Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 135

The Time Mookie Became A College Mascot - Part I

One of the things I always wanted to do since I was in college was to wear a mascot uniform.  It didn’t have to necessarily be a college mascot, but I always figured that would be WAY more fun than walking around in a teddy bear outfit scaring kids at the local hospital.  I don’t know where this desire came from, but my best guess is that the introvert inside of me wanted to be a major extrovert without the consequences of people knowing who I am.  All of the mascots on TV are always screwing around with the fans and getting to be an utter jackass while the person inside remains totally anonymous.  This appeals to me because being a jackass is fun.  My friend “Rick*” and I used to just die laughing at the panther mascot at our college, and how he would run around the football field with an unbridled enthusiasm that bordered on special-needs.  I always joked to Rick how fun it would be to be “that guy,” and if given the opportunity to be the mascot - I would have done it in a second.  Alas the opportunity never came during my college days and my desire went unfulfilled . 

Even though I never pursued any further opportunities to become a mascot in the years that followed college, that idea and dream remained somewhere in the back of my brain and awaited the day it might be re-awakened.  That day came in September 2010 when I saw the video that is displayed here.

This video shows an incident at an Ohio State University football game where OSU were preparing to play their intra-state rivals from Ohio University.  As you will see in the video, the OU mascot (Rufus Bobcat) methodically stalked and targeted the OSU’s mascot (Brutus the Buckeye) as the OSU football team and cheerleaders took the field. When his attempt to tackle Brutus at mid-field mildly failed, an undeterred Rufus resumed his pursuit and attacked Brutus again in the end zone.  This time Rufus succeeded in not only tackling Brutus, but he also got in some quality head and nut shots at Brutus’ expense.  Needless to say, this video made me laugh SO hard I cried.  To this day it still makes me laugh and immediately brightens my day whenever I see it.  The best part about the whole story was that the guy who was in the Bobcat outfit had been planning this “attack” for over a year.  He tried out for the mascot job with the sole purpose and opportunity of tackling Brutus the Buckeye in front of 105,000 fans.  As you can see, he succeeded with flying colors.  The end result was that he was banned from ever having any association with the Ohio athletics department again and Ohio University had to apologize to everyone.  If you ask me though, it was totally worth it and I will forever be a fan of that guy.  Not only was this one of the funniest things I had ever seen, it made me want to be a mascot again.

Fast-forward approximately four years.

Through a variety of awesome circumstances, this past spring I was presented with an opportunity to wear an actual college mascot outfit.  My bad ass wife received an email from the college she had attended asking if anyone on that email distro was available to wear the official college mascot costume at a local elementary school function. YES!  Plus this wasn’t just any elementary school, it coincidentally was the school that both of my kids go to.   As she knows about my weirdo mascot aspirations, she called me and asked if I was interested and if she should look into it.  HELL YES.  So she called the college and inquired as to what needed to be done and where it would all go down.  As we were both afraid the mascot costume-keepers would not let her do it if they knew she wasn’t going to be wearing it, she conveniently neglected to tell them that her husband would probably be wearing the get-up. Amazingly, the college people gave her the green-light and they told her “she” could do it.  As you can imagine, I was pretty giddy when she told me this. 

The day of the event, we rolled up to the college and my wife went into the building where they kept the mascot outfit.  As I sat there waiting, I sent a text message to my friend Rick that said: “In about 10 minutes, there is going to be a college mascot costume in the trunk of my car.”  He texted back: “Oh my God. It’s happening.”

When my wife came out of the building ten minutes later, she was carrying a big red bag over her shoulder approximately the size of Andre The Giant.  This thing was E. Nor. Mous.  All I could think was “Oh sweet baby Jesus, what the hell is in that bag?”  We quickly found that it didn’t easily fit into the car, but because most of the bag was foam we eventually squeezed it into the trunk.  Both of us were laughing the entire way to the elementary school at the fact we had a big ass mascot outfit in the trunk.  This..... was really happening.

Check back in a future episode for Part II!

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

Miss previous episode?  Click HERE to catch up!

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