This week, Capital Games writer Sarah Kogod steps out from behind the safety of her computer and into the world of being a mascot. Tune in to Wednesday's 5 p.m. news broadcast to see what happened. In the meantime, here is her personal account.
I’ve always wanted to be a mascot. I was an athlete and dancer growing up, but there was something about the personalities hidden behind those furry beings that intrigued me.
In college I almost got my chance at the big time, but at 5’2”, I was too short for our school’s costume. Last week my dream was finally realized, if only for one day.
I recruited Wizards mascot G-Wiz, the Nationals’ Screech and Jack the Georgetown Bulldog, who all agreed to put me through mascot training. I would need a costume for myself, so the Washington Greenhawks stepped up and bravely lent me theirs.
With my trainers, a costume and Verizon Center as the backdrop, I was ready.
Or at least I thought I was.
It is infinitely harder to be a mascot than I ever imagined it would be. Yes, we took video and if you tune in to NBC’s local 5 p.m. broadcast Wednesday, you’ll get to see it.
You’ll see me dance. You’ll see me pose. And of course, you’ll see me fall.
What you won’t see is what that day taught me about mascots and about myself.
Those costumes are magical.
Something happens to you when you put that fuzzy head on. You’re shielded from the world and impervious to judgement. No one knows it’s you behind that mask. No one cares if you look silly – you’re supposed to be silly after all. I’m not one to take myself seriously to begin with, but inside that costume I was more goofy than I’ve ever been. And I loved it.
Those costumes are hot.
Just getting into those suits makes you sweat, and once you put that head on it’s all over. During our day I was able to take my head off to breathe in between filming, but during a game or event, it’s all in for professional mascots. No taking your head off to breathe or losing the furry gloves to cool off. And if you’re Screech, you’re doing this all in ninety degree heat on some days. It’s unreal.
The trampoline is hard.
It’s even harder in size 46 feet. Watch tonight, you’ll see.
Being a mascot isn’t a hobby.
It’s a full time job. Between game days, team events, local appearances and other obligations, these people have made a career out of making us smile. They practice their antics, develop a distinct personality and make it their mission to keep fans happy.
My day with the mascots was hard and humbling. It was also the most fun I’ve ever had doing a story.
I owe a huge thank-you to G-Wiz, Screech, Jack and everyone else who made this happen. And when you see them, consider thanking them yourself.
And if you’re especially thankful, give them a hug. I promise it will make you smile.
Who is that cute blogger in green?