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Monday
Sep202010

OU Mascot Planned Brutus Attack Last Year

Picture of Brutus the Buckeye and Rufus the Bobcat

Man Inside "Rufus" Costume
Told Pals To Watch Out For Gag

By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season

Ohio University mascot Brandon Hanning is now known as the former Ohio University mascot after a pre-game stunt during which he tackled Ohio State's beloved Brutus twice when the Buckeyes took the field before thrashing the Bobcats in Columbus Saturday.

Hanning's had a pretty busy Monday: first, he read on ESPN.com that he'd lost the gig, then spent some time on the phone with OGS answering questions about his last day on the job as Rufus. If only there could be a way to work Sara Saco or Ines Sainz into this story, then perhaps he'd get an invite to New York to do the morning-show circuit.

Anyway, here's what the friendly 19-year-old kid had to say today:


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OGS: Why did you do it?
Hanning: It was honestly the whole reason I tried out to be the mascot. I tried out last year because I knew the football team was playing at Ohio State this year.

OGS: But why tackle Brutus?
Hanning: I don't really know. I thought it would be pretty cool to tackle him in the middle of the field and see what happens.

OGS: What was your plan?
Hanning: I was just sitting there waiting to put the costume on about 15 minutes before the game, and then I went down to where the OU cheerleaders were getting ready to run out onto the field. And once I got down there, I saw Brutus. I wanted him to be in the middle of the field, but I didn't know if or when he was going to be there. I just went with it.

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OGS: Did you tell some friends what your plan was ahead of time?
Hanning: Oh yeah. When I saw the tryout announcement online last year, I told them right then and there that I was going to do it. They all thought it would be awesome.

A few of them were at the game, but they didn't get it on camera. They were planning to but they didn't know when I was going to do it.

We got up there the day before the game and that's when I told the cheerleaders. They all laughed and thought it was going to be funny and wanted to know exactly when I was going to do it.

OGS: Were you nervous in the moments leading up to it?
Hanning: Oh yeah. I was pretty nervous the whole time trying to figure out when I was going to do it.

OGS: And after the first confrontation, when you started to run back down the field to chase Brutus, you kind of found yourself right in the middle of all the OSU players rushing onto the field. Any fear that you'd get knocked over in that whole mess?
Hanning: Yeah, I was a little worried that the team might stick up for Brutus and jump me. I wasn't planning on getting him twice. But my head came off so I had to get it back on.

OGS: Your head came off?
Hanning: Yeah, the head part of the costume was starting to come off, so I got off Brutus for a second to put it back on, then ran down the field and got him again.

OGS: So what happened immediately afterward? Did you get to finish the game?
Hanning: I walked off the field and I had to stand with security and they just told me to wait there for a few minutes as the Color Guard was getting ready to take the field. They told me if I touched Brutus again I was going to get kicked out.

OGS: So when did you find out you'd be relieved of your duties as Rufus?
Hanning: They never even told me. They still haven't told me. I read the apology from OU on ESPN.com, and that's how I learned I was banned from any OU athletic affiliation.

I don't even go to school there. I did last year. I dropped out and I don't think they knew that. But they asked me to be the mascot again this year and I told them yeah.

OGS: So now you face the very real possibility of being blackballed by the mascot community. What's next for you?
Hanning: Right now I'm enrolled at Hocking University. I might be a deckhand on barges. I live in Meigs County, right along the Ohio River.

OGS: Did you make any kind of apology to Brutus?
Hanning: He wasn't too happy about it. Whenever they scored, he'd run over and throw his hands up at me and then run away.

I'm not going to apologize, but he did just add me on Facebook today.

OGS: What would you tell skeptics who think it may have been staged?
Hanning: It definitely was not staged. Brutus had no idea it was coming. And he was pretty upset about it.

OGS: Do you think this will help you get more girls in Athens?
Hanning: Oh yeah. I hope so.

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Reader Comments (23)

He's lying. We totally planned the whole thing before the game. However, the plan was to have the mascots make out and roll all over the field. So he tricked me.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrutus

Did our wonderfully creative OGS scribe ever get into any altercations while he was a mascot for our hometown team in stripes?

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspg

Brutus: You are filing a false report!

SPG: Never really any altercations, but I did get hit in the balls by a little kid at a Halloween gig one time. Another kid ran his mouth about Carl Pickens a little too much on the dunking booth so I ran up and hit the button to shut him up.

September 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterJohn P. Wise

Oh the life of a mascot... my friend was an SEC mascot for several years, and he once got borderline molested by a South Carolina fan during a tailgate. Fans always ask to take pictures with the mascot/cheerleaders before a game, and this guy managed to sneak in a cup check at the last second before the photo was taken (insert your own Gamecock joke here)

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhammer

I was hoping that the OSU football team would have started kicking the $h*t out of him and he would get dragged off the field in a comma.

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYoMommasClam

That would be pretty impressive if he could get dragged off the field in a comma, seeing as i've never seen a font big enough to house an entire man, however, i have know people to get put into comas, but they usually use stretchers to get them off the field

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspellcheck

That guy is a hero on campus

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenteranOUstudent

The guy is NOT a hero on campus. He's not even ON campus. He's a dropout and does not represent the University he should never have been allowed to be the mascot to begin with.

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOU

I - D - I - O - T !!!! There are consequences to every decision. This is no exception. To what severity is anybody's guess. But at some point, it will cost the kid something.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterazwepa62

He's a childish jerk looking for his 15 seconds of fame. He should trying putting this much effort
into his education.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

"I was hoping that the OSU football team would have started kicking the $h*t out of him and he would get dragged off the field in a comma."

I don't think thats possible either but I DID see a guy get his I dotted by Mr. T once... Put him in a real Pica.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBuckemDano

This guy represented his parents and Ohio University well (not). Rumor has it that criminal charges may be filed against him. I really hope they do. If the result of his childish prank had resulted in an injury then their would be no question a criminal compliant would have been filed. I think someone should dress up as Brutus and tackle this guys boyfriend or his girlfriend, heard he goes both ways but nothing definitive yet. .

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBuckijer

well, i thought it was pretty funny

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlegitimate person

What a wimp! He blindsides Brutus and drops off him like a rag doll. Are you sure he is not an OU player?

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKen

It absolutely rocks, its great, even better since he wasnt enrolled at OU. You guys are all wussies. Thats why American is turning into whiners and low performers

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJonbonjovy

Hey you dufus, who won the game?? If you had an guts or decency, you would have stayed enrolled at OU and went out for the football team! Anyway, you should have been put out of the stadium at once and never allowed back in again! But then I guess you wouldn't care if they wouldn't let you in. I hope you are never seen again at the Shoe! Furthermore, if I were the Athletic Director at O U, I would never let you in to any event at O U. Its really too bad they got that on camera! You didn't deserve the coverage!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDon

I thought it was one of the funniest things that I have ever seen. The fact that he had already dropped out of OU prior to this just adds to the humor.
Some of you really need to lighten up, believe it or not, kids pull pranks in college. Radical concept for some of you to absorb but yes, it does happen.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJmitchpen

Had to give the OU fans SOMETHING to cheer about before the game started. Because there was nothing to get excited about for OU once the ball was kicked.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDr

Maybe the OU defense could take notes on how to tackle from this guy.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdave

GOOD LUCK BRANDON, with getting girls in athens, considering you're the biggest coward ATHENS COUNTY AND MEIGS COUNTY has ever known. YOU are pathetic.

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterosustudent

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