This spring while the VCU Men's Basketball team was getting noticed on the court, Rodney the Ram was winning fans over in the stands. The post-season run helped secure VCU's mascot a place in the 2011 Celebrity Mascot Games hosted by the Central Florida Sports Commission to benefit New Hope for Kids. This is the 19th year the event will take place; it is held annually at the Amway Center and Stetson University.
Rodney will be participating in events alongside some famous competition from both collegiate and professional teams. Mascots from the Baltimore Orioles, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Astros, Louisiana State University, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Texas Rangers, University of Kansas, University of Oregon, and Stanley Cup finalists the Vancouver Canucks will be in attendance.
The games will take place starting on July 27th until August 1st. From their arrival in Florida, the mascots have a schedule heavy with appearances including visiting the Arnold Palmer Hospital, autograph signings, a trip to Universal Studios, and a dinner where they will be performing skits. On Thursday, July 28th the games will begin at Stetson University and on Friday and Saturday the group will travel to Amway Center and conduct a second competition there.
All of the mascots will be split into two teams of seven and two teams of eight. Captains will be selected upon arrival and then it will be their responsibility to select their teammates. They will then decide which mascots will participate in which events. Some of the games include:
The Eliminator—a relay race where mascots will go through a tube of tires, and tag their teammate at the end. The teammate will then get inside a giant hamster ball and race to the finish line.
The Mascot Squeeze—a game in which mascots will sort through a giant bowl of keys until they find one that will unlock the designated team's car. Once the car is unlocked they have two minutes for the team captain to ferry as many mascots over by tricycle and then stuff as many as possible in the vehicle. The car that fits the most mascots wins.
Joust—mascots must fight atop four-pedestal joust inflatable.
In addition to the games and appearances, the trip will also include a silent auction and an online auction as well. The profit made from both of these auctions, and each of the shows will be used to provide financial support for New Hope's on-going programming. The Celebrity Mascot Games silent auction will start on eBay on July 29th. Fans can also visit www.mascotgames.org to bid on sports memorabilia.