College Mascots: 9 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Them

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You might think the job of the school mascot is a piece of cake and even
useless. Little do people realize, mascots are more important for school spirit
than you think.

These unsung heroes of every tournament and match have to go through
many hardships to earn their position which many people are unaware of.
Here are some interesting facts which you may not have known about your
school’s source of team spirit.

1. College Mascots Date Back Longer than You
Think

Mascots are not only crucial for school spirit, but they are also an important
part of the culture. The concept of having mascots are pretty old, the first
traces of mascots can even be dated back to the 1800s.

Mascots’ history itself is full of history and culture. Many would assume that
mascots are purely an American concept, given their importance in American
culture. In reality, the word ‘mascot’ is derived from a French word which
means ‘lucky charm.’

2. Schools for Mascots Exist
To be recruited as a mascot isn’t a joking matter. While shortlisting people
as possible candidates to be their mascot, recruiters will look into things
such as your educational qualifications and your extra-curricular activities.

Students with a background in acting and dancing have a better chance of
getting the role. However, all hope is not lost for us mundane folk, there are
schools and even camps across the globe entirely dedicated to training
people to become the perfect mascots.

3. Their Own Hall of Fame

Mascots receive prestigious rewards and are acknowledged for their
achievements. Mascots even have their own hall of fame even though it only
exists online for now.
Furthermore, you do not have to climb the ranks to become a sports mascot
of the national team or anything because even college mascots have a fair
shot at securing a spot in the hall of fame.
To secure a position in this prestigious spot, members of the mascot
community and the public, to an extent, vote for their favorite mascot.

4. Identities of College Mascots are Confidential

You might be really curious about the face behind the weird mascots you
encounter however, their identity is a secret they work hard to protect. Their
character has its own personality and charm and so, the audience usually
associates a mascot with their intended persona.

Once a face and an identity replace the mascot’s, the character will lose its
charm. Since the mascot serves more as a symbol, the identity of the people
behind the mask should always remain a secret.

5. It is a Pretty Hard Job

Being a mascot is a harder job than you can fathom. It requires an extreme
amount of patience and endurance. First and foremost, mascots have to deal
with their costume which will most likely carry a suspicious odor and can
also be extremely hot.

Secondly, while they are in character they always have to move around and
have to look like they are full of energy to get others pumped as well.
Furthermore, they are also under the constant stress of being watched by
everyone. So, a moment’s rest or if they are out of character even for a
second, they could fail their job as a mascot.

Lastly, their jobs can also be really dangerous. At times, mascots have to
perform elaborate tricks, usually before a game or during half-time, to get
the audience excited and to keep them entertained.
However, some of these tricks can be very dangerous and many mascots do
not walk away from them without injury.

6. Speaking is Off-Limits

It is a very rare occurrence to get to hear a mascot speak. Mascots are
usually not allowed to vocalize for different reasons. Firstly, since sound is
hard to get across to a huge stadium of people, they instead opt for body
language and let their actions speak for them.

Secondly, a mascot will need a persona different from the person playing
their role so they would need a very different, even cartoon-like, voice.
However, with the environment of a match, it is hard to maintain that
persona consistently.
Therefore, to avoid associating human-like qualities to a mascot, speaking is
usually prohibited.

7. Hygiene is Difficult

As previously mentioned, a mascot’s costume is usually filthy and smells
questionable because they are hard to clean and expensive to replace.
However, mascots throughout the years have found their own tricks to deal
with this by using vodka as a cleaning agent.

While looking for the balance of a substance that would not stain the
costume but would also keep the funky smell out, vodka ended up becoming
a great solution to their problems. All you have to do is dilute the vodka in a spray bottle and spritz it all over
the costume.

8. Patience is a Part of Their Job
As college mascots are usually the highlight or at least an important attraction to
any event, it will be hard for them to move around in a crowd with so many
people asking for pictures. Therefore, mascots need to be incredibly patient
while also making sure they don’t break character.

9. They Use Their “Character’s” Signature
As previously mentioned, mascots try not to associate any of their personal
traits with the mascot as the character has a persona of its own. So when
you ask for an autograph, this attitude also applies.
More often than not, mascots will have to practice a predetermined
signature while training. This signature style is even passed on down to the
people who will take up the job in the future.

Final Thoughts
Being a mascot is a difficult task. When you see a lively bird or a caricature
of a historical figure in any match you attend, it is difficult to associate all
these hardships with them as they seem to be so cheerful. However, that
only means that they are doing a good job.
So, the next time you see a mascot, you will understand all the hard work
they’ve been through a little better!

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