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Syracuse Orange: Why Otto the Orange matters to me and to the ‘Cuse

Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

First off, I’m starting this post by saying congratulations to Otto the Orange and all of those who’ve assisted in Otto duties over the years for the Syracuse Orange. Otto joined the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Indiana, this past weekend.

This alone is worthy of a blog post but I wanted to do more than that just because for years, Otto has been a symbol of joy and pride for many Syracuse Orange fans including myself. Otto is not just a mascot but a part of my life that I cherish and even at 50 I still get excited to see.

You see Otto often on the field/court and kids flock to him. You see Otto dancing and joy fills your heart. You send Otto to just about every sporting event Otto can manage. Otto even occasionally attends special events, including my wedding thanks to some amazing Twitter friends/family.

Otto has often taken part in viral video campaigns and is featured many times by some in the media. And I think many Syracuse Orange fans will remember Otto has also appeared in numerous ESPN “This Is SportsCenter” ads, including this latest one.

Why Otto the Orange matters to me and the Syracuse Orange.

I’ve lived overseas and in five states and whenever I’d see Otto, I’d be so happy whether Otto was on TV or someone’s shirt because Otto was symbolic of home for me and the team/university I’ve always loved passionately. Even at 50, I still have to have my picture taken with two figures, Tully the Turtle when I go to a Tully’s and Otto the Orange. Once upon a time, my aunt even baked a special Otto cake for me.

One could debate why an area known more for apples than oranges embraces the idea of being the Orange. But regardless, Otto the Orange has embraced Otto’s role in the community and as a symbol of school pride and spirit for many. And I’m unsure what Otto would be if Syracuse’s school colors were still pea green and rose pink but I know that by embracing the Orange theme as much as possible, it makes me happy.

In a world that can often be overwhelming with busy schedules, political divisions, financial struggles and being an adult in general, sometimes it’s so necessary to escape reality and be able to find joy where you can. Otto dances and loves on everyone and Otto’s mission is to simply bring joy to ‘Cuse fans of all ages. And who better to represent the Syracuse Orange than a lovable and fun Orange whose only purpose is to make people smile?

Thank you Otto for the many selfies and memories. Thank you Otto for the times you made me smile and the times you made my heart happy. Thank you Otto for representing Syracuse University in such a loving and positive light. And congratulations Otto on this long overdue honor that I and many Syracuse Orange fans love and adore.

Next. Syracuse Orange: What if you were the ‘Cuse athletic director for a month?. dark