men and women) who have been awarded the honor of portraying Sparty. , In 1935, Mississippi State head football coach Major Ralph Sasse acquired an English Bulldog in an effort to inspire his team. Dontae served as mascot from 1998 until 1999. But the most important thing, Kefgen said, was to interact with the fans, particularly the kids, because they always got a great kick out of seeing Sparty. If your shoulders weren’t wide enough, the head would just slide right down your body.
 He also presided over the Bulldogs' 1963 Liberty Bowl victory over North Carolina State, which was also the first nationally televised game in school history. Bully XI ("Rebel") was borrowed from a MSU alumnus to serve for a few games in 1972 after Bully X's death. According to Evan Lewandowski at MSU, the university does its best to maintain the "magic" of Sparty which includes the illusion that he is one entity who never graduates or leaves MSU. "Bulldogs" became the official nickname for State teams after the school was granted university status in 1961, but use of the nickname dates back to at least 1905.
To introduce MSU's new mascot, six billboards were positioned around East Lansing announcing his Spartan Stadium debut on September 16, 1989.
MSU is using a copyrighted cartoon version of the Spartan. Wiki User Answered . It clotheslined me and knocked me flat on my back.". His skit, "Sparty's Spectacular", featured music from many different genres, including rock, country, and Riverdance. Michigan State's beloved mascot had humble beginnings. Retired in 1992, Little Bully died in 1994 and was cremated.  According to the Reveille, he is said to have lived the "longest, most neglected life of all Bullys." The first Spartan head was replaced with a fiberglass version in the 1956 Rose Bowl game. In 1984, Sigma Phi Epsilon introduced the first "gruff" head -- sporting the unshaven look that still adorns many sweat shirts and jackets. The head was six feet tall and weighed more than 60 pounds. Jak was sired by "Champ" (Bully XX) in October 2014.
By 1925, the school had expanded beyond agriculture, becoming Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science.
When they finished, restorers made fiberglass molds of the refurbished "Sparty". In 1980, a more cartoonish Bully graced the sidelines at Mississippi State games, one that looks similar to the one seen in the present day. He was the first Mississippi State bulldog mascot to be "dog-napped"; prior to their game in October 1951, University of Georgia students dognapped Bully, but Mississippi State would persevere and win the football game 6-0. The chosen entry was the "Michigan Staters." I was too slow to play football and not smart enough for the honors college, so I decided I would contribute with school spirit.". The first mascot appeared in 1955 and was a papier-mâché Spartan head made by Theta Xi fraternity brothers Donald Pais, Kenneth Roberts, and Don Bauer. Costumed mascot.
East Lansing, MI 48824, (877) MSU-ALUM (678-2586)
He took over for Champ on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Maroon and White spring football game. The result was an “approachable, fierce yet kind, man for all seasons” mascot. The costume, with a cartoonishly oversized head, bulging muscles, and a facial expression that treads a fine line between cute and pugnacious, was introduced to MSU fans during the 1989 football season. The fiberglass head stood 5- to 5 1/2 feet tall when it was situated on the ground. Ptolemy's littermate became the first mascot called "Bully" shortly after Sasse's team beat mighty Army 13-7 at West Point that same year, perhaps the greatest victory in MSU football history. He served as mascot from 1976 through 1982. How Greek immigrants inspired the nickname Spartans. "If you've ever seen pictures of the old Sparty, there was a yoke that came down sort of on the front and back imitating a neck," said Bruce Kefgen, of Algonac, who wore the Sparty head from 1969 to 1971. He also appeared in ESPN ads with background cameos, such as eating in a diner booth or browsing the shelves of a bookstore. In 2005, the university replaced Jungwirth's original statue with a bronze replica, moving the original indoors to protect it from the elements. He presided over an upset of then-#1 ranked Alabama in 1980, a trip to the Sun Bowl, and a victory in the 1981 Hall of Fame Classic against the Kansas Jayhawks. He served as mascot through March 1947 and died in 1951 due to "lack of exercise. For more information, contact Clint Stevens at [email protected] © 2020 www.lansingstatejournal.com. Dedicated on June 9, 1945, the terra cotta Spartan is made of five large glazed terra cotta sections fired from red Ohio clay. This new version of Sparty wasn't just determined by a drawing. He was dognapped in 1958 by Ole Miss students, who painted him in red and blue lead-based paint and turned him loose at the Ole Miss-Mississippi State basketball game in Oxford. In order to be Sparty, first and foremost, you had to be able to carry it.
After changing the team name from "Aggies" to "Spartans" in 1925, various incarnations of a Spartan warrior with a prominent chin appeared at university events and in university literature. In printed literature, the university uses a copyrighted cartoon Spartan, usually drawn with a grimace and several days worth of whiskers, lending the nickname of "Gruff" Sparty. Bully XV ("Little Bully") served during the 1991 and 1992 seasons.
Research was conducted on Michigan State’s mission, community, and traditions. There he saw a “Bucky Badger” table tent produced by the University of Wisconsin. As a consolation, the state legislature agreed to put the state's land-grant college in Bozeman.
And, you had to have strong legs. From the Archives: Meet Sparty, MSU's beloved mascot, MSU's longest-serving female mascot shares her experience inside the suit, MSU Staters? This bulldog sired the present-day line of Bully mascots. In 2004, Sparty won the Best Mascot National Championship at the Universal Cheer Association/Universal Dance Association College Nationals, becoming the first Big Ten Conference mascot to do so. Bully XIV ("Champion Bully of MSU"), called "Champ," was a piebald bulldog sired by Trajan through Molly, a bulldog owned by Mrs. Frazier Thompson, Jr. of Bentonia. Bully XII ("Teeway's Romeo"), nicknamed "Romeo," was purchased by Lambda Chi Alpha shortly after Bully X's death, but he was "murdered" following the 1972 season.  Early every calendar year, tryouts are held for the student to portray Sparty for the upcoming school year. He is even lifted upon the shoulders of cheerleaders and does one-handed push ups. Sparty is the first Big Ten mascot ever to win mascot competition, Sparty up for spot in Mascot Hall of Fame, Spectacular Sparty: MSU's mascot comes in first place in collegiate competition, "Introducing the cover mascot for NCAA For Wii", Unveiling ceremony for new Sparty held ahead of schedule, Faculty member upset about Sparty being segregated from fans, Sparty, a visual history - MSUAA Knowledge Network, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sparty&oldid=955584714, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 May 2020, at 16:37.  The terra cotta statue stood on the banks of the Red Cedar River, until 2005, when the university replaced it with a bronze replica. The live mascot Bully is an American Kennel Club registered English Bulldog, and each dog is given the inherited title of "Bully". On weekends it is not uncommon to see newlywed couples doing the same. Sparty represents an ancient Spartan warrior, but wears a late Imperial-style Roman legionary's helmet, which was not invented until several centuries after Sparta was subdued by the Roman Republic. The original Spartan was moved into the stadium, where it remains on display to this day. Bully XVI ("Replica of Corker"), known as "Corker," was a piebald brindle bulldog bred by Whitley Wilson of Eupora and served as mascot from 1992 to 1994. Alderton and Stafford began using the name in their game accounts, and it soon caught on as the de facto team name. He’s Sparty, MSU's beloved, muscle-bound foam mascot. Strength and conditioning are also factors. Mississippi State University athletic teams are called Bulldogs, a name earned and maintained over the decades by the tough, tenacious play by student-athletes wearing the maroon and white. The perpetrators were never identified. By the 1956 Rose Bowl Game, the papier-mâché head had been replaced by a fiberglass version that was thirty pounds lighter. In 1985, MSU Alumni Association Executive Director Chuck Webb attended an alumni directors’ conference. "When I came back out Coach (Duffy) Daugherty saw me and said 'That was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen,' and he just laughed," Kefgen said. He has also been named "Buffest Mascot" by Muscle and Fitness Magazine, and has appeared in the NCAA Hall of Champions: Mascot Mania and the Capital One Mascot Challenge. In January of 1956, a new, lighter, fiberglass Sparty head accompanied the Spartans to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
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