Lincoln - Nebraska's Lil' Red hits the Big Apple this week to make a pair morning show appearances on national television.
Lil' Red and its fellow nominees for induction into the Mascot Hall of Fame will make an appearance on ESPN's First Take in Bristol, Conn., on Tuesday morning, before appearing on the Early Show on CBS in New York City on Wednesday.
First Take is taped at the ESPN studios and airs Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. central time on ESPN2.
Nebraska's beloved ambassador of cheer is also scheduled to perform at a Major League Baseball game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love this week as part of the Mascot Hall of Fame Tour.
Lil' Red will be joined by Brutus Buckeye (Ohio State), Sparty (Michigan State), Smokey (Tennessee) and Sebastian the Ibis (Miami) among the collegiate nominees for the 2007 Mascot Hall of Fame induction class. Professional mascots in attendance will include Mr. Met, The Oriole Bird, The Coyote and Hugo the Hornet.
On-line voting for the Mascot Hall of Fame is being held now through Sept. 6 at mascothalloffame.com. Over the past week, Lil' Red has gained substantial momentum in the on-line voting and has climbed into third place in the collegiate race, trailing Brutus Buckeye and Big Red from Western Kentucky.
As of Monday morning at 9 a.m., Lil' Red had received nearly 18,000 votes among the more than 100,000 votes cast and had trimmed Brutus' lead to 15,000 votes after entering last week's voting nearly 25,000 votes behind.
The Mascot Hall of Fame announced its 2007 Ballot for Induction in early August and on-line voting began Aug. 6.
Entering its 14th season on the sidelines at Nebraska athletic events, Lil' Red was unveiled as the Cornhuskers' contemporary mascot in 1994. Lil' Red has captured numerous awards since its inception, including a National Cheerleaders Association national championship as a mascot in 1999.
The Mascot Hall of Fame is in its third year of inducting classes. The 2005 and 2006 classes included the Phillie Phanatic, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla, the Utah Jazz Bear, the Famous Chicken, the Houston Rockets' Clutch the Bear, the Kansas City Chiefs' K.C. Wolf, the University of Auburn's Aubie and the University of Wisconsin's Bucky the Badger.
The Mascot Hall of Fame is operated by Raymond Entertainment Group, headed by David Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic from 1978 to 1993.