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Thursday (Punching Goldy Gopher) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Sports Updated: March 10, 2011 - 8:43 AM

By now, pretty much the whole state has heard the STORY OF THE YEAR, by which U of M mascot Goldy Gopher was punched at a gymnastics meet by an annoyed University of St. Thomas professor.

As someone who regularly engages mascots -- often asking to pose for pictures, shouting at them from great distances and even frequently yelling to T.C., "Take it all off, bear!" to which T.C. shakes his sad bear head (seriously) -- we have to ask some very important questions in the wake of this story. We also want to put out the bat call for a potential follow-up.

1) What is a good guideline for how long the average fan will tolerate the light-hearted antics of a mascot in his or her general vicinity at a game?

2) Should we really be yelling at T.C. in that manner? Do we risk a mauling?

3) Is there a polite way for a fan to tell a mascot to get out of his face? You know, without physical assault? Or is a fan always going to look like the bad guy and get booed by the folks around him?

We're looking for real answers in the comments. We're also looking for your tales of mascot woe for possible publication in the Newspaper of the Twin Cities. Former mascots: Tell us your best stories. E-mail us at mrand@startribune.com today. Fans, you do the same if you have had a mascot-related showdown.

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