Vote for Big Jay

Big Jay from the University of Kansas has been named to the fourth annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team, made up of 12 lovable, hard-working and oddly-proportioned characters deemed the best of the beasts. Now, Big Jay isup for an even bigger challenge as he goes on to compete for the most coveted title in the land -- "Capital One Mascot of the Year." Starting Sept. 1, fans can begin casting votes online at www.capitalonebowl.com for Capital One Mascot of the Year, who will be announced during the Capital One Bowl on January 2.

Big Jay is asking for your help. "Hey Jayhawk fans! I would really appreciate your support in my bid for Capital One's Mascot of the Year. So let's get out there and Rock Chalk the vote!"

Big Jay will be competing in a weekly head-to-furry head face-off among this year's All-Americans:

The Contenders UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS - BIG JAY Auburn University - Aubie University of Miami - Sebastian Baylor University - Bruiser University of Nebraska - Herbie Husker UCLA - Joe Bruin Purdue University - Pete the Boilermaker Georgia Tech - Buzz University of South Carolina - Cocky University of Tennessee - Smokey Univ. of Massachusetts - Sam the Minuteman Washington State - Butch T. Cougar

"We created this contest to celebrate the unsung heroes of college football," said Pam Girardo at Capital One. "These lovable characters have been cheering on their teams relentlessly, and now they need the favor returned."

The fan vote is the sole determinant of the winner; the people choose. Voting consists of 11 weekly match ups between the All-Americans. The mascots with the best win/loss records face off in online playoffs in December. The winner will be pronounced Capital One National Mascot of the Year on January 2, 2006, during the Capital One Bowl. "Mascots work as hard as anyone on the field, but are lost in the shadows of the flashy all-star quarterbacks and running backs," said David Raymond, mascot expert and original Phillie Phanatic. "This is a great tribute to them, and fans should show their support. Bragging rights are on the line."

This year's fuzzy crew was chosen from Division IA and IAA athletic programs with college football teams. They made the squad after being ranked on mascot musts such as interaction with fans, originality and pedigree. The panel of judges included mascot guru and historian, Dr. Roy Yarbrough, and representatives from ESPN and Capital One. Over the past three years, Capital One has helped thrust the spotlight on these unsung heroes of the gridiron. Big Jay will be starring in a national advertising campaign, which this year features the mascots participating in the M Games, a series of unusual (and fictitious) competitions. In addition to the hoopla, Big Jay received $5,000 for the school's mascot program. The Capital One Mascot of the Year receives an additional $5,000 scholarship. MASCOT MOBILE TOUR Get ready for mascot mayhem. Capital One's Mobile Mascot Tour will be traveling across the country throughout the Fall, stopping at each All-American's campus to offer fans the ultimate mascot experience, including photo opportunities, mascot facts and statistics, voting stations, interactive games and more. "The mascot tour is a celebration of mascots, and should inspire more fans to support their mascot and vote," said Girardo. The tour will be in Lawrence on Sept. 10. About Capital One Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One FSB, offer consumer lending products. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in McLean, Va., trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index. Capital One's affiliation with college football began with the sponsorship of the 2001 Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl (now the Capital One Bowl) and ESPN's Bowl Week. In addition, Capital One sponsors the ABC College Football Halftime Report and numerous other college football programs.

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