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Collegian Magazine Friday, Oct. 9, 1981
return to play:
Lion job more than fun and
By CHRISTINE ERB
Collegian Staff Writer
Most Penn State sports fans are familiar
with the Nittany Lion mascot who romps in
the end zone at football games, does push-ups
and passes through the crowd of fans each
fall. But very few people know much about
the.man inside the furry brown suit, or realize
how much work is involved in being the
Roy Scott (10th-speech communication)
has been the Lion since Fall Term-of last
year. The Lion has responsibilities to Penn -
State athletic events and to the community,
he said. Scott attends all football games, all
home and some away basketball games, and
as many other sporting events as he can.
The Lion also appears at sorority and
fraternity fundraisers, pep,,allies, alumni
banquets and community events. He
estimates that he has made over 200
appearances as the Lion, averaging four or
five a week.
Scott said the Lion's image has three
aspects. He must be skilled in all sports, so
that he can participate in all events. He must
be a comedian to keep the crowds entertained
when the game gets slow and he must be good
"Little kids get really scared of the Lion," •
Scott said. "The Lion has to act very tame
Being the Lion has had quite an effect on
Scott. He has learned to speak in public and to
communicate with all types of people on a
one-to-one basis as a representative of Penn
The time required obviously affects his
lifestyle. Often, Lion duties conflict with
Scott's studies, especially during basketball
season when,there are games in the middle of
The alumni are not told which music selections they will
be playing until 9 a.m. the day of the Homecoming game.
They practice the music and marching formations from 9
One of the biggest events at the University in the Fall has a.m. until 11 a.m., "so we don't look like a bunch of ducks
traditionally been Homecoming Weekend. And, on the field," said Robert Johnston, a clarinet player and
traditionally, one of the most-entertaining parts of University graduate in 1929.
Homecoming has been the Alumni Band. . This year's theme for the halftime show is the 300th
The Alumni Band was formed in 1963, and a number of anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth of
faithful band members have returned every year since. Pennsylvania. After the Alumni Band does the downfield
Joseph Machlan, the oldest Alumni Band member, has charge, they will spell out "alums" and play a few songs.
been back annually since 1968. "We'll probably do the old college songs from way
"I just enjoy it,", said Machlan, a 1926 graduate in back," Johnston said. "Then we'll do a razzle-dazzle
electrical engineering. "I've always enjoyed playing in the number for the younger folks, and a jolly old number for
band." Boston College as a little tip 'o the hat."
Another Alumni Band member uses Homecoming as an When the Blue Band joins them on the field, the alumni
excuse for an annual family reunion. will form the outline of Pennsylvania and the Blue Band
"My two sons are Penn State graduates as well," Harold will form the number 300 in the center.
J. Koch, class of 1932, said, "and they're in the Alumni '-- In past years, the Alumni hand members have just worn
Band. We see it (Homecoming) as a chance to get together white shirts and p
dark ants for their uniforms. This year,
every year." though, they will add a touch of class with white jackets
Each year, about 250 alumni return to the band. They are and blue caps. _ .
contacted by mail every August by Blue Band Director Most of the alumni will-be using their own instruments,
Ned C. Deihl, who sets up the halftime show and selects the but the Blue Band will provide some of the drums and the
music that the Alumni Band will play. - larger horns.
By ANNEMARIE McDONALD
Collegian Staff Writer
the week. The important thing, he said, is
learning to budget his time.
The, ion must also be in good physical
shape. Scott runs and does from 300 to 500
push-ups a day to keep in shape. This training
came in handy, for example, at the Colgate
game last year, when he did over 360 push
ups, and at this year's Cincinnati game, when
he did 244:
"The push-ups are tiring, but the hardest
thing is just being in the suit for that long and
always moving around. You sweat an awful
lot in the suit. The hardest thing is just
keeping up your endurance." ,
Scott said that rising over the heads of the
crowds at football games is not "just a fun
ride to the top." He goes home with bruises on
his arms, back and legs as a result of rough .
handling by fans.
. The Lion's 18-pound suit also takes quite ac
beating. Scott said the one he has now is
• patched up, but a new one should be here for
the Homecoming game. It will be a little
lighter in color than the present suit, because
many people thought the old one looked more ' -
like a bear than a lion.
What makes Scott want this position which,
obviously is not all fun aid games?
All through high schobl..he said he was
involved in athletics and then played on the
water polo team at the University his
freshman year. Because he wanted to be
active year-round, he became a cheerleader
the next year and became friends with Norm
Constantine, a former Nittany Liori. He'
decided he wanted to follow in Constantine's
He and 65 others applied for the spot at the
end of Winter Term: Frey of them were
interviewed, and only 10 actually tried out in
the Lion's suit. They performed skits to
music, displaying dancing and athletic skills.
Scott was chosen the fourth week of Spring
By the end of football season last year, he
said he was a little discouraged because being
the Lion took up so much time. He said he had
second thoughts about coming back as the
Lion this year, but that, "When you look back
on it you realize all the fun you get out of it."
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Collegian Magazine Friday, Oct. 9, 1981
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