Watch a slideshow of stand-in fans and the Cougs in action during 2020’s singular home football game versus Oregon.
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The plan seemed simple enough: launch Kenyon “Ken” Bement into the air at just the right moment so the Cougs could reclaim their cougar.
University of Washington fans had stolen it more than a decade earlier. And Bement and his friends on the Yell Squad decided enough was enough. It was time to bring the stuffed cougar mascot back home to Pullman.
They spread the word through the student section of the stands at Husky Stadium during the rainy, muddy Apple Cup on November 12, 1932. And almost everything went according to plan.
“The basic idea is to pick up Ken—he’s the smallest of the cheerleaders—and, as the Huskies parade by at halftime with the stuffed cougar, he’s going to go up … » More …
They got Butch where the cougar needed to be: on the field for football games.
Some forty years after Washington State University ended the tradition of a live cougar mascot and the Butchmen disbanded, alumni share memories of the spirit group.
“Our job was to get the cougar to the football games and then, after we would score a touchdown or field goal, we would take him around the track,” recalls retired Colfax dentist Al Kirkpatrick (’75 Zool.), a member of the Butchmen for three years.
One time, he and his fellow Butchmen simply couldn’t get the cougar out of his cage and into its trailer. “We were the ones … » More …