There are certain opportunities that a Dawg just cannot pass up. You know, things like a dropped piece of cheese from the dinner table or spilled popcorn in the concourse at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
So when I heard the news that the entire NCAA® Men’s Basketball Tournament would be played in my state, my city, and even on my campus, well, I jumped all over it like a bulldog on a pork chop!
I quickly declared myself to be the Mayor of March and claimed ownership of the entire thing as if I was protecting a rawhide bone from Trip. I’ll admit, it was a bold move, especially since our Dawgs weren’t in the fight, but I just could not ignore my instincts. It was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.
Let me tell you about my time as Mayor.
Like any good Mayor, I had many hats to wear. I played the roles of host, reporter, and lead volunteer.
Indy was about to be on full display, so to kick things off, I partnered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and a whole pack of Butler students to clean up the streets and roads around the venues.
Once the city was looking spotless, I turned into the host with the most to welcome the busloads of fans, teams, and reporters who would call our great city home for the tournament games.
But not everyone could enjoy the tournament with their paws on the ground like I did. So I did what a Butler Bulldog does best and chronicled all of the happenings around town for the whole world to see.
A Dawg of the People
My responsibilities kept me busy, but after having a year of limited work due to COVID-19, it was a challenge that I was up for. Still, to make sure all my bases were covered, I called in a little help, pulling Butler Blue III (Trip) out of retirement and appointing him my Deputy Mayor. Between the two of us, we greeted more than 73,000 visitors, attended 53 events, and passed out 22,500 pieces of Butler swag.
And we did this by traversing all across the city with our friends at Visit Indy and Indiana Sports Corp, visiting Indianapolis International Airport, making the rounds on Georgia Street, and holding court in front of all the venues.
Of course, we weren’t the only ones hard at work—there was a whole team on campus showcasing The Butler Way to the world. Our campus hosted 4,000 visitors over the course of 16 games during a six-day period. Hinkle Fieldhouse spoke for itself, with many announcers, fans, and players commenting on what a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it was for them to be in its hallowed halls.
I am so proud of the extra hard work, effort, and time that our Bulldogs put into hosting our part of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. It was more than worth it as we displayed yet again what makes Butler and Indianapolis so Dawg-gone special.