The Winner of the Miami Mascot Madness Tournament: Sebastian the Ibis
Eight of South Florida's finest sports mascot entered the tournament. Close to 600 voters decided the final, and in a stunning landslide, the University of Miami's Sebastian the Ibis has won the title of Miami's Favorite Mascot.
The results weren't even close. Sebastian defeated his competitor and best friend, the University of Miami baseball team's Miami Maniac by a margin of 91 percent to 9 percent in the championship round.
It echoes his landslide in the previous two rounds as well. First, he demolished FAU's Owlsey the Owl with 91 percent of the vote. In round two he defeated Billy the Marlin, who, according to Forbes.com is America's 10th most popular sports mascot, with 89 percent of the vote. Sebastian steamrolled through the competition like he was, well, the Miami Hurricanes football team in the '80s.
The Ibis was adopted as an unofficial mascot by the school in 1926. While the elegant but fragile little bird isn't exactly a sports mascot natural, the Ibis was chosen because folklore holds its the first to take refuge during a hurricane and the first to return once a storm has passed.
Sebastian officially emerged in 1956, and students dressed up as the Ibis in makeshift costumes. His current professional costume came into use in the 80's, and, oh boy, what a crazy decade that was for Sebastian.
Occasionally he was running into problems with the law:
For a while he may have been mixed up in some sort of paramilitary organization:
Occasionally he was busy setting things on fire:
Much like the program he represents though, Sebastian has settled down a bit since then, but his charm still remains. He can still sink a half court shot.
He's got killer dance moves.
And, of course, he can still lead one of the most iconic mascot-led cheers in all of sports.
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