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Behind the beak: Alumni have fond memories of wearing Golden Eagle costume

The+Golden+Eagle+has+been+a+key+part+of+Marquette%27s+athletic+image+for+years.
The Golden Eagle has been a key part of Marquette's athletic image for years.

The Golden Eagle has been a key part of Marquette's athletic image for years.

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

The Golden Eagle has been a key part of Marquette's athletic image for years.

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Dan Carcamo, a 2016 graduate of the College of Communication, vividly remembers the first time he wore the Golden Eagle mascot costume for the tryout during fall semester of junior year.

He had to suit up in the brown bird costume with a gold Marquette jersey on the front and interact with fans. Marquette Athletics personnel were watching him and judging his interactions with fans.

“I was super excited,” Carcamo said. “It was at a women’s soccer game, and it was super fun. I loved interacting with the students and the parents. I tried out with another guy, and unfortunately, he didn’t get the job, but I did.”

Carcamo was one of the few people to go behind the beak for the next two seasons.

Fellow alumni Travis Beeber, a 2017 graduate, and Timothy Sharp, a 2016 graduate, were also mascots. The three of them found the anonymity equally thrilling and nerve-wracking.

“It was cool because you got to show a side that you wouldn’t necessarily show because nobody knows who you are,” Sharp said. “It was definitely different.”

“To be more of an idiot, a goofball and to be more crazy without anyone knowing — I found that to be super funny,” Carcamo said.

Anonymity was a big part of the job, but finding ways to manage time and schedules was a bigger challenge for the trio. The mascot made appearances at nearly every home sporting event. Between two basketball teams, two lacrosse teams, two soccer teams and a volleyball team, there were 78 home games in 2015-’16.

Dealing with school work on top of being at every home sporting event was also a difficult task. Beeber was a nursing major an Sharp was in engineering and balancing schedules and communicating with each other became just as important as wearing the mascot suit.

“For the most part, between the three of our schedules, we were able to maintain the job pretty well,” Beeber said.

Sharp described dealing with children as “the best part” of being the Golden Eagle.

“The students and the parents are there to watch the game, but the kids are there to play around and watch and mess around with you,” Sharp said. “Socializing with a kid is a lot different than socializing with a student, where they are there to watch the game.”

Beeber enjoyed working volleyball games because he developed relationships with fans at a much closer level than at men’s basketball games.

“There was always this family, and they had two daughters with special needs, and they were in wheelchairs and used iPads to talk,” Beeber said. “I always tried my best to interact with them and they actually got me a gift card during the holidays because they knew that I was always the tall eagle who would make an effort to say hi to them.”

All three said they miss working games and interacting with fans. Carcamo’s first season away was particularly difficult as he’d see Snapchats from his friends and wish he was still there.

“I wished I could have been there for the NCAA Tournament and the Villanova win,” Carcamo said. “The experiences you get are great — and being on the floor with the team — the dancers and cheerleaders, it was great to hype everyone up and be that force to help drive the team and fans.”

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