The Pursuit of Pat Riot

The Pursuit of Pat Riot

The pursuit for Pat Riot at first seemed simple. The same routine as always—sources, interviews, etc. Even with Stevenson’s population of over 4,000 students, how hard could finding the person inside the school mascot costume be? 

A good start to any investigative story is the District 125 website. Sure enough, on October 3rd, the Mascot and Pep Club page, as well as the email for its sponsor, Jeff Blezien, were located in minutes. Less than ten seconds after sending an initial email, a mysterious response was received: “Address not found.”

While this was a minor inconvenience, it was by no means a dead end for this article. The logical next step was reaching out to Ted Goergen, the director of student activities. To our dismay, Goergen explained that no one had replaced Blezien since his move to California. 

We soon learned that even if a club has no current sponsor, it can still have participants. An offhand comment from a student claiming to know the mascot’s identity led to further questioning. After some back and forth interactions, we were merely given a first name and an activity the mascot was involved in. With little more digging, we finally had a full name, and better yet an email address. 

However, from October 5th to October 7th, the faint glimmer of hope grew weaker. Continuous email replies from an anonymous source led from one obstacle to another until the final dead end. The last reply stated that Pat Riot doesn’t interact with students, regardless of granted anonymity. The student behind the mask is impossible to find. 

At this point, finding a needle in a haystack was a more practical pursuit than having an interview with Pat Riot. Apparently, mascots really are like celebrities; everyone has heard of them, but no one has actually met them. When someone is so popular yet ambiguous, how can they make an impact? 

“Mascots add personality to the games and to the Patriot Fanbase—something I think people on both sides of the field can enjoy,” Alastair Tutty ’23 said. “They also entertain and engage the audience to make the games more fun.”

However, to create such an impact is not an easy task. According to Tutty, being Pat Riot not only requires a high level of enthusiasm, but also a great deal of physical strength. 

“To be the mascot I think it takes a lot of energy as well as an outgoing personality,” Tutty said. “You also need to sit in a heavy costume for multiple hours. I can’t imagine that it is comfortable.”

For the benefits that the mascot provides, some find there is still room for improvement. For instance, Eungyul Moon ’24 suggests wardrobe changes every once in a while. 

“I think if the mascot can dress up according to the themes like spirit days, they can get more attention from the students and might inspire some students to participate in those activities,” Moon said. 

According to Stevenson Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach Pat Ambrose, Pat Riot should have more involvement with the fans. This involvement not only raises school spirit, but also sparks more entertainment at games. 

“I just wish the mascot would interact more with the fans and lead the fans to have more fun,” Ambrose said. 

For Ambrose, one way for Pat Riot to make themself more available to students is to give away bobbleheads of themselves at games. Whether this be through rallying a crowd or by giving away prizes, he feels they would boost the Patriot spirit in an even more profound way. Now if only those bobble heads came with voice boxes…