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Robert Boudwin has been "Clutch" the mascot of the Houston Rockets for more than 20 years. And it's easy tell.
"I love doing this," he said in a recent interview with Mascotinsider.com. "A lot of people diss being a mascot, but I consider it an important role. There probably aren't many kids out there who say 'I'd like to grow up to be a mascot, but for me it's the ultimate."
Boudwin started as a mascot for his high school, eventually moving on in the same role for his college, the University of Delaware. Finally, as a senior in college, he tried out for a mascot role for the Houston Rockets, which he started more than 20 seasons ago, and hasn't looked back yet.
It's a good thing that he enjoys it since there's almost never a Rockets even of any sort that Clutch doesn't make an appearance. He calls it more than a job, it's a calling. And that calling has taken him across the country and around the world many times, entertaining for practically every kind of group, from the homeless to military troops.
Boudwin is so serious about his craft that he teaches the "art" of mascoting every year at a "boot camp" for potential mascots from schools across the country, even though he calls it a means of paying back. "I've had a lot of great mentors in my time, and that inspires me," he added. "A lot of people have helped me along the way, so I think I owe them. I guess you could call it 'paying forward.'"
"I hate to make it sound like it's a religious thing, but in a way it is," he explained. "In fact, if you think about it, it has to be since it's not easy to put on a character's suit, walk out onto a basketball court, and try to be funny or otherwise get an keep the fans attention. You have to be devoted to it or it doesn't work."
Needless to say, Clutch does it, to the tune of hundreds of appearances every year. It doesn't matter whether it's an event for the city, parties, and anything else, Boudwin says that nobody gets shortchanged when it comes to his work. "I consider it an important job since when I'm out there, wherever there might happen to be, I'm representing the Rockets, and I consider that an important responsiblity."
Boudwin explained that he doesn't see how he feels as a mascot much differently than with others. "I think that most mascots feel the same way I do," he said. "A mascot has to go out there and there's a mutual dependence between him and the crowd, and the team also. When I can get the crowd going, it gets the team going also. Everybody feels it, and that's a great feeling for me too. When I can get that mutual excitement going, everybody wins, and I can say I did my job."
There's a very special dog who lives in a community east of Los Angeles called Lake Elsinore. He is one of only a few members of the genus Canis Thunderous family. He is generally known for his ability to stand upright, walk on the tops of chairs, dance, drive quads, and act like a fool, much to the delight of Storm fans, who fill the stadium with uproarious laughter every time he makes an appearance. "Thunder," as he is known, can further be noted for his thick coat of mint-green fur, oversized eyes, bright pink nose, and one of the largest pairs of shoes to ever grace the feet of a dog. And if anyone should wonder about his capacity to put away the food, all they would need to do is to check the size of his overabundant belly.
Thunder is the alter ego of the team's director of mascot operations, Stephen Webster, who started working for the team several years ago after he worked for other teams in Utah, where he originally resided.
"I belong to the LDS church, and after I finished school and did my mission, I got a job working for a team in Utah," Webster explained. "It was great fun, and that's when I discovered that I loved working in baseball, especially from the promotional perspective."
It doesn't take long to watch Webster in action before he could convince anyone of his love for the game. Like many good mascots, he is in perpetual motion, whether he's on the field or off. Not only does he appear as Thunder at every game, but he makes more than 300 appearances at local birthday parties, holiday parades, grand openings, school assemblies, and many other events.
Wherever he is and whatever he is doing, Thunder admits that his greatest accomplishment thus far is the publication of his book, "Be Nice, Play Nice! CHARACTER COUNTS! You Know," which he distributes wherever he goes. Thunder also sponsors the Storm Reading for Rewards assembly, where he shares the importance of the Six Pillars of Character to more than 45,000 children in 15 cities and 60 elementary schools this year.
"I love doing this," Webster said, "and I'll do it as long as I can."
Photo provided by Thunder's Facebook page you can "Like" his page by Clicking Here
The word “bruin” comes from the Dutch language, which means brown and describes the color of a bear. UCLA has the official school colors of blue and gold. UCLA has a bruin (or a brown bear) as a mascot. How did this happen?
The history comes from the early part of the 20th century, when UCLA was not very well recognized. The bigger brother was the football team known as the California Bears from northern California, the team representing Berkeley University.
When the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was first established, the football team became the “cubs” because of being the baby brothers of the team that came before them in northern California. Because the name of the “cubs” seemed weaker and inferior, the team of UCLA wanted to change their name to the “grizzlies.”
Alas, this was not possible because a prior claim to the “grizzlies” came from the University of Montana. Because of this, the team from UCLA opted for the name and mascot of “bruins,” which is a type of brown bears. This was chosen in 1928 and has been the mascot ever since.
The school colors of UCLA are blue, representing the ocean, and gold, representing the state flower of the golden poppy, which are supported by the mascot of the bruin bear, since the bear is California’s state animal and appears on the state flag. The bruin bear had the overwhelming support of the student body of UCLA, because in the 1930s a live bear with his trainer appeared at each home game.
Imagine the possible confrontation today between a real live brown bear, which on its hind legs stands over six feet tall and a person in a mascot suit pretending to be a mascot from the opposing team! Wow! Nevertheless, this is no longer possible. During the 1930s, it became very apparent that having a live animal of such size on the sidelines of a football game, even when under the command of a skilled trainer was no longer feasible. Even though the crowds from the UCLA side loved the real animal, it was clear that it was becoming much too dangerous.
The modern day mascot of the UCLA Bruins is like all the others, a person in a suit that represents the mascot. However, there was a time for UCLA during the 1920s to the 1930s, when their mascot was a real, live, gigantic brown bear.
Sources: 1) Bruin 2) UCLA Bruins | Image provided from Surviving College
What would possess an otherwise sane high school or college student (Is there such an animal?) too often leave behind their career ambitions to throw their hats into an ultra-competitive ring for the chance to wear a sweaty and often foul smelling animal suit, only to face the humiliation of their peers as a team mascot? The truth is men as well as women have served for teams in both the pro and amateur ranks for years and often made a name, not to mention a hefty paycheck in the process. Case in point, AJ Mass, who happens to have served a stint as “Mr. Met,” and relates some of his experiences as a mascot in his just released book, Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots.
Yes, it’s Hot In Here not only recounts some of his hilarious and sometimes harrowing tales of life as one of baseball’s busiest, and at the time, few mascots, but explores the entertaining history of the mascot, from its jester roots in Renaissance society to the slapstick pantomine of the Clown Prince of Baseball, Max Patkin, all the way up to the mascots of the slam-dunk, rock-and-roll, Jumbotron culture of today. Along the way Mass talks to the pioneers among modern-day mascots like Dave Raymond (Phillie Phanatic), Dan Meers (K.C. Wolf), and Glenn Street (Harvey the Hound) and finds out what it is about being a mascot that simply won’t leave the performer.
What could possess an otherwise educated and intelligent person with so much career promise to abandon it all to take a job with no real promise other than a considerable amount of potential, in order to walk to the center of a sports park and hope to create pandamoniumtotal with so little, even when the team they represent might be losing. It’s not a life that’s full of roses. After all, there are kids that don’t understand the concept that there’s a human being inside, and as a result might give a swift kick to his shins. Otherwise, your usual exhaustive work day includes other promotional feats such as numerous opportunities to bend WAY down for group hugs and let’s not forget a hot and smelly costume.
Mass should know, since he even predates the San Diego Chicken and so many other creatures of record. Despite this, he still has the distinction of being one of the few bright lights in Mets history.
1. What organization do you represent?
Well, I'm my own dog as such. Unlike my big league mascot brothers and sisters, I'm not backed by an organization. However, I represent every shelter pet. My job is to get them as many fans as I can. Just like my big league mascot pals do for their team.Wait a tail waggin' second....Maybe I am like them. BOL! (bark out loud)
2. How long have you been around the mascot business?
In dog years? 35. Ok, I'll stop being a smug Pug. 2015 will be my fifth year.
3. What are some of your fondest memories?
Wow. Since these are made daily, that's a rawhide question. Going to schools and meeting kids who have done wonderful things for the animal shelters in their community is quiet fond to this Fido.
4. Do you look up to any mascots?
Yes, when they drop down from the arena ceiling. BOL! OK, now I'm being as serious as an empty treat jar. Benny the Bull keeps my nose to wind.
5. What are your favorite treats?
The ones that are in an endless supply and I can swallow whole.
6. What are you favorite events to attend?
Pet adoption events are the dog diggity. Parades are pristine. I gotta tell ya though, my goal is TO BE the favorite thing at any event I attend.
7. Do you travel?
Yes, but since I am self funded my budget doesn't allow me to buy a very long leash. However, I am micro-chipped so I'm ready when the opportunity sniffs me out.
8. What is something you would like to say, but can’t out loud?
I like cats.
9. Do you love car rides?
YES YES OOOHHHH YES ARE WE GOING? ARE WE GOING??? Sorry, you said the "R" word. Be warned. When I stick my big, lovable head out of the window, the car will lose about five miles per gallon.
10. Who’s a good doggie?
The one adopted from a shelter. :0)
Thanks so much to Shell-E the Shelter Dog for taking to the time to interview with us. Catch Shell-E on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shelletheshelterdog.
Have you noticed that some mascots with the best costumes are about as exciting as watching fresh paint drying? The quality of the costume may help enhance the ambiance and panache of a team mascot, but it cannot work magic.
The bottom line: Great mascots need more than outstanding costumes to entertain and motivate players and fans. They need–personality and bizarre behavior!
Some of the best mascots have the most marginal costumes, but became famous for entertaining all who watched them. Just think for a moment about the iconic San Diego Chicken. The costume was not very cool or funny. Yet the San Diego Chicken became famous for entertaining audiences young and old.
Another example is the Phillie Phanatic. The costume: absurd. The Phanatic: humongously entertaining. From the days the Phanatic outrageously taunted the Boston Red Sox, the Philly Phanatic has been one of the favorite, most entertaining mascots onthe planet.
When the Philadelphia Phillies finally retires the Phanatic, there will be a spot in the mascot Hall of Fame waiting for him. This example is further proof that it’s the mascot’s personality that counts, not the quality of the costume.
Of course, the Phillie Phanatic makes good use of his costume to get laughs. But, it remains the Phanatic’s personality that translates into action and entertainment. There are others, devoid of outstanding costumes, that manage to entertain fans regularly.
For example, Jaxson de Ville, this year’s favorite mascot, but the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars favorite every day, has a cute, but not great costume. In fact, Jaxon’s outfit is neither outrageous nor funny. Yet, Jaxson was more entertaining than the Jaguars team this season. The Jaguars were awful; Jaxson was magnificent. He was the only claim to fame for the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2014 season.
See Jaxon’s pic displayed below the title of this article. You be the judge. Was it his costume or his winning personality?
Fans you’ve chosen your favorite mascots now it’s time to have that mascot bring home the prize we are amazed at the response this year brining over 100,000 votes. We give great thanks to all the sports teams that supported this poll now same rules apply as the last round you may vote once a day. This poll, however, is for only going on this week, so you’ll have till 11:59 on Sunday August 10th to vote. Good Luck to all the mascots and we can’t wait to see who win’s this year!
Voting has ended, thank you for joining us this year the whole MascotInsider Wishes a big congrats to Jaxson DeVille. Please be sure to visit “Mascot Hall of Fame” in a few days to see the award and statement from Jaxson.
(POLL HERE COMING SOON)
We've had a fantastic week at Amway Center with Mascot Games in town. This event is amazing we our proud to present TWO full hours of Mascot Games for you to enjoy meaning you'll be able to view the Full Event below. We began our Mascot Games coverage with a visit to Florida Hospital for Children on Thursday Stormy, Louie Blues, Shades and Sebastian the Ibis all surprised a visit with the children check out the video below..
It's now Friday and it's the first day of Mascot Games excited camps are all here ready for the excitement before the games start all campers were invited to a big fun outside which included fun game to play including from playing the Wii to playing a little game of soccer. Around 12:30 the games officially kicked off with a our national anthem being sung by the amazing singer Gina Maria Incandela it gives you chills how amazing she can sign it was a great way to kick off the 21st Mascot Games now without spoiling anything we now invite you to join us in the first day of the games below this is a FULL video showing you everything we hope you enjoy!
We hope you've enjoyed Friday's coverage, it's now Saturday it's the last day of the Mascot Games. The games begin today at 2:00 but select fans who bought a VIP Meet & Greet package which is new this year around 12:30 got a chance to meet and greet with all the amazing mascots it was madness but fun and everyone had a great time. Around 1:30 we said goodbye to all the mascots as they prepare to get ready for the games and we took our spot on the floor to begin the final days of the games, Again we don't want to spoil anything so we invite you to check out the FULL mascot games below.
That ends the amazing Mascot Games event we thank New Hope for Kids for allowing us to cover this event. We are also proud to announce CEO of MascotInsider was interviewed by Jr. Journalists as soon as that is posted we'll be sure to post it on our social networks. We also invite you to view OVER 400 photos from our Photos page by clicking here. Till then this will be your 2014 Mascot Games coverage thanks for joining us and see you next year!!
Thank you fans for taking the time to nominate your favorite mascots, it’s very exciting to begin this for the Third year in a row! Who’s going to make it to the final round and take home this year’s award? Begin by voting below, we wish all mascots best of luck.. Just as a reminder, you may vote ONCE a Day. It may be possible to vote on another device that’s OK, however, we only guarantee one vote a DAY. Poll Ends TWO weeks from today (July 26th 2014 8 AM EST).
POLL is now CLOSED thank you to everyone who voted to stay tuned for more details regarding finals to be posted soon.
(Polls Placed Here Shortly)
Participating Mascots Announced for the 21st Annual MASCOT GAMES
Coming to the Amway Center July 25 & 26
Orlando, FL – New Hope for Kids has announced the mascots that will compete in the 21st Annual Mascot Games, playing the Amway Center on Friday, July 25, at 12:30 p.m., and Saturday, July 26, at 2 p.m., following a one-year hiatus. Participating mascots include Stuff from the Orlando Magic, Albert and Alberta from the University of Florida, Burnie from the Miami Heat and fan favorite Lil Red from the University of Nebraska. The complete list is below.
The Mascot Games feature mascots from sports teams across the country competing in a variety of games. Fans of all ages will enjoy thrilling and pulse-pounding competition, as mascots from MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA battle through gladiator-themed games to determine the true champions of the mascot world.
All proceeds from the Mascot Games benefit New Hope for Kids, which provides support to children and families grieving the death of a loved one, and grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Central Florida.
Tickets are on sale now. General admission tickets start at $12 and can be purchased through amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com. On Saturday only, all-access tickets –which include a Mascot meet and greet and reserved seating –are available for $25, and reserved seating is available for $20. Group seating for Summer Camps is available by downloading a form from the Mascot Games website at www.mascotgames.org under the “Summer Camps” tab.
Since 1996, New Hope for Kids has been helping Central Florida children in need. It brings hope, healing and happiness to children and families suffering from grief, loss or life-threatening illnesses. Find out about New Hope for Kids by visiting www.newhopeforkids.org.
21st Annual Mascot Games Participating Mascots
Ace – Toronto Blue Jays
Burnie – Miami Heat
Fin the Whale – Vancouver Canucks
Harry the Hawk – Atlanta Hawks
Lil Red – U of N
N.J. Devil – New Jersey Devils
Raymond – Tampa Bay Rays
Rowdy – Dallas Cowboys
Sebastian – University of Miami
Stormy – Carolina Hurricanes
Stuff the Magic Dragon – Orlando Magic
Thunderbug – Tampa Bay Lightning
Albert + Alberta – University of Florida
Moondog – Cleveland Cavaliers
Knightro – University of Central Florida
Tommy Hawk – Chicago Blackhawks
D. Baxter the Bobcat – Arizona Diamondbacks
Louie – St. Louis Blues
Slamson the Lion – Sacramento Kings
Stormy – Carolina Hurricanes
It’s finally HERE again MascotInsider Presents the Most Favorite Mascot of the Year voted by you Fans! Last year, after another amazing response, Marty took home the prize! Who will it be this year? As always you begin the poll’s by nominating your favorite mascot. You’ll have two week’s from today’s post (Saturday, June 21st, 2014) to submit your nominations! Begin below..
Thank you for your submissions, please stay tuned on Saturday for Polls to begin.
Orlando, FL – After a one year hiatus, the Mascot Games are back by popular demand, playing the Amway Center on Friday, July 25 at 12:30 p.m. And Saturday, July 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster on Friday, May 9 at 10 a.m.
The Mascot Games feature approximately 30 mascots from sports teams across the country competing in a variety of games. Fans of all ages will enjoy thrilling and pulse-pounding competition, as mascots from MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA battle through gladiator-themed games, to determine the true champions of the mascot world.
“We are extremely thrilled to be bringing the Mascot Games back to the Amway Center this summer,” said Dave Joswick, Executive Director of New Hope for Kids. “This event has been always been a fun summer tradition for kids and families, and we’re thrilled to bring the excitement back once again.”
All proceeds from the Mascot Games benefit New Hope for Kids, which provides support to children and families grieving the death of a loved one, and to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Central Florida.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, May 9 at 10 a.m. General admission tickets start at $12 and can be purchased through amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com. On Saturday only, all-access tickets, which include a mascot meet and greet and premium seating, are available for $25 and premium seating is available for $20. Group seating for Summer Camps is available by downloading a form from the Mascot Games website at www.mascotgames.org under the “Summer Camps” tab.
Since 1996, New Hope for Kids has been helping Central Florida children in need. It brings hope, healing and happiness to children and families suffering from grief, loss or life-threatening illnesses. Find out about New Hope for Kids by clicking HERE.