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D2SDAY GETS HIGH

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH, THAT IS

In our newfound focus on Division II football, so far we’ve covered some delightful conferences from the middle of the country. First, we looked at the splendid and delightful Great American Conference, spread out over Oklahoma and Arkansas. Next, we looked at the nearby Midwestern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.

Now? It’s time to reach high. It’s time to head for the mountains.

Siri, play John Denver, but also Method Man.

Thank you, Siri.

That’s right, today we’re talking about the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the fifth-oldest active athletic conference in the country, once considered a major conference in its own right. First, let’s get down to business.

NOTABLE ALUMNI

I’m going to be completely honest with you - I scrolled through all the lists of notable alumni and there’s a lot of scientists who seem really accomplished and I don’t recognize them because I’m not a scientist. These are some smart schools. Anyways, George Saunders went to Colorado School of Mines and Lincoln In The Bardo was really good.

RMAC GAME OF THE WEEK, THE WEEK I COVERED THE RMAC

Adams State put up a balanced attack (308 yards in the air, 312 on the ground) to hold off a late surge from Black Hills State in a 44-41 victory in their home opener.

RMAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK, THE WEEK I COVERED THE RMAC

In that same game, despite losing, Black Hills State quarterback Ryan Hommel went 40-59 for 383 yards and 2 TDs. When the losing team attempts 62 passes, that is extremely my kind of game and I wish I’d been there for it.

WHAT WE’RE ALL HERE FOR: MASCOT RANKINGS

FIRST THINGS FIRST

11. Regis University Rangers

The only reason this mascot is ranked last is because Regis University, based in Denver, does not sponsor football. I have to share this mascot nonetheless.

He doesn’t play football because of the “project” he’s working on. He’s got a lot of motion sensors and locks on his garage. Did someone once find a half-built robot in the woods near the edge of his property? Did the robot look like it was trying to escape? Did it briefly express a flash of human sentience to the person who discovered it? Did it explode before either of them could do anything about it?

Who’s to say? Just stay off his property and don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to.

SPEAKING OF PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE HIDING SOMETHING

10. New Mexico - Highlands Cowboys

This was the highest-resolution image I could find of their logo. If they offer you a home-and-home, suggest a neutral site game instead. Somewhere well-lit, like a mall parking lot, or the local police station.

BIRDS WITH CONCERNS ABOUT THOSE NEIGHBOR KIDS

9. Chadron State College Eagles

Some eagles scream. This eagle’s voice is cracking as he yells at his neighbor kids to get out of his pachysandra.

I’M KEEPING THAT SOCCER BALL NEXT TIME

8. Fort Lewis Skyhawks

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

This is the bird equivalent of the 1950s sad UConn dog.

This bird is making the Dissatisfied Marge Simpson noise.

This bird is thinking about 2013-15, when John L. Smith coached the team to a 14-19 record, which is why it’s making that noise.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNN

MOVING ALONG

7. Black Hills State Yellowjackets

Have you ever wondered what the Georgia Tech Yellowjacket would look like if it were a boss character from Mega Man 6?

Oh... okay, no, I haven’t either.

6. Colorado Mesa University Mavericks

There are a number of things you could use to represent Mavericks. 1980s Tom Cruise. 1990s Mel Gibson. Early-aughts John McCain.

Or, you could use a variety of bull logos, ones that, if hastily assembled side-by-side in the Photoshop app on my phone, look like a bull who’s just heard something insulting another mascot said about them.

WHAT THAT MARGE BIRD SAY BOUT ME?

A BEAR, SCREAMING

5. Adams State Grizzlies

This looks like a merit badge you get if your Boy Scout troop survives a bear attack. DAD YOU SAID THERE WEREN’T ANY BEARS NEAR THE CAMPGROUND, DAD.

4. Western State Colorado Mountaineers

Mountaineers isn’t the most inspired name for a team in Colorado, and I’m not a huge fan of the last-fifteen-years-NFL-logo graphic design style of “angle everything aggressively forward so it looks fierce”, but this might be a two-wrongs-make-a-right scenario.

This man is about to headbutt his way into a liquor store that’s closed on Sunday. It’s actually Tuesday, and the store is open. He’s in the back alley and he’s coming through the wall.

3. Colorado State University - Pueblo ThunderWolves

This is the bad guy from an episode of Paw Patrol. Why am I ranking that highly? Because that means I might actually get my three-year-old to watch a football game. Kids like funny characters. You know the only football game I’ve ever gotten him to watch for more than five minutes? Last year’s Outback Bowl. He loved “daddy’s friend the Onion Man”.

So, yeah, more schools should have cartoon dog logos.

I am not a crackpot.

2. South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers

The name’s fairly accurate for the region and the school’s academic focus, even if it does sound like an arena football team that played in Cleveland in the late ‘90s. But immense credit for looking like a guy who once kicked me in the head in a mosh pit at a hardcore show.

OI

“You know, this is a good run of mascots,” you say, “but overall, I’m not sure. I’m not sure if the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference has lived up to the exacting standards of the other conferences you’ve reviewed so far”, you might add.

Oh, well, hmm. Are we missing anybody?

Oh, wait, there is one. There’s a school known for its offensive creativity, a hotbed of innovation that garnered unheard-of national attention for a Division II school.

I’m referring, of course, to the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers.

“Okay, Orediggers is a pretty good name, but, what’s the mascot, does it live up to-”

ME: [to the tune of the Dinosaur Train theme song and yeah that’s two references to kids’ shows in one post, screw you I haven’t seen a movie in theaters since 2015]

DYNAMITE MULE / DYNAMITE MULE

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A MULE / MASCOT FOR AN APPLIED SCIENCE SCHOOL

WE ARE UNCLEAR ON HIS MOTIVES / BUT HIS MOUTH IS FULL OF EXPLOSIVES

ONE BY ONE WE TRIED TO FLEE / FROM THE ASS WITH HIS TNT

THIS SCHOOL DEMANDS PEAK PERFORMANCE / THIS BURRO’S PACKING MAJOR ORDNANCE

DYNAMITE MUUUUUUUULE / DYNAMITE MULE

WE’RE GONNA DIII-IIII-IIIIIE

DYNAMITE MULE

This is three straight conferences I’ve covered with mule-based mascots. Division II is a land of endless wonders.