After winning the Pop-Tarts Bowl on Dec. 28 in Orlando, Fla., Kansas State’s football team gathered on the field around a garage-size toaster that was protected by a pair of mall cops wearing “Snack Security” shirts.
An unusual chant erupted — “Toast that mascot! Toast that mascot!” — as Strawberry, a giant Pop-Tart with limbs, climbed to the top of the toaster, bopping along to the disco-era beat of “Hot Stuff,” by Donna Summer.
“We will always love you, Strawberry,” the announcer Jason Ryan Perry said over the stadium’s public address system. “Can’t wait to eat you.”
For nearly three hours, Strawberry had worked the crowd as one of the surprise stars of the game — and of the entire college bowl season, which was no small feat for an anthropomorphized breakfast pastry. By the time Strawberry tossed aside a sign that read “Dreams Really Do Come True” so that it could happily slide through a slot and have its crust toasted to golden-brown perfection, the internet was about to crater.