Ahead of the annual Old Rivalry game, Maya Joshi caught up with the student who dons the Ram mascot suit at each home football game.
Q. How long have you been The Ram?
A. Since sophomore year, but I began to develop interest in the second semester of freshman year. Sophomore year they let me be Rammy officially.
Q. What are some downsides to being the Ram?
A. Everyone asks who I am, to the point where it gets aggressive, usually at games people try to pull my head off, that happened at the Ballard game, these kids were tackling me and I felt really scared. And then towards the end of the game over there on the field everyone goes over there underneath the scoreboard and there were a lot of people grabbing me, and grabbing me from under my mask, asking me ‘Who are you, who are you.’
Q. How do you get them to back off?
A. They say ‘Tell me who you are, who are you?’ and I’ll just shake my head and go like, ‘No,’ and I’ll walk away. But the kids got really aggressive on my way to the house to change in and out of my Ram suit. I had to ask a police officer to go with me because I was scared and they wouldn’t let me in. So the police officer was like “Okay guys, give him some room, he has to go change.” It was just scary. But I think the adults, the police officers, they knew what was going on so they just helped me. I haven’t really talked to Mr. Zuberer about it because there’s not much he can do.
Q. What are you going to do if that or something like it happens again?
A. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again, I’ll talk to Mr. Zuberer, maybe he can keep an eye on me. But if it gets aggressive I’m going to stop. It usually happens towards the end of the game for some reason, so I’m not going to go to the end of the field anymore. It’s too crowded and too aggressive, it’s like a sea of people and I can’t get through and what scares me is that… There’s a helmet, inside of the ram head, and when people jerk on it it hurts my neck and I’m scared that someone’s going to pull it too hard and seriously hurt me, I’m scared of getting hurt. So I guess if that happens again I’m going to stop going out to the end of the field, I’m just going to change early and avoid that crowd. I don’t want to do that.
Q. Why do you bother, when you face such aggression and don’t really get much appreciation?
A. Because it makes people happy, people like seeing the ram and I think it’s just all about school spirit. I feel kind of bad because I feel like I’m not a very good mascot. Around that time, 7 to 9, this always happens, I just get so exhausted, and it’s hot, and I get a headache, and then I get dehydrated, and after a while I just stop being happy about it. But I do it because people like it. That’s about it. Sometimes I don’t really want to because I have so much homework, or I’m like, “Will people even notice me if I’m there?” It just seems like nobody really gets excited when I do it. I like supporting the school, it’s just like, is it worth it if people don’t seem excited? Everyone says ‘It’s the mascot’s job to get everyone hyped,’ but, we have a student section with at least 10 seniors in the front, and they’re already kind of doing it for me, I feel like I can’t do much.
Q. What do you hope for, going forward as Rammy?
A. I hope senior year is more lax, so maybe I can actually go to more games. This year’s been so busy… I definitely want to keep being Rammy, but I’d like to make room for other activities. I quit something I really enjoyed this year because I was so busy as Rammy, I’d really like to get back into that and maybe try new things.
Q. Why don’t you want people knowing who you are?
A. I feel like I’ve already told a lot of people, a lot of people know at this point just because I get so excited, I’m really happy to do it but I just don’t really like to tell people because it’s tradition for people to not know. I also don’t want people to say , ‘Oh my god, they’re such a bad mascot, I want to replace them.’ I just don’t want people talking about me. I think I’d get annoyed with it.
Q. How can students show their ‘Ram spirit’?
A. Maybe make posters, or Ram jerseys? I think they’re fine, there’s really nothing more they can do.
Q. Anything more you’d like to say to the readers?
A. I just want to let them know that I appreciate every one of you and I’m so glad that you give the effort to come to the football games and cheer at the pep rallies. I think Rammy will start to attend, or start trying to attend, non-football and basketball games. So volleyball, or swim meets, or even track meets… So if you would like me to come to one of your events, just have your coach contact Mr. Zuberer, and let me know that you actually care about me being there… But most of all I want to say that, if you try to high five me or something and I don’t high five you back, it’s nothing personal; I just can’t see you.