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Meet Baby Mangino: Wichita infant now famous KU fan

Eight-month-old Bode Lubbers, who earned national Internet fame recently for his likeness to Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino, posed for pictures recently at his Wichita home.

Eight-month-old Bode Lubbers, who earned national Internet fame recently for his likeness to Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino, posed for pictures recently at his Wichita home.

February 22, 2009

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Kansas Jayhawks football coach Mark Mangino.

Kansas Jayhawks football coach Mark Mangino.

Bode Lubbers has been featured on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” among other public appearances, but has not yet met his mentor, Mark Mangino.

Bode Lubbers has been featured on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” among other public appearances, but has not yet met his mentor, Mark Mangino.

— Not long ago, it came to light that Baby Mangino — the rotund infant who recently earned a great deal of national attention for his Halloween costume depicting Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino — did not actually go trick-or-treating as a college football coach.

This was revealed on a Tuesday evening last month, as Baby Mangino was lounging on the carpet of his family’s home, sucking on his fingers. Baby Mangino, who is actually 8-month-old Bode Lubbers, lives at the end of a cul-de-sac in an affluent Wichita neighborhood with his mother, Angie; father, Billy; and five older sisters who sometimes tie his hair into a ponytail. Bode has big, curious eyes, a plop of sandy-colored hair and arms that are simultaneously soft and blocky in nature — like marshmallows stacked on top of each other.

Being a celebrity baby — like Bode very much is — is kind of like being an ordinary celebrity in the sense that people tend to make assumptions about you and your personal life. And at the moment, Angie was clearing up some common misconceptions about her son’s New Hallow’s Eve exploits.

“Everybody likes to think that Bode went trick-or-treating as Mark Mangino,” she explained. “But five-month-old babies generally don’t go trick-or-treating.”

As it happens, turning your baby into a bite-sized version of Mark Mangino is not an especially difficult task. It requires a miniature KU track suit ($24.99, Target), a tube of brown Mary Kay eyeliner ($10, consultant) and approximately five minutes. Having each of these things handy one evening a couple of weeks before Halloween, Angie — long noticing the resemblance between Bode and Kansas’ Orange Bowl-winning coach — tugged the tracksuit onto her son, penciled on an eyeliner mustache and snapped a photo. Pleased with the outcome (“He gave us his best Mark Mangino look that day,” Angie admits), she drove to Walgreens, had 20 “Happy Halloween” cards printed, sent them to some friends and family members and kind of figured that that would be that.

Instead, the photo was met with quite a bit of fanfare, and before long, it had found its way onto the Internet, where — as is known to happen in these sorts of situations — one person sent it to another person who sent it to another person, until one day, presumably, someone at the sports-media Web site Deadspin.com opened an e-mail, found a mustachioed infant looking back at him, and decided — understandably — that this was something that needed to be shared with the world.

And so it was.

Since then, Baby Mangino has been popping up all over the place. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, hosts of ESPN’s ultra-popular “Pardon the Interruption” program, devoted a portion of a recent show to Baby Mangino, as did MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. Bode has been featured on multiple local news channels, meanwhile, and not long ago, he earned the distinct honor of being named Deadspin’s Sports Human of the Year, after winning an online competition pitting him against such household names as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, ESPN personalities Erin Andrews and Chris Berman and the writer/editor Buzz Bissinger.

It would be understandable if Bode’s recent foray into the national limelight resulted in boosted feelings of self-importance, but he has mostly managed to remain level-headed about the whole thing. Yes, he kind of expects his parents to wait on him hand-and-foot, and sometimes, in the occasion that his apple juice is not presented in a timely manner, he can get a little whiny. But otherwise, he is a very easygoing and likable baby. When he smiles up at you, with drool leaking out of his mouth and dribbling down his chins and landing in a pool on his Kansas football T-shirt, it is very difficult to dislike him — even if you are trying to.

When he is not busy impersonating college football coaches or appearing on SportsCenter or winning sports human of the year awards, Bode spends a great deal of his time engaged in normal baby pursuits: eating jars of Gerber baby food, playing in his Johnny Bouncer, being chauffeured about town by his parents. His favorite pastime, however, seems to be challenging the structural integrity of various household items. He does this by picking up an object, looking it over for a moment or two, and then placing it in his mouth, where it is subjected to a lengthy and strenuous gnawing-on.

Stationed on the floor of his family’s living room on a recent Tuesday afternoon, for instance, Baby Mangino feasted upon — at one point or another — a yellow plastic block, an elastic headband, his fingers, a toy race car, a string of his sister’s hair and the rubber nipple on his bottle of apple juice.

“His doctor says he’s a snacker,” Angie explained.

Due largely to these snacking tendencies, Bode’s frame has developed a bit of girth over time. Despite entering the world at a very average 7 pounds, 11 ounces, he is now tipping the scales at a very husky 27 pounds (and growing). As a result, Angie sometimes finds herself surprised at just how robust her only son has become. A few weeks before Christmas, for example, she was shopping at the department store Von Maur when she decided it might be a good idea to pick up a “Baby’s First Christmas” outfit for Bode. She looked and looked, but unable to find an outfit in her son’s size — 18 to 24 months — Angie approached a sales clerk.

“Excuse me,” she said. “I cannot find anything bigger than 12 months.”

“Well, you wouldn’t want a size 18 months,” offered the clerk, “because it wouldn’t be their first Christmas.”

In the case of their youngest child emerging as such an Internet sensation, Angie and Billy express feelings of bewilderment, like they are not quite sure, in the aftermath of it all, how the whole thing seemed to happen. But seeing as how it did happen, they have decided that the appropriate next step would be to snap a photo of the Manginos together. Currently, it is unclear if Adult Mangino is aware of Baby Mangino’s existence — or how, exactly, the 2007 national college football coach of the year feels about being immortalized by an 8-month-old infant from Wichita.

This has not managed to dampen the family’s hopes, however.

“We just need somebody to set us up with Coach Mangino,” Angie said.

Right about then, Bode, who was in the process of consuming the head of a toy penguin, emitted an extended burst of flatulence that sounded a little like a machine gun. His older sisters, recently home from school, giggled from across the room, and Angie looked down at her smiling baby, made a funny face and said, cooingly, “You’re gassy!”

She then turned back toward a visitor, smiled and went on to say she hopes a meeting between the two Manginos can be arranged sooner rather than later.

“After all,” she said, wiping a stream of slobber from Bode’s chin, “He’s not going to look like Mark Mangino forever.”

Comments

jesusturds 5 years, 1 month ago

haha mangino is cute and the baby is fat...

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 1 month ago

I bet she breast feeds him, that is why he is so fat.

So what is it they want? A photo of Mangino and the baby together? A press conference with Perkins and Hemenway.

And what is with those sisters, tying his hair into a ponytail. Don't they know Baby Mangino will be the next Gay KUHomecoming Queen aka Marcelina Mandingo doing the fandingo.

What is really news anymore? And I thought those people were rich, they live on an affluent cul de sac. They are lucky, in Lawrence they would live on a cul de sac full of efflulent.

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Mixolydian 5 years, 1 month ago

That Mang-baby photo is milk out your nose hilarious!

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dozer 5 years, 1 month ago

Now HOOTS gets famous for such an idiotic posting. Brainless for sure. Yeah Hoots, the kids fat b/c what 8 month old doesn't eat cheeseburgers? IDIOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and at 5:57 AM, you were so proud of your posting, so proud….puke…puke…puke…

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middlemgmt 5 years, 1 month ago

What a cuttie patootie! Healthy babies come in all sizes and they do grow out of it!

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edjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

I love how a lot of the posters are telling us how to raise a kid when they know absolutely nothing about it.

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weluvbowling 5 years, 1 month ago

"I'd wager that those who are linking this to obesity have never had kids."

I was thinking the same thing this morning when I read this article and the first 3-4 to post were putting the family and reporter down. Although it looks like a couple may have been removed.

One questioned the article being newsworthy...I had to wonder, do things have to be violent or disheartening to be newsworthy? I actually enjoyed the article and appreciated the smiles so early on a Sunday morning. I too would like to thank the reporter and LJWorld for posting it!

He's a cutie! I babysat a child that was 3 months old and weighed 27lbs - he grew out of it!

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GardenMomma 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, a 27 pound baby boy at 8 months old puts him above the 97th percentile for weight. Maybe cut out some of the juice, shouldn't be drinking juice from a bottle anyway, bad for the teeth.

But, the parents are probably already aware of this fact. Whether or not they choose to do anything is their choice - ours is not to wonder why.

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mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

He is a very cute kid. 27 pounds seems a little heavy for a 9 month old, but I agree with other posters. Babies lose their weight as they become more mobile. Doctor doesn't seem concerned, why should the public?

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TacoBob 5 years, 1 month ago

No worries here, my spouse and I had a 'baby M' at one time, unbelievable amounts of baby fat. Didn't last long, all kids are skinny as rails now. I'd wager that those who are linking this to obesity have never had kids.

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Christine Anderson 5 years, 1 month ago

I would be concerned if this baby's weight is still this high after he gets "mobile". Yes, there are babies that can be this chubby, and grow out of it. For Bode's sake, I would be scared if he were still that "rotund" when he started kindergarten. At that point, it would no longer be funny. But, like other posters have said, the rest of the family is not overweight. So, for the here and now. This baby is hysterically cute!! I needed a good laugh today, and the photo of Baby Mangino with the Mary Kay mustache did the trick. I do not know Coach Mangino, but I can recommend someone to contact who does. The parents could call Don Bushell at Hobby Lobby here in Lawrence. He is a great guy himself, and a friend of Mangino, and he'd probably get a huge kick out of helping the two "Mangino's" connect.

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Belinda Rehmer 5 years, 1 month ago

I love the way this article was written! I giggled and laughed all the way through it. What a light amusing article in the midst of local, economic and environmental woes... and angry blogs! It's so enlightening to see a happy, healthy family with a sense of humor!

“After all,” she said, wiping a stream of slobber from Bode’s chin, “He’s not going to look like Mark Mangino forever.” I hope the family gets together with Mr Mangino!

Thank you Dugan Arnett and LJWorld!

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Confrontation 5 years, 1 month ago

It's kind of like overweight pets. This child has no say in what's put in front of him to eat, but it's obviously too much. Heart conditions can start very early.

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greenworld 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh I spose its okay as long as you dont shave the hair up on top of his head. Hey its your kid not mine. I just think its a little bit strange. I can arrange a photoshoot with Mangino as I know him personally if you want. Yeah I think Mangino weighs a little bit less than your baby. lmao

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jonas_opines 5 years, 1 month ago

"I don't care what anyone says."

translation: I've made up my mind and I'm done thinking.

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tightlikespandex 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't care what anyone says. That kid has a bit more then the average "baby fat". The doctor needs to not be so nice, saying "he's a snacker" and tell them like it is..please DON'T let your child weight 500lbs when hes an adult.

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alm77 5 years, 1 month ago

Cute kid, indeed! I love the way this article's written. Great job Mr. Arnett!!

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beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Pretty funny ... but adjust the child's feeding habits? Seriously? Look at the rest of the family! If the entire family could pass for the coach, then we could talk, but this is a chubby little baby, which is perfectly healthy and natural. It is the coach who is overweight, not this baby. Geez!

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Confrontation 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, babies can have baby fat and be a little chunky. This baby, however, is quite a bit beyond that. I do hope they adjust his feeding habits as he grows. Still, he's a cute kid!

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Deja Coffin 5 years, 1 month ago

greenworld and hoots, they aren't purposely making their baby fat, just acknowledging that he looks like Mangino. They're not sitting there saying, "oh shoot, just 10 more pounds and we've got Chris Farley." Lighten up. The mother in the article even said herself she was shocked her only son was so big. But since it's just baby fat she's embracing it like a good mother. Great article and cute kiddo!

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Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 1 month ago

opps the glasses did not help. that should read able not cable and the rest of the bad spelling I sorry.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 1 month ago

now that I have my glasses on I can finish, I do not know of any 8 month old cable of eating a cheeseburger so if a parent is giving their kid one then they are trying to kill them. There is nothing wrong with this baby, he will most likley grow out of this chunky phase and by the time he hits 5 be a skinny little kid. So hoots who I would say is kidless get a life.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 1 month ago

hoots if you are feeding an 8 month old cheeseburgers then you should go to jail.

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jumpin_catfish 5 years, 1 month ago

Our son was a chubby little chunk when he was a baby but he's a big strong healthy hunk today. So Hoots take a hike and lighten up.

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edjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

The family should trademark "baby mangino" and sell endorsements. Sell the rights to produce t-shirts at Joe College.

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Chris Ogle 5 years, 1 month ago

A lot of babies are fat but they lose it once they begin to crawl a lot or walk. That's why there's the expression, “Baby fat.”

trust me, that "baby fat" comes back at middle age.

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greenworld 5 years, 1 month ago

I would be concerned. Obesity is a huge concern and I bit Mangino wouldnt ever want anybody to idolize him due to his weight. Also there is other problems such as juvenile diabetes which can be a whole lifetime of problems. Think parents think. This is not even worth laughing about.

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ksmax 5 years, 1 month ago

TOO CUTE!! As for the people concerned for this baby's weight, you can look at the rest of the family and see there are no weight problems. He is just an infant!!

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hilary 5 years, 1 month ago

...and last time I checked, 8 month olds don't eat cheeseburgers.

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farmgal 5 years, 1 month ago

Agreed, davidsmom, Hoots doesn't know what he's talking about. You are correct that a lot of babies are "fat". And, yes, they lose it once they start getting mobile. If they don't, then, maybe, you could worry about them becoming a fat adult.

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davidsmom 5 years, 1 month ago

Hoots, you obviously don't know anything about babies. A lot of babies are fat but they lose it once they begin to crawl a lot or walk. That's why there's the expression, "Baby fat." One of my children was as fat as Bode as a baby but he became a very "normal" sized child and he's a very fit 21-year-old now.

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davidmm 5 years, 1 month ago

I want to thank this kid for all the smiles that picture gave me and everyone I forwarded it to. And here's to hoping he grows up to be the spitting image of Brad Pitt!

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Hoots 5 years, 1 month ago

Now we get famous for how FAT we are no matter how young. WELL fed for sure. Not a news story but a sad story. Yeah Mom, make him as FAT as he can be. Give him onlother cheese burger and bestroy his life. IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and so proud....puke...puke...puke..............................................................................

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nobody1793 5 years, 1 month ago

That baby couldn't pass rush his way out of a paper bag...

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