Working the first BC Lions game felt like being a part of Vancouver history. I know I’m not from here, but this little boy (and his sister is in the other mascot’s arm) made me appreciate this day a little bit more. He was absolutely beaming to hug Leo.
And let’s be honest, this guy in a mascot outfit is simply a marketing tool of the football club. He gets the crowd pumped up, trots around on the field to reinforce the imagery of the team everyone in the stands are cheering for, and keeps the kids coming back for more and more.
Even when you understand all too well that there is a hefty business reason for Leo’s existence, it’s this one moment that you have to forget this.
In ten or twenty years, this little boy will recount the one year they whipped up a stadium in 111 days for there to be professional, Canadian football to be played here for just one season in Vancouver.
When all the stands are tore down and all that remains is the legacy of an artificial turf field and the four sets of lights, he might recount how his parents took him to a game one day, and even though the Lions lost in the final seconds of the first game to be played in the history of this temporary stadium, he even got to meet Leo and give him a big hug.
That’s why I took this picture.