SURPRISE! I was the school mascot.
It was an accident. I didn’t ever plan on holding this position but sometimes life offers opportunities that one should not pass up. This includes dressing up as a Scottish terrier once a week and dancing like a fool at basketball games.
Looking back, I'm really glad that I took advantage of this opportunity and I learned a lot of different things, such as:
1. School spirit is real
Even at a Division III school, if the team is good - they're sure to have a crowded that's pumped on school spirit. Wooster is proud to have an amazing basketball team, and even though we're a very small school, you wouldn't know it by the noise heard in the stands on big game days.
2. Cheerleaders deserve more credit
Cheerleaders are ridiculously athletic. I was always a believer in cheerleading being a sport, I mean it’s impossible not to think its a sport when they’re flying in the air. But working with the cheerleaders at practices gave me a new perspective. They work hard, and have extreme balance and precision. Cheerleaders deserve more credit.
3. Basketball players are tall
This one may seem obvious, but standing around a bunch of guys over 6 foot 6 inches is intimidating. Even with my mascot outfit, I was a solid foot shorter than most of these players. This made me very thankful that I had retired from my basketball career in sixth grade.
4. The rules of basketball
Again, this may seem obvious but of all the professional sport leagues, basketball is what I follow the least. Being the mascot and standing and dancing on the sidelines for every game gave me a chance to refresh myself on the rules. (Shoving is not acceptable in basketball)
5. Being a mascot is the hottest job on campus
Literally. Being inside a full-body costume of fur with only a peephole for air and sight, it got pretty hot inside there. Dogs deserve more credit for what they endure during the summer with all that fur. Thankfully, I was only in the boiling hot costume for an hour or so and could cool off quickly.
Although I had never anticipated being the school mascot, I could not be more glad that I did. I got the opportunity to make people happy throughout the game, and even was able to make some kids overcome their fear of mascots.
Because I agreed to be the mascot I made some amazing friends, got to participate in the sports culture at my school, I had a great view of the basketball games, and I got to dance goofily without anyone knowing it was me…until now.