January 05, 2008
Saturday Morning Scooch
I attended Syracuse University for undergrad. And though I was in Central New York for four years, I only made it to one Syracuse Chiefs ... er, SkyChiefs, game: a doubleheader against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Admittedly, I only went to the game because it was two for the price of one and it was Pawtucket. I don't remember who won, but I remember Jin Ho Cho pitched lights out for Pawtucket in one of the games, I froze my butt off, and me and my friends heckled our brains out for two or three hours. Heckling so much that we rejoiced when Brian Daubach (on Pawtucket at the time), started nodding in agreement with much of what we were screaming.
If you've never been there, P & C Stadium is tiny. It's also built, like much of Syracuse, on a never-ending swamp. (This may have to do with its proximity to Lake Onandaga, which at the time was easily the most toxic lake ever. So toxic that the city knew they had to dredge it, but feared a toxic black cloud of death would envelop the city if they did, or so the legend had it.) In other words, pretty much everyone could hear what anybody else said, especially if you were saying it at the top of your lungs. I think the rest of the crowd wanted us to go away, quickly and quietly.
I bring all this up this early today because I came across this promotional card of Scooch, the anthropomorphic orange blob the SkyChiefs called their mascot. (And by the way, "SkyChiefs" is one letter away from "SkyChefs.") To anyone familiar with Syracuse popular culture, Scooch is a blatant rip off of Otto, the Syracuse University Orange. Instead of just paying SU for Otto to show up at some home games, the team created a full body costume of... is it a hedgehog? Or a Gorg? I just don't know.
What I do know is that they were kind enough to let us know that Scooch does birthday parties, and even provided his phone number.