Some of you may know that I spend my winter months talking college hoops at Storming the Floor. One of the best things that happened to the site last season was technically a bad thing. Sports Illustrated columnist Jacob Osterhout was part of the reduction in staff at SI, and his popular column The Dean’s List became homeless. STF’s founder, Marco “It-can’t-hurt-to-ask” Anskis, shot an email to Jacob and asked him if he’d like to resurrect the column on our site, and he miraculously agreed. So I came to know this talented and funny NY-based writer in a sort of “internet buddy” way.
Aside from his attempts to flush his career away by writing for some internet basketball hooligans, Jacob also writes regularly for the New York Daily News. Last week, he went to the Brooklyn Cyclones ballpark to try out for the role of Sandy the Seagull. Hilarity and sweating ensued.
I started with some Electric Slide moves I hadn’t used since junior high, quickly transitioned into a salsa number and finished up with a moonwalk. The kids loved it, but I quickly ran out of dance moves, so we moved on to the shirt toss.
It is surprisingly hard to throw a shirt with any sort of accuracy when you can’t see and only have three fingers. Despite my best efforts at spreading out the giveaways, one fourth-grader ended up with three shirts.
Finally, we arrived at the main event. Five students were chosen to race Sandy around the base path.
By this time, my T-shirt was soaked with sweat and I felt lightheaded. But there was no way I was going to be beaten by 9-year-olds, especially after the kids were told that Sandy had never lost a race.
I have a hard time with sweat when I’m sitting still scarfing a hot dog on an 85-degree day, so this sounds unbearable to me. But it just makes me respect the people who do the mascot job that much more. Even rainy days aren’t safe, as you may remember that I saw Southpaw the Hillcat take a header during his dugout dance after stepping in a puddle of water.
I highly recommend that you read the rest of the article – it’s truly funny. And, if anyone reading this has a mascot experience you’d like to share, drop us a line at busleagues at gmail dot com. Or leave it in the comments – either way. We’d love to hear about it.