There are mascots and there are mascots. There are cool traditions and there are goofy guys in costumes who pretend to bang their head on the goal posts when the home team’s kicker misses.
When the Denver Broncos score a touchdown, “Thunder,” an actual horse, triumphantly gallops the length of the field and back. And when the Broncos take the field against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, Thunder will be there.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post writes the following:
Thunder, the Arabian gelding who serves as the Broncos’ mascot, will be at MetLife Stadium during the Super Bowl. The team is still working out the details with the league. Thunder is expected to have modified duties — there is a chance he will not be galloping on the field after Bronco touchdowns.”
To have him do so would make it feel like a Broncos home game, so that makes sense. But how will they get the horse all the way to MetLife Stadium in New York?
The 900-pound horse will be flown out Thursday, Jan. 30 on a cargo plane in the same manner Olympic horses are transferred….Thunder II, in his 10th season with the team, takes a ride on the playing field after every Broncos touchdown.”
If nothing else, Thunder will lead the team onto the field as part of the fanfare prior to kickoff before wondering, like every single person in attendance, why the heck they are playing the game in the cold.