Blue II pampered in Houston

Photos by Maria Porter
Video by Elyssa Garfinkle

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The Butler men’s basketball team is not the most sought after for photo opportunities here in Houston.

Butler’s live mascot, Butler Blue II, is hands down the most popular person, or rather, mammal in the “Space City.”

But you’d think he was a person if you were in his presence. The way he is spoken to and the way he is treated to some of the finer things in life makes the personification all that much more believable. reinforced that perception earlier today when their “College Experiment” show filmed a segment with Blue and a female getting massages and sharing a martini together.

The martini, sipped at the Intercontinental Hotel, was named in the bulldog’s honor, and naturally contained blueberries.

During the shoot, Blue regularly stood up to try to eat from his food bowl, or got tired and put his head down to nap.

Michael Kaltenmark, Blue’s handler and “father,” spoke to him much like a parent would.

“Blue, stay. You know better,” Kaltenmark said a few times. An occasional “C’mon, Blue,” slipped out as well.

Just call it tough love from a loving father.

“I love this job,” Kaltenmark said behind the scenes of the shoot. “I’d like to keep as long as they’ll let me.”

Blue is in Houston for his second consecutive Final Four, which has brought about a higher degree of normalcy for players, students and fans accustomed to having Blue present at games in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

After two weekends of NCAA tournament play without Blue alongside the Butler team, all is right with the world, or at least Houston.

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