APRIL FOOL’S: This article was published as part of The News-Letter’s annual April Fool’s edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious about its reporting.
Following the Blue Jay mascot’s makeover last month, The News-Letter has finally been able to obtain an interview with Jay the Blue Jay himself regarding his opinions on the drastic changes.
The new mascot design debuted on Feb. 16 at the men’s lacrosse team home opener. Sarah Jones, marketing coordinator for Hopkins Athletics, wrote in an email to The News-Letter that these changes are a refreshing and much needed new take on the classic Blue Jay design.
“The future? It’s happening today. You don’t have to imagine a world that has a more welcoming Blue Jay greeting prospective students and cheering on crowds at athletic games– it’s happening now,” she wrote. “We are all for progress as a university, and our mascot is just the first stage. By the end of this decade, we’re planning to unveil even more exciting developments for the University and its global standing.”
Public opinion, however, has been split on these changes. Sophomore Eric Barry was among the crowd at the lacrosse game, and also part of the majority of students critical of the mascot’s makeover.
“I think it’s weird. We had an entirely fine Blue Jay mascot before, aside from those teeth – it took me a whole year to get used to them,” he said. “Now I’ve returned from winter break, and I come back to learn that the mascots changed again? I don’t have the working brain cells for this.”
Barry went on to explain why he does not like the new mascot.
“It’s just weird, man! Those eyes stare back at me all hollow-like,” he said. “I don’t know why anyone would volunteer to be the guy behind the mascot.”
Barry was last seen being carried away by members of the private police force. It’s uncertain as to why he was being detained, and the University refuses to answer further questions. Ranaivoarijaona, too, refused to address any of the negative outlooks on the new mascot.
It took pure luck to be able to corner him for an exclusive interview in a room monitored by administrators. As the Blue Jay took a seat across from our reporter, it stared blankly at the other person at the table, face stuck in a perpetual, twisted grin. After turning around and taking a brief glance at the administrators lurking outside the room, the mascot began to answer our questions in a hushed voice.
N-L: So, what inspired the change in–
BJ: Listen. I’m sure you have some good questions but this is kind of an emergency. It’s me, Eric.
N-L: Wha- wait. Eric Barry?
BJ: Yeah... Oh god. It’s been a real bad couple of weeks. I’ve basically been trapped? In this mascot thing for 2 weeks– they haven’t even let me out of the damn blue jay to take a shower. It REEKS in here.
N-L: Backtrack a bit here… Who’s forcing you to be there? Who trapped you?
BJ: It was the University, man! I say one thing bad about their mascot, next thing I know I wake up and I’m being told that I’ll be the guy behind the mascot for the “foreseeable future”– ugh, whatever that means!
N-L: What’s your routine as the mascot? Have they let you out much?
BJ: Besides one or two home games… not really? I mean, I know they keep me in some sort of underground building under Hodson during off-time. I sleep… sleep a bit more. Honestly, I probably have a better sleeping schedule than most of the students on this campus. I just can’t take the damn costume off. All my eating? Done through a tube they let slip through the zipper. It’s plain inhumane, man! I feel like I’m being treated like the mascot, not like a real person.
Before other questions could be asked, an administrator entered the room and ended the interview. The last we saw of Barry was the mascot being pushed out of the door. His current whereabouts are unknown.
The inhumane treatment of the Blue Jay Mascot Barry has been reported to security, though it’s unlikely further action will be done to free Barry. A Gofundme has been started in his name, created in order to do… something. At least the money helps.