Makeup of a university mascot
As a spectator at a college football game in early September, my eyes roamed the stadium as I walked in to find it packed with fans, coaches, cheerleaders, team players, the marching band, the media, and last but not least, but not least, the school mascot. . I often wonder who is inside that cute (sometimes huge) costume and what it must be like to see their world from the inside. Is it a man or a woman entertaining fans and posing for photos? If I put this person out of the costume, would he have the same exuberant personality that I witnessed in the game? How uncomfortable do you feel when you dress up in the costume? Are they burning? Is it hard to breathe? What thoughts go through your mind when people eagerly gather together and stop to pose for a photo? Ahh, the things a college mascot must (and must) endure for the price of notoriety and fame, even when there’s so little that goes with the job. Outside of classmates and faculty, no one really knows who makes up the college mascot and brings it to life.
I remember my first college football game when I specifically attended to see my son be a part of the kickoff event that welcomed the team onto the field. I soaked up everything about that game and felt like a teenager again as I reminisced about my high school days. This was the first time I had seen the school’s mascot who, in every look I received, was quite entertaining and funny. This mascot certainly did his job well because I was even more proud to be associated with the university.
As in any profession, there are requirements that clearly define the composition of the perfect candidate. Pets must be physically fit and energetic. You can’t stand still (unless you’re posing for a photo) when you need to be visible among the fans and actively participate at all times. Pets that are athletically inclined, fairly agile, and extremely flexible, such as a cheerleader, have an advantage. Gymnastics, dance and recreational sports certainly have their advantages. Candidates must be able to take the heat. Temperatures can easily reach 120 degrees inside those costumes and often do especially so if parading around a football field in sunny Florida in mid-September. Staying hydrated is an absolute must. And last but not least, a pet must be entertaining, which requires personality, humor, creativity, and spontaneity. Personality is a gift and not something that can be learned. You either have it or you don’t. This also holds true for having a humorous side and a knack for being creative.
Practice makes perfect. We’ve all heard that cliché before. There is nothing more to add to that. It’s just common sense. What better way to critique your performance than to watch a video of yourself. Pets must know the rules of the game. There is nothing more embarrassing than a mascot cheering the crowd for something that benefits the visiting team. Scared children, obnoxious fanatics, devastating losses, these things are given and a good mascot must always know exactly how to negotiate, act and execute the necessary improvisations to deal with any surrounding circumstance: win or lose, in the splendor of victory or defeat. agony of defeat
The job is a volunteer position, but depending on the college or university, one could receive a scholarship. Being able to travel with the team, working with the cheerleaders and band members instills teamwork and builds lifelong friendships. Some might say that a mascot gets a chance to act goofy since the general public has no idea who fills the costume; but don’t be fooled, there is a method to the madness. There are numerous rewards for a college mascot, but the greatest of all would be self-actualization. Underneath all that makeup, you’re sure to find a unique person who represents their alma mater with a great sense of pride, incredible stamina, and maybe even an amazing outlook on life!