Aubie entered the competition in a three-way tie for first place, but finished in second.
Fifteen mascots performed skits in front of judges and members of the audience at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.
Aubie finished one point behind Minnesota’s Goldy Gopher, one of three mascots, including Aubie, that were tied for first after the video portion of the competition.
Aubie took his performances from the summer and the majority of the fall and compiled them into a national qualifying video.
He then submitted the video to the qualifying committee in late October, according to Lindsey Gillen, SGA’s director of Aubie.
The mascot competition also includes a performance of a skit.
“Aubie started to work on his skit right around winter finals time,” Gillen said. “He brainstormed it and built it and practiced it over Christmas break.”
Gillen said the theme of the skit was “Aubie’s favorite YouTube videos,” which featured humorous vignettes that played off of well-known viral videos, including the Mobile leprechaun and Antoine Dodson bedroom intruder videos.
“Aubie always takes a really good skit,” Gillen said. “We thought that this year, having first in the video—even though we were sharing that with two other programs—we really thought that would give us the boost we have lacked in the past.
“Everything went off without a hitch. The Minnesota mascot had a very different skit from what has been brought in the past, and so I think the judges really liked that different take on things.”
Gillen said Aubie can still hold his head high because he is an icon and figurehead that programs around the country model themselves after.
“One thing that I find unique about the program is I’m always getting e-mails from mascots—professionally, high school mascots, college mascots—and they want to know what we do and how we do it,” Gillen said. “They want to know how the program is run. They want to know how we make our Aubie calendar. They want to know the intricacies of the Aubie program.”
Gillen said six professional mascots have gone through the Aubie program.
“Not to toot Auburn’s own horn,” Gillen said, “but it is something that Auburn students and the Auburn family may not know—I mean, everyone loves Aubie here, but they may not know what a national reputation for excellence (he has).”
Aubie was first named Universal Cheerleaders Association National Mascot Champion in 1991, an accomplishment which he has repeated four times, the latest in the 2005–2006 competition.
Aubie has finished in second place three years in a row and in four out of the past five years.