Pop Tart Mascot Strawberry holds a sign.
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pop-Tart Mascot Might Have Saved Bowl Season

With players opting out left and right during college football bowl season, a Pop-Tart named Strawberry rose to the occasion to wow us.

The college football bowl games that take place before New Year's Day can get mundane. There are essentially no stakes tied to each game's outcome, many top players elect to sit out in preparation for the draft, and because the games are played at neutral stadiums, there isn't that classic, chaotic, college football atmosphere that most teams are used to playing in front of. 

That is, the bowl games were mundane — until a pastry knight in gleaming glaze arrived on scene to save them. 

During last night's inaugural Pop-Tart Bowl between the Kansas State Wildcats and the NC State Wolfpack, the game's edible pop-tart mascot (named Strawberry) went insanely viral for his series of memorable antics. While it was tough to whittle down Strawberry's best moments during Kansas State's 28-19 win, there are a few that are more than deserving of their time in the sun (or should I say, in the toaster).  

Although Strawberry's first iconic moment didn't appear on TV, it still went very viral. A reporter at the bowl game posted on X about his hilarious interaction with Strawberry, where he asked the pop-tart mascot whether it was offensive to eat a Pop-Tart in front of it — to which Strawberry "grabbed a Pop-Tart out of my hand and started force-feeding it to me while making soft grunting noises."

This was our first (of a few) indications that Pop-Tarts do, in fact, dream about being eaten. 

We have to talk about the fact that this popular pastry emerged from a giant toaster along with smoke. Move aside, Taylor Swift. 

Strawberry's next glorious moment occurred mid-game, when it crept up behind the Pop-Tart Bowl's head referee and slapped him on the backside. While he haven't heard an official comment from Larry Smith — the referee whose backside Strawberry slapped — he seemed to be laughing at the slap like the rest of us. 

Strawberry's greatest moment came after the came, when the edible pop-tart mascot conducted a self-sacrifice, lowering itself into a toaster while holding a sign that said, "Dreams really do come true." A few moments later, Strawberry's deliciously dead body reappeared sans arms and legs on a tray, ready for Kansas State quarterback Avery Johnson, head coach Chris Klieman, and then the entire Kansas State team to consume. 

Strawberry's self-execution was the talk of social media last night, and proved to be some of the best marketing we've seen in a long time. Pop-Tart sales are surely spiking across the USA today, and Strawberry made what has been a ho-hum bowl season thus far into something spectacular — at least, for one night.
Hopefully the NCAA can ride this momentum into the College Football Playoff games that take place on New Year's Day. They'd be wise to somehow revive Strawberry — if only because the world doesn't want to wait another year before seeing the Pop-Tart mascot's next move. 

MORE: Kansas Set the Wackiest Bowl Game Record Against UNLV