There’s the Olympics. The World Cup. The Extreme Games, but tell me what’s more fun than a Mascot Games.
New Hope for Kids along with Stuff the Magic Dragon, mascot of the NBA Orlando Magic, hosted the 21st Mascot Games on July 25-26 at the Amway Center in Orlando.
A unique and entertaining concept, mascots from throughout North America participated in the team competition on day one, before 8,500 summer campers.
Stuff captained the winning OUC (The Reliable One) Green Team which also featured fan favorite Lil Red from the University of Nebraska, D. Baxter the Bobcat of the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks, Moondog of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers, and N.J. Devil of the NHL New Jersey Devils.
The Florida Hospital for Children Blue Team with Billy the Marlin of the MLB Miami Marlins, Alberta of the University of Florida, the mischievious Ace of the MLB Toronto Blue Jays, Slamson the Lion of the NBA Sacramento Kings and team captain Fin the Whale of the NHL Vancouver Canucks was runner-up.
The Wawa Yellow Team was third with Sebastian the Ibis from the University of Miami, Knightro from the University of Central Florida, Louie of the NHL St. Louis Blues, Tommy Hawk of the Chicago Blackhawks, Rowdy of the NHL Dallas Cowboys and team captain Raymond of the MLB Tampa Bay Rays.
The metro PCS Red Team placed fourth with Albert from the University of Florida, Captain Fear of the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Harry The Hawk of the NBA Atlanta Hawks, ThunderBug of the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning and team captain Stormy of the NHL Carolina Hurricanes.
The rowdy summer campers were seated in specific sections, cheering for a designated team of mascots. They helped their team not only with loud yells but by also answering questions and guessing songs (played backward) for team points in between events.
Slamson and Stormy were everywhere, doing everything to excite the crowd during the Games. The ever confident Slamson deserves a Mascot Games MVP award for his non-stop antics, fan interaction and athletic prowess.
Chivalry is alive and well in the mascot community. The gentlemanly mascots allowed Alberta to kick the ball toward the goal uncontested. They would not hit her during jousting. They allowed her to go first and helped her, if needed. Lil Red even bowed to her. Carte blanche for Alberta, the lone lady mascot in the Games, gave an advantage to her team (Blue Team).
Where it was a good day for Alberta, her soulmate Albert seen better ones. Sebastian the Ibis of the rival University of Miami caught more balls than Albert in the throw and catch game. UCF’s Knightro eliminated Albert in the joust, and the University of Nebraska’s Lil Red prevented Albert from scoring in the soccer kick game when the ball stuck between Lil Red’s big inflatable legs, even with Lil Red’s back to Albert.
Also of note, Billy the Marlin of the Miami Marlins scored the winner in the soccer kick game, converting on cocky goalkeeper Raymond of the state-rival Tampa Bay Rays. Earlier, Billy scored a winning goal in hockey to end the obstacle course.
The agile and inflatable Lil Red brought spectators to their feet when he danced on his large head to lead the Green Team to victory in the dance competition. Special mention of Louie of the St. Louis Blues, who kept the beat when resting.
Fin the Whale of the Vancouver Canucks traveled 3,000 miles to participates in the Mascot Games.
Kingston of the Orlando City Soccer Club Lions and Shades of the Orlando Solar Bears hockey team were special guests, and the Wawa mascot also made an appearance. Kingston and Shades joined Jenny Castillo from Rumba FM 103.3 and Magic FM 107.7 and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer as judges for the mascot dance contest.
Before the Games started, Gina Marie Incandela sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.
The night before, a press conference and party, emceed by the humorous Scotty B, occurred at the new New Hope for Kids facility in Maitland, near Orlando. Scotty B also worked the mic during the Mascot Games. Mainly working the crowd, Jamia Sotto assisted Scotty B, and the public address announcer was Jason Skinner.
Following a dinner for the families, David Joswick, executive director of New Hope for Kids, gave the opening address to jump-start the festivities. After the comedic press conference, mascots signed autographs, posed for photos and provided some mascot zaniness to the delight of the attendees.
On day two of the Games, the Florida Hospital for Children Blue Team was victorious with Billy the Marlin (Miami Marlins), Alberta (University of Florida), Ace (Toronto Blue Jays), Slamson the Lion (Sacramento Kings) and team captain Fin the Whale (Vancouver Canucks).
Visit the Mascot Games website at www.mascotgames.org.
All proceeds from the Mascot Games benefited New Hope for Kids.
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.