University of Miami

Stanley C. Panther wins again; NFL awards Turnover Chain to Sebastian the Ibis at Mascot Games

Sebastian the Ibis of the University of Miami displayed tremendous defense in leading the Pizza Hut Red Team to victory in the Hungry Hungry event during the 26th Wawa Mascot Games for New Hope for Kids on June 22 at the Amway Center in Orlando.

Sebastian’s stellar efforts on defense earned him a surprise Turnover Chain, courtesy of the NFL. Chomps of the Cleveland Browns presented the Turnover Chain to Sebastian.

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.

The Games feature top mascots from pro and collegiate sports teams from across North America competing in a variety of wild and wacky games, spanning two days with a team champion each day.

Sebastian’s team did well but did not win the team trophy.

Photo By Jim Varsallone

The OUC Reliable One Green Team did on June 21, and that group included Stanley C. Panther of the NHL Florida Panthers. A multitime champion, Stanley helped lead them to victory, especially in the joust.

Also on that championship team Howler (NHL Arizona Coyotes), Rocky (NCAA University of South Florida Bulls), Southpaw (MLB Chicago White Sox), Swish (NBA G League Lakeland Magic) and host mascot STUFF (NBA Orlando Magic).

By the way, the introductions for each mascot are epic.

The Truly Nolen Yellow Team won Day 2 (June 22).

Those champs are Blooper (MLB Atlanta Braves), Captain Fear (NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Kingston (MLS Orlando City SC), Raymond (MLB Tampa Bay Rays), Rumble the Bison (NBA Oklahoma City Thunder), and NBA Utah Jazz Bear.

New Hope for Kids executive director David Joswick and Wawa’s Wally Goose presented the team trophy to the victors.

Golazo of NPSL Miami FC also fared well in joust. He was a member of the New York Life Blue Team.

Photo By Jim Varsallone

Talk about your frequent-flyer miles. Special recognition to NJ Devil of the NHL New Jersey Devils. After the airplane trip from New Jersey to Central Florida, this mascot participated in the Mascot Games party on Thursday evening for the kids of New Hope for Kids. He returned to Jersey on Friday for the team’s NHL Draft Party and then flew back to Central Florida on Saturday for Day 2 of the Games.

Photo By Jim Varsallone

Kudos to Gloria Capozzi, Devin Nori, Charles Cardwell, Kristin Alexander, emcee Scotty B and all the volunteers for their efforts in making the Mascot Games a tremendous success once again. Can’t wait for 27.

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Jim Varsallone covers pro wrestling, something he’s done since his college days in the late 1980s. Spanning four decades, he currently covers WWE (Raw, SmackDown and NXT), Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, Lucha Underground, MLW, WOW, FSCW, AEW and the South Florida indies. He also writes MMA -- mostly profile stories and video interviews with American Top Team talent in South Florida. As for pro wrestling, he writes feature stories and profile pieces, updates upcoming show schedules in South Florida, photographs the action and interviews talent (audio and video) -- sharing the content here and via social media on his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel).
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