The sixth man

A look into a teachers experience in college as a mascot for Xavier

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The sixth man

Russell getting the crowd excited prior to a Xavier basketball game.

Russell getting the crowd excited prior to a Xavier basketball game.

courtesy of John Russell

Russell getting the crowd excited prior to a Xavier basketball game.

courtesy of John Russell

courtesy of John Russell

Russell getting the crowd excited prior to a Xavier basketball game.

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With Xavier down by 10 and the student section looking glum, all eyes were looking at him. It was his job to get everyone up out of their seats and cheering. He started a small chant to get the crowd going. He knew the crowd was ready for the infamous Blue Blob somersault. The crowd went wild every time he did it. This was his favorite part of the job.

ASC & Math teacher John Russell was the mascot for the Xavier Basketball program in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons. After going to every game during his freshman and sophomore year he fell in love with Xavier basketball. His mascot was named the Blue Blob.

“When I was the Blue Blob I would get to roll across the court, so think of somersaults,” Russell said. “I would do that eight times in a row across the court and the crowd would go crazy”

Xavier has eight total people for their two mascots, The Blue Blob and D’artagnan the musketeer. The Blue Blob was a mascot introduced to Xavier in 1985 by the spirit squad. It was Russell’s favorite mascot to be.

Becoming the mascot didn’t come easy. Russell had to compete with several other candidates in order to get the job.

“The tryouts were just you had to run a mile, you had to like dancing, and you had to do a birthday party scenario, honestly it was all about showing the most excitement,” Russell said. “Which was easy for me because I am an outgoing person who loves Xavier basketball.”

Of course, some hardships came with the job. But that didn’t stop Russell from doing what he loved. Getting people excited.

“There were seven layers so it was pretty sweaty,” Russell said. “It is also hard when your team is losing and you still have to be really excited or when you make a baby cry, that was often.”

Not only was being the mascot one of Russell’s best experiences of his life, it also taught him how to interact with people in ways he didn’t know before.

“Being in teaching now it definitely taught me how to be really energetic,” Russell said. “It taught me how to reach people in different ways in the classroom.”

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