For several years Butler has been a household word in our home with coffee mugs and other items with the Butler logo. Our son graduated from Butler University. He met our wonderful daughter-in-law there. So we have a personal interest in tonight's outcome. Besides that, how can you not love their adorable mascot and youthful, charming and unbelievably poised coach?
[All photos from the Internet]
Matt Howard is a star player on the Butler team. His father is a mail carrier in a small town (Connersville) in Indiana and Matt is one of ten children. His father's work ethic is such that he has missed only one day of work in 33 years. Everyone in town knows the Howards and everyone in town is delighted that one of their own is playing for the national title tonight.
Last year the Final Four was held in Indianapolis. This year Texas hosted the final games. The people in Connersville knew that the Howards were people of modest means and did not have enough money for travel and lodging and would have to watch their son's games on television along with the rest of us. So the small town decided to band together and send the family to watch the Final Four. The people of Connersville (population 13,481 in the 2010 census), held bake sales, car washes, and did every sort of fund-raising activities they could think of. Almost every little store. restaurant, and gas station had a big jug for collections. And they did it! You can see an interview with the family here. It is such a heart-warming story of small town America coming together.
The Butler team was not allowed to bring their mascot, a bulldog named Blue II, to the early round games. But the NCAA officials said that if the team made the Final Four, Blue would be allowed on the floor. And sure enough...in the Final Four games there was Blue.
Blue II, the Butler Mascot
I hope you enjoy college basketball as much as we do. We have gone through some nail-biters during this tournament. And we are delighted that the Butler Bulldogs are playing in the final game tonight. And we are glad the Howards will be watching their son. And we're glad Blue will be there as well.
Enjoy the game!