[dropcap style=”box”]A[/dropcap]s I first put on the green mascot on, it hit me: I would be in front of a crowd, dancing my ass off, running around in costume and being silly.
I got a little nervous. It’s just not something everyone does in his or her lifetime. I made sure I brought water and took a shower before I left my apartment. Every piece came together: the body, the claws, the feet, and last but not least the Gator head. I was going to be the SF State Gator for the next two hours, and no one knew.
I think people not knowing that I was the Gator made me feel a little bit more comfortable. I was allowed to dance around, making a fool out of myself, without anyone knowing. It was funny actually because I saw some of my friends in the crowd and I was waving at them. It made it funnier that I can wave at them and they thought I was a complete creep.
There were a lot of kids there, and I got to interact with them personally — give them high fives and take pictures with them. Most of them were happy to see me. They ran to me, played with the Gator’s teeth, some of them were even hitting me — it was the attack of the children.
I remember saying hello to a little girl while she was in the bleachers, and she was totally scared. She didn’t even want to come near me, but somehow, she was able to stand next to me for a quick picture that her father took. As she was walking away, I began to chomp at her head — and she ran for her life.
She actually thought I was an alligator. It was hilarious.
One of the first things I learned as the mascot is we actually have a cheerleading team at SF State. They were nice, and very cheerful. I guess you kind of have to be as a cheerleader. I got to go out with them as they did their cheers during halftime. That was probably one of my favorite parts, going out there dancing around.
I constantly needed to take a break. It was just too hot under that green Gator head and body. After the first hour, I was sweating so much, but I just had to deal with it and try to stay hydrated.
By the end, the sweat was overwhelming. My shirt was wet, my hair looked like I just got out of the shower; getting out of the Gator suit was all bad.
But overall, it was an interesting experience. Even after all the sweat, nerves and everything that came along with being the mascot, I can say I would do it again. It just felt good that our school spirit is still appreciated at this school, and I’m just glad that I got the chance to experience something like this.
It’s something I’ll carry with me throughout my time here at SF State. The Gator represents our school, and it will always carry that symbol. I can say that I was the Gator for a day, and it feels awesome.