BASKETBALL ISSUE | From the mouth of the mascot

By Ashley Davis

Butler Collegian:  How was it to experience back-to-back national championship games?

Photo by Rachel Anderson

Hink: It was simply amazing. The whole campus was going crazy obviously, but as a mascot I felt more invested because we put work into the program, albeit indirectly.
It was one of the most memorable experiences ever to partake in. I was lucky enough to do it twice, which is better than a lot of bigger schools can say.

BC: How are those games different from normal men’s basketball games?
H: The games vary drastically come tournament time.
There are many more rules and stipulations that mascots must abide by compared to a home game at Hinkle.
BC: How is being a mascot different than being a normal spectator?
H: It is drastically different. While I still care greatly about the game, as a mascot, the people in the audience become the first priority instead of the actual game.
The goal of a mascot is to entertain people.
A good mascot should be able to entertain those people who have little or no interest in the game, like children or people who don’t care much about sports.
Plus, I’m constantly moving around and am faced with new interactions at every stop, sometimes allowing me to only catch glimpses of the game.

BC: Are there any disadvantages?
H: The only disadvantage to being a mascot is not being able to watch the games in comfort.
The suit does not contain any cooling features, so it becomes 20 to 30 degrees hotter in the costume than the surrounding area. It’s a hot and sweaty mess that you are not able to fix until after the game is over.

BC: What are you most excited about this season?
H: This season I would have to say I am most excited about the basketball team.
It will be interesting to see how coach [Brad] Stevens handles losing essential cornerstones of the program in back-to-back years.

BC: What does it take to be a mascot?
H: Energy, energy, energy. Mascots have to be as lively as possible to act as entertainers. Without energy, you become a human in costume instead of the larger than life figure that a mascot represents.
As a mascot, you represent your school, community and city. So you have to be energetic, because the costume absorbs so much of the motion. Being in decent shape is essential as well.
Being a mascot is more strenuous exercise than what people imagine.

BC: What’s your favorite part about being a mascot?
H: My favorite part about being a mascot is easily the ability to make someone’s day, particularly a young child.
Kids either love Hink or are terrified of Hink, but for the most part they love him.
Seeing a kid who is purely enthralled by a giant, furry bulldog puts a smile on my face as well—even though people never get the opportunity to see it.

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