“At the interview, I was asked if I had any previous experience with being a mascot or performing. So obviously, I said that I took break dancing lessons in fourth grade. Along with the fact that I have some theater experience,” says Bucky #3. “Then, I had to do an audition in Leavey Center where I demonstrated how I would energize a crowd without speaking since Bucky’s nonverbal.”
So Bucky #3 ran up and down the stadium’s then-empty bleachers, waving their hands in the air to simulate the energy they would bring to sporting events. “My favorite courtside move I demonstrated was my jumping jacks, which I call ‘Bronco jacks,’ to show how I didn’t need to talk to get the fans hyped.”
When one steps into Bucky’s hooves, there are three mandatory rules: Do not get caught speaking, do not appear in partial costume, and never disclose your identity.
Many fans, especially children, try to get Bucky to respond regardless of the rules. Bucky #4 remembers one kid trying their best to elicit a slip-up. “The other day at a soccer game a kid asked me if Bucky liked ketchup or mustard on their hotdog, so I gestured that I like the second option and the kid was very disappointed to find out Bucky likes mustard!”
Despite the rules, the Bucky interns say a huge sense of freedom comes with stepping into the mascot suit. “I love the fact that because no one knows who I am, I can be as eccentric and animated as I want. I love seeing how excited people get when I run out,” says Bucky #2.