From what I hear, being a mascot is not exactly the best job out there.
Sure – you get paid to attend sporting events (assuming you’re on the professional level), but they money isn’t exactly overflowing and you get to deal with a bunch of sticky children who want to grab, punch and kick all of your extremities.
Oh, and you are also allegedly told to not get too close to the president or you’ll be killed.
AJ Mass, who currently works for ESPN, was once upon a time the man behind the gigantic ball head that we all know as ‘Mr. Met’.
Celebrating what was the first ever ‘Jackie Robinson Day’ in 1997, former President Bill Clinton made his way to Shea Stadium where Mr. Met was informed that he was not to go near Mr. Clinton or he would be on the wrong end of a ‘kill shot’.
He pauses for a moment to let the words sink in, and it feels like he isn’t only looking into my eyes, but also into my very soul with his blank, unblinking stare. Then he says the same thing again, only a little bit slower this time, making sure I know his warning is not in any way to be misconstrued as some sort of gag. He’s dead serious, and if I don’t believe him, then I’ll be dead–seriously.
“Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot,” he repeats. “ARE–WE–CLEAR?”
Thankfully, Mass didn’t approach Mr. Clinton that evening and thousands of youthful fans were spared a lifelong traumatic memory.