Sammy C. Hawk: 'I can look like an idiot and make people happy'
Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 1, 2011 11:12
You see him everywhere, he's the face of UNC Wilmington athletics: the mascot, Sammy C. Hawk. Forever enticing Team Teal to get involved during athletic competitions and support their school, Sammy C. Hawk has long been an integral part of the UNCW campus and student life. However, have you ever stopped to think who the person beneath the costume is? What makes him want to embody Sammy C. Hawk and perform all the crazy shenanigans that he does? The Seahawk was able to talk to one of the students who dresses up as the mascot and ask them a few questions concerning his famous alter-ego. The interviewee wished to remain anonymous.
"My responsibilities as the mascot vary. I'll receive an email with an event form of someone who requests to see Sammy—a ‘Spirit Group Request Form.' One of us will then go to the event and perform whatever the person requested on the form," the masked acrobat said.
The main venue Sammy C. Hawk performs in is Trask Coliseum during basketball games. Although these will continue being the primary performances, the athletic department hopes to expand the mascot's performances to other sports as well. However, the heat of outdoor sports plays a part in the mascot's appearances as it gets hot underneath the costume.
The positives of being the mascot are obvious. No one knows who you are so you are able to do basically anything your heart desires—within the realm of social acceptance, of course. Every movement is enhanced when you're a giant bird, as is the case with Sammy C. Hawk.
"Having the suit accents everything you do. Every movement you do, you have to blow it out of the world," says Sammy C. Hawk. "For instance, just moving your arms is not so entertaining without the suit. With the suit, though, it looks awesome. It's easy to have fun with it because you can act like a total idiot and no one knows who you are."
The rules of being the mascot include not being able to talk and not telling anyone your job, though the interviewee admitted that sometimes it is difficult to hide this fact when they are carrying around the large pack the suit is placed into.
Even with these little hassles, our subject admits that the positives far outweigh the negatives concerning his job as the mascot. "You get youngsters such as the Hawkstars who can't wait to see Sammy at every game, alumni who love to get high fives from Sammy and opposing teams who can't believe how tall the mascot is," he said. "There isn't really a worst part about being Sammy.
"I love it. I would not trade it for the world. It's one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have really enjoyed the experience," he added. "The response people get from seeing Sammy and the fact that I can look like an idiot and make people happy while doing it is great. I am just really thankful that I am able to be Sammy C. Hawk."