Sports

Fan-favorite Hooter expecting company in the nest

Temple’s two ancillary mascots, T-Bird and Baby Owl, have been missing from the basketball court this season. But according to Scott Walcoff, assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions,
that disappearance is about to end.…

Temple’s two ancillary mascots, T-Bird and Baby Owl, have been missing from the basketball court this season. But according to Scott Walcoff, assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions,
that disappearance is about to end.

“I can tell you that T-Bird and Baby Owl have not disappeared,” he said. “[They] will both be at our upcoming [Massachusetts] game on Feb. 11 for Hooter’s birthday.” Talk about a load off Owls fans’ collective chests. As for where the two have been hiding all this time, Walcoff offered a rather comical explanation: “They have been vacationing in Albuquerque,” he said. In reality, there is a logical explanation behind the disappearance of T-Bird and Baby Owl.

Walcoff explained that because one of the two students who play Hooter cannot regularly attend the games, and two other options to specifically play T-Bird both bailed at the last second, the marketing department has decided to just go with Hooter during most basketball games. For now.

“They are definitely still in the picture,” Walcoff said, “Just not as visible.“The history of T-Bird is short and sweet. After much hype and anticipation, T-Bird was unveiled to fans last February. He became a sidekick to Hooter at basketball
games, but never really caught on with the fans or student body. Despite that, T-Bird was expected back for the start of this season. However, he has not been to a game thus far. Baby Owl, meanwhile, was never destined for the spotlight intended for T-Bird.

He was always a special character, only to appear at big games and some other events. But, he still has not been on the basket ball court so far this season.

With only one mascot around to entertain
the fans, things are not as lively as they used to be at the Liacorous Center.

Conversely, student body reaction to the expected return of T-Bird and Baby Owl seemed to be fairly apathetic.

“I don’t even know who they are,” sophomore
accounting major Brittany Mihalchik said.

“That’s about the least of my concerns,” sophomore political science major Andrew Wolf said. “I barely even noticed Hooter to begin with.”

However, there were some people who are anticipating a return to the tri-mascot formula. Look no further than the Cherry Crusade, the resident student fan group for Temple athletics.

“We love Hooter a lot, but miss seeing Baby Owl and T-Bird at games,” Cherry Crusade
President Steven Brooks said, speaking on behalf of the group.

“The mascot is a huge part of the games, especially to the fans. Baby Owl and T-Bird haven’t been at games recently, but I hear they may be coming back for Hooter’s birthday, so we’re all excited about that.”

The countdown is on: T-Bird and Baby Owl return in less than two weeks.

Todd Oroenker can be reached at todd.orodenker@temple.edu

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