Navy athletics has received national attention for its Rock, Scissors, Paper promotion for Wednesday night’s men’s basketball game against Boston University.

All fans that arrive at Alumni Hall between 6:15 and 6:45 can take on Bill the Goat in one round of rock, paper and scissors. Anyone that beats the Navy mascot receives free admission to the game.




Sporting News called the oddball pre-game promotion “cool” and “a ton of fun.” Yahoo Sports used the words “clever” and “original” to describe the idea, which was the brainstorm of Navy associate director of marketing Chris Grosse.

“We’re always looking for new idea to draw fans and generate publicity. This one just kind of came to me one day and we ran with it,” Grosse said. “We’ve been shocked by the reception it has received. Keith Olbermann talked about it on his ESPN show and anchors at one of the Baltimore-area television stations actually played the game on the air after mentioning the promotion. It just goes to show that you never know what might captivate people’s attention.”

For the uninitiated, Rock, Paper, Scissors is a hand game between two people in which the players simultaneously form one of three shapes with an outstretched hand. The rock beats scissors, the scissors beats paper and the paper beats rock. If both players throw the same shape, the game is replayed until a winner is determined.

According to the Wikipedia definition, the game is often used as a choosing method in a way similar to coin flipping, drawing straws, or throwing dice. Unlike truly random selection methods, however, Rock, Paper, Scissors can be played with a degree of skill by recognizing and exploiting non-random behavior in opponents.

One of the first things Grosse had to do after coming up with the idea was get a first-hand look at mascot costume to make sure Bill the Goat had fingers instead of hoofs. It turns out Bill the Goat has four fingers.

“We had to make sure that Bill could throw the proper shapes,” Grosse said. “Rock, paper, scissors is a popular, fun game that everyone has played at some point.”