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Go nuts for U.Va.!

Squirrels — The official mascots of U.Va.

You’ve seen them, I’ve seen them, and maybe you have even been attacked by them.  However, in a surprising move, the University has announced that it will be replacing its beloved Cavalier mascot with squirrels. The decision to replace the majestic — yet slightly terrifying — CavMan with just three live tree rats is what some might call crazy. Others refer to the change as progressive. However, replacing CavMan with bootleg versions of Alvin and the chipmunks is not going to make us win a football game.   

According to University officials, the decision to replace the Cavalier with squirrels was based on a number of factors, including cost, sustainability and cuteness. 

"Squirrels are abundant in Charlottesville, and they don't require any special care or feeding like CavMan does," employee Fuzzy Bush-Tails said. 

The announcement has caused a stir on social media, with some fans of CavMan expressing their dismay at the change. 

"This is an insult to our proud history and tradition," _UVAfan001 tweeted. "I can't believe they're replacing a noble warrior with a bunch of rodents."

Others, however, are embracing the new mascot with enthusiasm. 

"Finally, a mascot that represents the true spirit of U.Va. — scrappy, determined and always looking for free food," wrote one fan on Facebook. "I can't wait to see those little guys running around on the sidelines."

In preparation for the switch, the University has already begun training a team of squirrels to perform various athletic feats, such as running obstacle courses and performing acrobatic stunts. Their balancing and maneuvering skills on the Veos — which are leaps and bounds better than the students’ — have been exceptional lately. The squirrels are highly motivated, and they have already developed a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Of course, there are some challenges that come with having squirrels as the mascot. For one thing, squirrels are notoriously difficult to train, and they have a tendency to get distracted by shiny objects or sudden movements. 

"We've had to invest in a lot of extra security measures to make sure the squirrels don't escape or get distracted during games," Coach Norman Nutt said. 

When asked about the measures, Nutt mentioned the piles of acrobatic workout machines, as well as piles of shiny objects at their disposal in order to persuade the energetic squirrels. 

There is also the issue of how to outfit the squirrels in appropriate sports gear. 

"We're working on designing custom uniforms and helmets that will fit the squirrels without restricting their movement or hindering their vision," Nutt said. "It's a bit of a challenge, but we're confident we can make it work." 

The University is working on hiring an on-Grounds luxury designer that not only will make the squirrels comfortable but also shiny, so that they will not be distracted by other shiny things. 

Despite the challenges, officials are confident that the switch to squirrels will be a positive move for the school. 

"We believe that squirrels embody the spirit of U.Va. in a way that no other mascot can," said Nutt. “Plus, let's be honest, they're just so darn cute."

Only time will tell whether the new mascot will be a hit with fans or whether CavMan will be employed again. But one thing's for sure — there will be no shortage of nuts at games from now on.


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