Saint Elizabeth Ann Senton Catholic school hosted the Indianapolis Colt’s official mascot, an anthropomorphic jersey wearing blue horse, Blue.
When Middle School students entered the gym, they walked into a music playing, exciting atmosphere. The only information that had been shared with them was that they were going to hear a talk about the importance of choosing to love over judgment and bullying.
“I wasn’t sure what we were exactly doing, but once I saw Blue, I knew it would be cool,” said 7th grader Ricky Perez.
Blue started his talk explaining mascot rules and etiquette. He stressed the top two: when in costume, never show your face, and never talk. Blue then took off his mask, revealing that Blue was Troy Mock, the man behind the Colt’s mascot mask. Mock had everyone’s full attention. Students were shocked.
Mock then shared his mascot journey, which started at Auburn University as Aubie the Tiger. “It was fun to be a part of something,” said Mock. “It was there that I fell in love with the idea of being a professional mascot.”
After working with both the Atlanta Falcons, and the Buffalo Bills, Mock found his home with the Indianapolis Colts. Appearing as Blue, Mock discovered that he can use his position to spread an anti-bullying message, inspiring students to put an end to bullying, and to choose love. During his talks, Mock challenges students to be themselves and make a conscience effort to connect with those around them. He stresses that everyone can be an encourager and can be the positive force in not only their own life but other’s lives as well.
“Choosing love over judgment is a way to take off your mask. We need to stop being fake, and be our true self,” said 7th grader Ellie Leja. “Blue reminded me that it’s important to accept yourself and others.”
According to Mock, social media has made it too easy for people to hide behind fake walls. “We are not connecting with others because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of being judged, of making mistakes. It happens to everyone; adults and children. This mindset needs to change.”
Mock ended his talk reminding students “to give to others instead of get.”
When he was finished, students erupted in applause. Some even gave a standing ovation. Blue had hit his mark.
“I want to take off my mask and always try to be myself,” said 7th grader Ella Bock. “It was an awesome message Blue shared with us. It was a great reminder that we’re all in this life together, so we should act like it.”
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