As you can imagine, there are many intrigues that define the life of a mascot. Being a professional Swoop is serious business, unlike what the movies may try to portray.
SWOOP Center of Attention #00
Height: February 4, 2018
Weight: U.S. Bank Stadium, MN
Resides: Nest high atop Lincoln Financial Field
This career involves endearing the fans and being the top cheerleader of the team. As a result, being a professional mascot in the United States is anything but mundane.
Jamie Arrington is a former mascot who has a podcast dedicated to this topic. 'Arring it Out' is the name of his show and recently, he hosted Ryan Hughes, who is a former Eagles Swoop. Hughes is somewhat of a legend on the ground and he held the position of Swoop for twelve years. In his years of noble service, this former mascot has many confessions. His vital role played a part in boosting Eagles odds.
It is definitely surprising to note that being a professional mascot is becoming highly competitive and sought after. In fact, you can join university to train as an elite mascot. Indeed, the University of Delaware has a comprehensive training program that churns out competent and passionate mascots. This school has produced great mascot talents like Dave Raymond. Raymond is best remembered for being the first Phillie Phanatic in history. His father served as a football coach for many years and this could have influenced his passion. The Rockets and Ravens have also had professional mascots from Delaware.
In 1999, Hughes joined the Eagles as a Swoop coming from Baltimore. According to Hughes, his break came courtesy of misconduct by the serving mascot at the time. The former mascot was dismissed after running over a security guard with his four wheeler. Apparently, he was not very keen on where he was going, where in front of thousands of fans he ran over the guard. Luckily, the security guard was not seriously hurt; but that was the end of his Swoop career. Arrington states that getting in trouble is part of being an outstanding mascot.
Hughes admits that one of his biggest fears was being summoned by the bosses. This would bring bad high school memories that involved the principal. As a mascot trainee at Delaware University, Hughes claims to have accidentally 'cleaned somebody's clock'. He was almost arrested by a campus officer. Hughes adds that being a professional mascot requires one to have the ability to capitalize on opportunities. In fact, in his years as a Swoop, he also did weddings, birthday parties, media adverts, charity events and even game promos. In this respect, this is a promising career just like any other.
Hughes says that being in Philadelphia felt like being part of a family. According to him, Eagles' reputation has been tainted by just a few people; otherwise, 90% of Philly and its fan base is of good repute. Super Bowl XXXIX brings a lot of memories to his mind. For example, the food was wiped out before the game started. Also, thanks to a burst pipe, the Eagles entered the field through a different route. Nobody had informed the mascot, and he came out of the tunnel alone.
For any mascot, making it to the top game was always glorious. According to Hughes, this is what dreams are made of and it cannot get better.
Who is Swoop?
Weight: 216 lbs.
Position: Center of Attention
Hatched: Eagles forest, Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, PA
Resides: South Philly, in the Eagles Nest high atop Lincoln Financial Field
Diet: Smaller birds such as Cardinals, Falcons, Ravens, and Seahawks; and of course cheesesteaks and soft pretzels