Hot Reads: Please Bring Your Dog to Lincoln
Photo Credit: Raj Mehta - USA TODAY Sports

Hot Reads: Please Bring Your Dog to Lincoln, NIU

September 14, 2017

We’re two days away from Northern Illinois-Nebraska, so it’s time to get down to the questions that really matter: Is Mission making the trip to Lincoln?

If you’re not familiar, Mission is NIU’s mascot. (He tweets here.) He took over for Diesel (pictured above) at the end of the 2013 season. Those were big shoes to fill, as Diesel became somewhat famous for delivering a high-five on national TV.

I haven’t been able to find any confirmation on Mission’s planned whereabouts this weekend, but NIU has definitely taken its mascot on the road in the past. Made me wonder when the last time was that a dog made its way to Memorial Stadium. Dog mascots are one of college football’s great traditions, and the Huskers have been lucky of late when it comes to bowl games.

Nebraska got to see Smokey X . . .

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This is my dog.

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. . . and UGA IX . . .

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Love this guy. Travels with his own fan.

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. . . but hosting a dog? Nebraska hasn’t had many opportunities in the recent past, and when it has it seems the dogs have been left at home. I don’t believe Fresno State brought Victor E. Bulldog to Lincoln in 2011, 2014 or 2016.

That 2011 season could’ve been a great dog year as Washington also visited Lincoln. We could’ve had a bulldog and a husky on the sideline in back-to-back weeks, but it doesn’t look like Dubs made it. If he did he definitely didn’t blog about it, and that seems like something a dog would blog about. Most of the Huskers’ dog-exposure opportunities over the past three decades came when Washington came to town, but I went all the way back to 1991 looking for photo evidence of a dog on the sidelines and have yet to turn up anything.

It’s an alarming trend if my “research” isn’t faulty, but there’s a good chance that it is, so help me out: Do you recall seeing a visiting dog mascot on the Memorial Stadium sidelines at any point over the years?

I’m sure it has happened, but I’m now oddly invested in knowing when the last time was. Thanks in advance.

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