- Where are you from?
You can say Cortland, N.Y. I was hatched back in 1849 down near the Tioughnioga River on a cold winter morning in early February where my mom and dad named me Blaze. You can trace my ancestors back to the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde off the west coast of Scotland. Less than 100 miles from Loch Ness. And we all know who hangs out there. Yes, she is a distant relative, from the Leviathan side of the family as opposed to the Behemoth side. But that’s a story for another time.
- How many teams do you represent?
Twenty-five varsity teams in all, 14 women’s and 11 men’s.
- How were you chosen to be the school mascot?
Cortland decided to make a move from the old Mules name into something more ferocious. Now, I understand mules can kick pretty good when they get their dander up, but I’d like to think a red dragon packed more punch. And firepower. So, I go to the tryout where all kinds of mascots were looking to make the grade and the fur was flying. I saw birds, jungle animals, cats, dogs, even some fruit – I think they were the underwear guys. Anyway, I get my shot in front of the committee and, pardon the pun, I slay them. The rest is history and history yet to be made.
- Do you have any friends that are mascots?
I hang out with some pretty cool sock puppets on occasion but that’s about it.
- What is your favorite campus event?
Now I know most people would expect me to say the Cortaca Jug, which is the annual football game between Cortland and Ithaca. And sure, that’s a great time with thousands of fans. But I love all of the home sporting events – from the gymnastics meets where I show off my own floor routine to lacrosse where I’ve been known to “fire” a few shots into the goal at halftime. I am a little careful at the swim meets, though. I don’t want to make the water boil when I start breathing fire. And I always love making that head-first slide into home plate at baseball or softball. The umps always call me “safe.” The sports are all great at Cortland. But believe it or not, my favorite event is commencement. It’s such a great thing to see the student-athletes get their diplomas after four years of sacrifice on the field, in the gym and in the classroom.
- What do you consider the ideal fan?
The ideal fan always supports the team, with positive cheers and nothing mean. The ideal fan always cheers hard and loud, and does their best to excite the crowd. The ideal fan always gives their support. They love their school and all of the sports. The ideal fan wins without braggin’ And has a soft spot for this Red Dragon.
- What’s it like to be a mascot?
Well, I’m pretty much a rock star around here. But not without a lot of hard work. Up early, working on my mascot moves. Going over film in the film room. Breaking down my last routine. But it’s all worth it when it comes together and I’m working the crowd at a Cortland sporting event.
- What do you like to do for fun?
I like to get together with some Muppets and play golf. Kermit’s always on my team, that way I never miss the green.
- What is your favorite Broadway play?
When former Jets quarterback Joe Namath would throw a bomb to Don Maynard. That is a Broadway play, right? Broadway Joe and a pass play?
- What is your favorite New York State destination?
So many choices and so little time. I do love the Finger Lakes. Especially Seneca Lake. Why? There are hidden caves deep down below the surface where some of my relatives dwell. So, I stop on by and we have a fish fry. Guess who the cook is? Yeah, me. Good times.