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Fin Wins! - JUL.30.08

Mascot Fin



<table width=90% align=center border=0><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/fin_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>Well, another eventful Celebrity Mascot Games (16th) in Orlando, Florida and finally after six year, my team WON! Go Team Blue! It was sheer domination by the Blue team as we won 4 of the 5 events and tied for first in the 5th event.<br><br>

With the theme this year being American Gladiators, organizers initially had planned to have an NHL vs NBA vs NFL vs NCAA match-up. But due to low participation by some leagues (the NHL represented in style with 8 mascots in attendance) there was a draft. I was Blue Team Captain and immediately determined what I was looking for in characters based on the events we were going to compete in. Size, speed, agility, and strength were all factors I took into consideration in building a winner. This was my team: <br><br>

<font color=#003e7e><b>Team Blue</b></font><br>

FIN – Vancouver Canucks<br>

Thrash – Atlanta Thrashers<br>

Stanley C. Panther – Florida Panthers<br>

Knightro - U. of Central Florida<br>

Chomps – Cleveland Browns<br>

Big Jay – U. of Kansas<br>

Klaw – Orlando Predators<br>


Before I go into details of the big win I need to give you some background on this event. The Celebrity Mascot Games is an annual event held in Orlando, Florida under the direction of the Central Florida Sports Commission. Although entertainment is a key reason for hosting such an event, the REAL benefactor is a local charity called New Hope for Kids which grants wishes by children with life-threatening illnesses. The event generates funds through gate receipts and an on-line auction, from items donated by each mascot’s organization. The Vancouver Canucks provided a Roberto Luongo autographed stick, jersey, and bobble head and a 2007/2008 framed & autographed player card set. Check out what’s available and <a href=http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZnewhope4kids target=_blank>get in on the action</a>. <br><br>

I made my first appearance earlier in the week with a visit to Arnold Palmer’s Children Hospital on Wednesday. It was great to put some smiles on the face of the children and hospital staff. To my surprise, when I walked into the activity room, I was greeted with a big picture of an orca painted on the wall. Unfortunately, I think Shamu from nearby SeaWorld had an influence here.<br><bR>

Our first performance was on Thursday at a university just outside of Orlando called, Stetson University. This show was a scaled down version from the ones we would do at the Amway Arena on Friday and Saturday. The highlight of this day was finishing 3rd out of 29 mascots in musical chairs.<br><br>

Friday was a day for the mascots to get familiarized with all of the events that we would be performing. We performed in front of a few thousand day campers who brought the roof down with their cheering. There were four sections to match the four teams, Blue, Green, Red, and defending champion, Yellow.


The events were:<br><br>

<b>1.</b> Obstacle Course<br>

<b>2.</b> Hit N’ Run<br>

<b>3.</b> Powerball<br>

<b>4.</b> Assault<br>

<b>5.</b> Joust<br><br>

We ended up finishing 2nd place on Friday, but knew that this was only a trial run and Saturday was where we laid the fur on line! <br><br>

Saturday could not come fast enough. As much as we all wanted to have fun, bragging rights were up for grabs and I was hungry to get my first Celebrity Mascot Games Championship title. <br><br>

The Obstacle Course event was the first up and it required four mascots from each team to compete in a relay-style race with yours truly being the anchor and running across the finish line in a hamster ball. BLUE WINS! <br><br>

The next game was Hit N’ Run where one team is required to walk across three 12-foot planks while another team is attempting to knock them off by launching themselves off a 5-foot riser while swinging from a rope. Each team member was given two chances to cross the beams and I made both attempts. We ended up tying in this event for first place. <br><br>

Powerball was our next event and required an offensive and defensive group from each team. Three mascots from one team are required to put balls into 5 different garbage bins to collect points, while trying to avoid being blocked or tackled by 4 defensive mascots. I chose to have our bigger mascots be on defense as they were harder to tackle and we had our smaller, quicker guys play defense. Once again we dominated this event and in the process take one of the referees with a tackle. <br><br>

Event number 4 was the game, Assault. Each mascot from one team is required to zigzag to barricades and eventually cross a finish line while avoiding to be hit by tennis balls launched by another team from a riser. The goal of this game was to go as many times through the course and scoring points for your team. Once again, Blue was quick and I was able to get through the course four times. Not bad for a whale! <br><br>

The final event and highlight of the Games for the past four years was the Joust event. I was pitted against Captain (Texas Rangers), Raymond (Tampa Bay Rays), and Kid Coyote (Dallas Desperados). After disposing of Captain and Raymond, I took a couple of shots from Kid Coyote before taking him out. My hockey skating provided me with the balance that I needed to perform in jousting. Blue Team ends up winning the joust with 4 ½ wins out of 7! Domination! <br><br>

We were presented with the five foot trophy, posed for pictures, and then carried it over to the Blue section for the fans to enjoy! It was a blast win or lose, but winning sure feels much better! I am hoping this is a sign of good things to come to our hockey team this season. <br><br>

You can check out photos and video of the 16th Annual Celebrity Mascot Games at <a href=http://www.mascotgames.org target=_blank>www.mascotgames.org</a>. In the bottom right-hand corner of the home page is a web stream of the entire show.<bR><bR>

Until next time,<br>





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Fin - It was a pleasure watching you lead your team to victory! Thanks again for signing our jerseys and taking the picture with me. Looking forward to another awesome performance next year.


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