An Exclusive Interview With Baldwin Eagle
Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 00:01
Baldwin: You have to get there three hours before for FanFest, and then the games takes three to four hours, and you’re the last one waving everybody out. Baldwin’s got a few tournaments to go to, so you might miss a few classes too. Also, all the off-campus activities. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten attacked by children at 8-year-olds’ birthday parties. Baldwin does weddings also, but no funeral requests yet, thank goodness. A lot of alumni events also.
The Heights: Favorite sport to attend?
Baldwin: Hockey is definitely one of my favorites. I also really love football because so many people and alumni show up for it. I’m kind of getting to be a sucker for women’s basketball games, because there are so many kids out there, and a lot of times you don’t even focus on the game—you just circulate and goof around. A lot of fan interaction there.
The Heights: How do you prepare for games?
Baldwin: Great deal of mental preparation. Also, before every hockey game, I like to go up to the penalty box, and in the penalty box they have a bunch of game pucks, so before every game I’ll go grab two pucks to hand out to fans throughout the games. And get a nice hefty meal in before you go. Also, hydrating is key. You just have to change your entire persona. Once the suit comes on, you have to turn up the energy. You try as hard as you can not to say anything. It’s a lonely life sometimes, and there are a lot of instances when you want to say something, but you can’t because birds don’t talk.
The Heights: Can you describe your experience being in an ESPN commercial?
Baldwin: That was a lot of fun. I’m a big fan of those Sports Center commercials, and for a mascot to be on one—that’s kind of like the pinnacle of what you want to achieve as a mascot. When we got the email, we were very excited. It was ESPN asking us to come out to Bristol. We took a car out, we got to see ESPN studios. Henrik Lundqvist was actually filming a commercial that day too. John Buccigross was walking around, Stuart Scott was in there with us. It’s safe to say we were a little bit star struck. We did 26 takes for 30 seconds of material. We met the Temple owl, which was great, and the Louisville cardinal. It was a lot of fun to work with the director—definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And the after-effects have been great also. The last hockey game that I was at, I had at least 10 people come up to me and tell me I looked great on TV.
The Heights: What was the most memorable encounter you had with a fan?
Baldwin: On one of the basketball games, it was halftime, and I came back out, ran onto the court and started waving, and everyone was looking at me funny, and one of the cheerleaders comes over and says, “Baldwin, where’s your jersey, man?” I looked down and thought, “Oh no, I forgot my jersey!” I had gone out topless. I guess I’m getting soft in my old age.
Nothing is more exciting than having opposing fans yell at me. When you know that you’re getting under their skin, you know you’re doing a good job. One of the most memorable moments this year was, the entire BU section for the hockey game was totally packed, and I got up on one of those railings, and started looking at them, waving my wings, pointing to the scoreboard, and they started the “Baldwin Sucks” chant, unfortunately. And immediately following that, I turned back to the entire rink, and “Sucks to BU” immediately started. And from that point on, I felt like the highest bird in the sky. There have also been a lot of clingy kids. Sometimes I’ll be walking to go see the student section, and kids will just latch on to my leg and yell “Baldwin, buy me a hockey jersey! Baldwin, don’t leave me! Baldwin, I need you!”
And every time you get offered a beer at the tailgates is pretty funny. But Baldwin’s got to fly home afterwards, so he has to stay sober.
The Heights: Looking at the year ahead, is there anything in particular you want to see happen for BC athletics?
Baldwin: Head to the Frozen Four. It also would be nice to see our teams make a statement, both men’s and women’s ACC teams. The last couple of years we’ve been knocked out pretty early. It’s never fun.
The Heights: So is there anything you would like to say to all of the BC Superfans?
Baldwin: Thank you for coming out to the games: hockey, football, basketball, and for supporting the school the way you do. I may be Baldwin, but I really wouldn’t be anything without the support of the student body. I know the loyal guys who are out at every basketball game in the front row—you really start to recognize people. It’s really great to see that kind of dedication to the athletic teams. Keep doing you, BC.