June 25, 2007
It is only natural for athletes to work on improving during the off-season. But what about a mascot?
Just like any athlete who practices all year to perform at a high level for the audiences entertainment, those fury faced friends that fans have come to love must dedicate time to master their art.
LU Bison is no exception. Despite already being one of the top mascots in the A-Sun, if not the entire world (according to LU himself), LU Bison worked on honing his skills by learning from one of the best in the business.
On June 16th, LU Bison took his act on the road to Baptist Sports Complex and attended the Titans mascot camp to learn some new skills from T-Rac of the Tennessee Titans.
"T-Rac is an awesome mascot," LU Bison said. "He is a role model that all we fuzzy guys look to for advice and guidance. Ever since he began his career as the official Tennessee Titans mascot in 1999, T-Rac has been like a brother to me. Learning from T-Rac is like taking tennis lessons from Andre Agassi. It doesn't get any better."
Starting at 8 a.m. and going until about 3 p.m., LU Bison along with other area high school and college mascots worked on enhancing their skills, performance, and overall presence as a mascot.
"The camp was designed not only for seasoned veterans like me, but also for mascots with little to no experience," LU Bison said. "It was also used for us mascots to get feedback and ideas from fellow mascots about performance ideas."
During the camp, the mascots worked together on different skits and stunts in order to be critiqued by T-Rac himself. T-Rac gave many insights on innovative ways to win over the crowd, because pleasing your audience is the number one goal of any mascot.
"As a mascot, my main job is entertainment," LU Bison said. "How can I win the crowd? T-Rac gave us ways to win the crowd, how to get the crowd fired up, and how to show as much energy as possible."
LU Bison's story dates back to the 1990-1991 basketball season, when LU Bison's father, "Big Dave" joined the Bisons cheerleading squad. Big Dave wowed crowds for years in the historic McQuiddy Gymnasium until his retirement in the late nineties.
Allen Arena and a move to NCAA Division I meant change, and for a while Bison fans were left with no visible symbol of their team roaming the stands and harassing other teams. However, in 2005 that all changed when LU Bison continued the rich mascot tradition at Lipscomb and took over his father's footsteps by joining Lipscomb's promotional team.
"Ever since I was born on the plains of Oklahoma, I knew that I was special," LU Bison said. "I knew that grazing was not the life for me. Being a mascot has always been my dream, and Lipscomb made that dream come true."
LU Bison walked the sidelines for the first time in his new home of Allen Arena at the first annual HoopapaLUza. Now preparing to enter into his third season as part of the Lipscomb family, LU Bison has become a mainstay at Lipscomb games.
It is LU Bison's dedication to Lipscomb that led him to Titans mascot camp. Striving to serve Lipscomb better every time he walks onto the court, LU Bison thinks his practice this off-season could be just what he needs to help the Bisons to another successful season.
"I learned some great things about being a better mascot and look forward to my third season as Lipscomb's official mascot," LU Bison said. "Going to the Tennessee Titans mascot camp just gave me more of an edge to being the best mascot in the A-Sun, and in the world."