by Katrin O’Grady
It’s not uncommon to get a glimpse of a large, enthusiastic, bearded man in a kilt, walking around the Leonard Center or cheering at Macalester home games. Otherwise known as Mac the Scot, our mascot is a beloved face on campus, and one that will literally always be wide-eyed and smiling. However, Mac the Scot is technically only 12 years old, since making his big debut at the football home opener in 2005.
In the September 23, 2005 edition of The Mac Weekly, contributing writer Joe Parilla ’08, justified the position of the mascot and the incredible impact Mac would have on campus. Parilla argued that Mac the Scot would become the most important athletic cheerleader on campus. “Since Macalester is about as likely to develop a cheerleading squad as they are to hold a Bush rally,” Parilla noted, “this is going to be the most significant news in athletic rah-rahhing for a few decades.”
Parilla assured his readers that Mac the Scot put Macalester first in the MIAC, in terms of mascots that is. Granted, within our conference, this feat mainly consists of not making your college and mascot names one and the same. Parilla railed, “I mean, what the hell are Pipers, Tommies, Johnnies, Oles, Gusties and Cobbers? Those aren’t even words; most schools just added an ‘ies’” to their names.”
The identity of students who don the mascot costume is highly classified information. The secrecy of mascot-wearers began at Mac the Scot’s inauguration. In the 2005 article, Parilla interviewed one such student, who of course remained nameless. Despite withholding their name, the student (let’s call them Student A) did divulge some information on what it’s like to dance around in a large fuzzy costume for hours. Student A remarked, as I’m sure many of you can guess, that it gets extraordinarily toasty inside the costume, particularly early in the fall season when temperatures have yet to settle. Specifically, Parilla reported that Student A “worked the football opener in 90 degree heat, and fleece does not breathe.” On the same thread, Student A recommended the position as a great way to lose some weight.
Though a relatively recent piece of Macalester’s history, Mac the Scot is no less important than more archaic constituents. Having given hundreds of high-fives and hugs, greeted hundreds of fans and starred in who knows how many pictures, Mac the Scot is an integral part of the athletic scene in addition to elevating us to best in the MIAC.