The Masked Rider has been officially riding a black horse for Texas Tech since the Gator Bowl in 1954. Many horses and many riders have donned the scarlet and black with the tradition spanning nearly 70 years. In the last couple of decades, it's been a yearly turnover for the Masked Rider, but for the first time since 2013, Texas Tech has a new official Masked Rider horse.

Fearless Champion ran most of the games since 2013 with a couple of games missed due to injury. An incredible run for the horse whose real name is Woody. In a funny turn of irony, Woody is being replaced by Buzz.

Texas Tech and United Supermarkets ran a contest for naming the horse and landed on Buzz's new stage name on the eve of the 2022 season. It was announced at the First Friday Art Trail on September 2nd at the Buddy Holly Hall patio.

The new name, which was totally picked from the contest and not a marketing employee for Texas Tech, is Centennial Champion.

An ode to the previous Fearless Champion and another, more obvious ode, to the upcoming Texas Tech Centennial celebration which the University will be celebrating from December 2022 through December 2023. The 100th year of Texas Tech's existence matches up perfectly with the new horse and the name of the new horse.

The name is not my favorite, but I totally understand it and do appreciate the brand continuity that Texas Tech is going for. If you're all in on the Centennial celebration, which is going to be incredible, you have to be all in.

See: Centennial Champion.

Maybe Texas Tech can lock in a championship or two for the new horse.

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