Phil is a stuffed bobcat that just happens to be the star of a celebration video that went viral following Kansas State’s come-from-behind victory at Texas Tech over the weekend.
The video, filmed inside the cramped visitor’s locker room at Jones AT&T Stadium, shows K-State football players jumping up and down, chanting the word “win” moments after beating the Red Raiders 42-35 in overtime. It’s hard to identify faces in the commotion, but it’s easy to spot Phil.
That’s because Brogan Barry, a senior defensive back, hoisted him above the mob for all to see.
“Everyone is jumping around, celebrating,” Barry said. “I kind of bump into the fridge, and I’m like, ‘Oh, here we go.’ I grab Phil the bobcat, hoist it over my head and start jumping around. Guess it got a pretty big reaction.”
Indeed, as of Tuesday afternoon the video had received 400 retweets and 1,600 likes on Twitter.
But as the video got passed around the Internet many naturally wondered about the stuffed bobcat. Why did the Wildcats have one in the locker room? What is the story behind Phil?
Allow Barry to explain:
“Al Cerbe, our head equipment guy, I think he has had it for quite a while,” Barry said. “I have seen it a couple times. I noticed it when we first got into the locker room before the game began. I guess it had just been in the back of my brain when we were celebrating the win, just pretty weird stuff.”
K-State’s equipment staff took Phil from Manhattan to Lubbock, Texas and placed it in the team’s locker room on a whim. This was his first road trip.
But it probably won’t be his last.
“I don’t know where he came from,” Barry said, “but he is here to stay.”
It was the wildest victory celebration K-State has experienced in quite some time.
“We haven’t had a locker room experience like that since Oklahoma three years ago when we went down there and beat them,” K-State kicker Matthew McCrane said. “We are still excited about it. We are on a high.”
Comebacks are rare for the Wildcats, but they rallied from 11 down in the fourth quarter to tie the game and beat Texas Tech in overtime.
It’s a win that carries season-altering potential, as K-State (5-4, 2-3 Big 12) is now one victory away from bowl eligibility.
“We were all celebrating at the end. I guess Brogan decided to pick it up and put it above his head and one thing led to another,” K-State receiver Dalton Schoen said. “It was just a big moment of excitement for everyone.”
Phil added to the celebration.
“It’s a stuffed, dead animal. It was funny at the time,” Barry said. “It could be one of those things that could get old fast. Who knows? Maybe if we have another crazy win this weekend we will see a resurgence of Phil the bobcat.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett