Everybody’s squawkin’ about the bird

St. John’s recently adopted the
Thunderbird as its mascot, and with such a decision comes various opinions from Red Storm fans cheering or jeering right along with the University’s
new feathered friend.

“If you don’t have a mascot, you don’t really have school spirit,” said freshman
communications student Amari Carpenter. “The new mascot gives St. John’s an identity to fall back on that
wasn’t there before. The [New York] Mets have Mr. Met. You just recognize it.”

The soon-to-be-named Thunderbird was unveiled over the St. John’s Red Storm Facebook page and was formally
introduced to soccer fans at Belson
Stadium Friday in between the women’s and men’s games, spreading school spirit throughout the nearly packed
stadium by high-fiving fans and
taking pictures with them.

“He seems like he’s very into the games,” said freshman Andrew Berry, who was in attendance Friday when the mascot was unveiled. “He’s not just goofing around out there.”

While some think Red Storm is a tough nickname that doesn’t lend itself to a
personified mascot, others think “Red Storm” is just vague enough for any
mascot idea to work.

“I think it’s a good idea because you’re bound to get more free stuff,” Carpenter said. “It makes people go to games.”

But, despite the various marketing campaigns promoting the new mascot, some fans still aren’t aware that the Red Storm has a crazed costumed supporter pumping up the crowd at home games.

“I only saw him for the first time
today on the Great Lawn,” said freshman
business student Greg Stepanian.

Stepanian also said he is unsure what a thunderbird has to do with a Red Storm.

“I don’t see a connection, but the fans did,” he said.

In fact, some fans don’t even think that the school’s athletic teams benefit from having a costumed bird cheering on the Red Storm at games.

“If the teams are better, that alone would create incentive to go to games,” said freshman criminal justice student Jigar

Some fans just don’t care about seeing another cheerleader on the sidelines
rooting on the Red Storm. They think the teams alone should get kids out to games.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with getting kids to games,” said senior
management student Karl Folkes. “If the teams are good, I could care less about the mascot.”

But whether they like the new Thunderbird mascot, Red Storm fans have their own ideas of how he could entertain during commercial breaks and timeouts.

“They should put him on strings and have him fly over the crowd at basketball games,” Stepanian said.

Carpenter took a more athletic approach in utilizing the bird.

“I’d have the mascot go through an
obstacle course against a fan at halftime at basketball and soccer games,” he said.

Nelson took a more dangerous and daredevil-like approach to the marketing the new mascot to St. John’s fans.

“I’d have him jump through a ring of fire,” he said.

Berry just wants to see more fan promotions on the horizon.

“I want the airgun t-shirt toss,”
he said.