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Jim Miller – The St. Joseph’s University Hawk Mascot

By Admin | October 10, 2007

Jim Miller is a senior student majoring in political science at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For the past two years he has been the St. Joe’s Hawk mascot – a job that comes with a full university scholarship and the requirement that he keep his wings in motion throughout the games. Jim gives us his thoughts.

Why did you decide to try out to be the Hawk mascot?

I’ve always been a big St. Joseph’s University basketball fan and it just seemed natural that I at least try to be the Hawk and luckily for me it worked out. I am having a great time experiencing it.

What are the other duties that go along with being the mascot?

I appear at various charity events and even will make a showing at a wedding for some pictures if I’m available. As the Hawk, I am also a manager for the team and that requires attending practices and helping with various team activities.

How many hours a week do you spend being the mascot/basketball manager?

During the season basketball becomes the second major part of my life, the first being school. In season we have practice roughly 6 days a week for about 2 hours a day plus there are things that need to be done prior to and following practice. So, I spend a good portion of my free time with the team.

What is the selection/audition process to become the Hawk mascot? How many other students did you beat out for the job?

The process consists of an application and various interviews. The application requires an essay as to why you want to be the Hawk and what it means to you. When I was selected there were 8 other applicants, I believe, and the selection committee narrowed the field from 9 to 4 to 2 and finally I was selected.

Before the start of the season what do you do to get your arms in shape in order to be able to “flap your wings” several thousand times a game?

Basically, I try to keep in shape in the off season by keeping active and refereeing CYO basketball games. As far as my arms are concerned, I have various charity events that I go to throughout the off season and these help to keep my arms used to the stress. I also work out once the season starts to get myself in “game shape.”

Do you do ice your arms or do anything specific after the game to recuperate?

Not really.  My arms are usually just a little sore in the beginning of the season, but as the season goes on, it’s not really a problem. My main concern is to make sure that I stay hydrated before, during, and after the game. So, after the game I usually drink a good bit of Gatorade.

Do you ever go into the locker room to take a break or take a rest at half-time?

No! Once I walk out of the locker room before tip-off I don’t stop flapping until the game is over and I walk back into the locker room. There is no half-time break. 

How much does the costume weigh? Doesn’t it get awfully hot in there?

The weight isn’t a huge factor; I mean, for the most part, you get used to the weight in the body of the costume. But, the heat is always a factor.  There are just certain arenas that are really hot, but again, just with everything else after some time you get used to the heat too.

How much of a “cool factor” goes with being the Hawk mascot?

I would like to think that I’m a pretty modest person so on most occasions I don’t go around telling people that I’m the HAWK, but my friends however think it’s awesome so they usually tell everyone for me. Once people fully grasp the concept that I am actually THE Hawk, they are usually filled with questions and think that it is cool.

Who is the chief mascot rival for the The Hawk?

I would have to say the Villanova Wildcat, but there has been some bad blood between the Temple Owl and The Hawk, so it’s tough to choose only one.  Fortunately, I haven’t really encountered much hostility from other mascots during my term

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