Catching a football isn’t that hard. Catching a football when you’re dressed head-to-toe in a two-footed Lion costume? That seems a good deal harder, but Penn State’s mascot pulled off exactly that in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night.
Washington quarterback Jake Browning rolled out in the third quarter and tossed this pass out of bounds. The Lion was ready.
What a sport. pic.twitter.com/WFkbZ1vxEN
— David Ubben (@davidubben) December 30, 2017
It’s not often you get a pass directed right at you when you’re in full mascot gear, and it’s probably not an easy task to reel that in when your hands are covered in “fur.” Just look at the Lion celebrate. He’s earned this.
— Alex Cawley (@Cawley_WTAJ) December 30, 2017
For more on the Lion, here’s Penn State’s website:
The Nittany Lion as Penn State’s mascot originated with Harrison D. “Joe” Mason ’07. At a baseball game against Princeton in 1904, Mason and other members of Penn State’s team were shown a statue of Princeton’s famous Bengal tiger as an indication of the merciless treatment they could expect to encounter on the field. Since Penn State lacked a mascot, Mason replied with an instant fabrication of the Nittany Lion, “fiercest beast of them all,” who could overcome even the tiger. Penn State went on to defeat Princeton that day. Over the next few years, Mason’s “Nittany Lion” won such widespread support among students, alumni, and fans that there was never any official vote on its adoption.
The Nittany Lion is essentially an ordinary mountain lion (also known as a cougar, puma, or panther), a creature that roamed central Pennsylvania until the 1880s (although unconfirmed sightings continued long after that time). By attaching the prefix “Nittany” to this beast, Mason gave Penn State a unique symbol that no other college or university could claim.