Mon Dec 26 02:29pm EST
As college football hardware goes, the Independence Bowl trophy doesn't do much to draw attention to itself: It's a crystal cup sitting on top of a small pedestal. Fairly standard fare, except for one critical detail — the cup comes off.
That piece of information might have been helpful to the poor, clumsy undergrad who resides inside the costume for Missouri's mascot, Truman the Tiger, who apparently broke the trophy this morning, just a few hours before the Tigers are set to kick off in Shreveport against North Carolina. Missouri's alumni foundation tweeted a picture of the busted trophy this afternoon, along with the "rumor" that Truman was responsible. A photo of the contrite-looking mascot soon followed, along with a little detective work by Harry Plumer, beat writer for the student-run Columbia Missourian:
Confirmed that Truman broke the Independence Bowl Trophy. Tried to pick it up during a photo op, and it took a tumble. Was imported crystal. Asked Truman if he broke the trophy. He nodded. Asked him what happened. Threw his paws in the air, then covered his eyes to mimic sobbing. … Truman seemed as sorry as a college kid in a Tiger suit can seem.
Replacing a busted trophy? A couple thousand bucks. Having a ridiculous college story to tell for the rest of your life? Priceless.
Thus continues the Independence Bowl's burgeoning tradition of mascot-related calamity, following in the footsteps of the Air Force Academy's live falcon mascot, "The Bird," which fled the stadium for downtown Shreveport before last year's snooze-fest between Air Force and Georgia Tech. The good news then: The falcon was back in custody before the end of the game.
The good news now: A replacement trophy has already arrived from a local jeweler. But if push comes to shove and they're forced to hand out the pedestal part of the trophy, there's at least a 50/50 chance no one will be able to tell the difference, anyway.
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