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Archive for Tuesday, October 11, 2011

40 years ago: Baby Jay ‘hatched’ at recent Homecoming game

October 11, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 11, 1971:

The recent Homecoming weekend at the University of Kansas had been exciting on many fronts. Don Fambrough's Jayhawks had routed arch-rival Kansas State 39-13 before a record crowd of 51,617, the largest gathering at that time in Kansas history for any sporting event. Bob Hope had also set attendance records at his show in Allen Fieldhouse, which had attracted 12,561 fans. Another happy event had occurred at the football game. During halftime, a huge blue egg had been rolled to the 50-yard line and out had popped Baby Jay. The hatching, witnessed by thousands of spectators, was the brainchild of KU sophomore Amy Hurst. Amy's idea of having a smaller bird to follow the Jayhawk mascot around had been approved during the previous year by the KU Alumni Association, whose members invited Amy to make a costume over the summer. "I thought she'd come back with a little cloth outfit that wouldn't be good enough, and we'd have to tell her, after all that work, that we couldn't use it," said Eldon Puett, who was then representing the official mascot. After a summer of hard work, Amy had returned with a 25-pound fiberglass frame that was a perfect smaller replica of the bigger Jayhawk outfit. Big Jay spent a week teaching Baby Jay "how to strut and kick in Jayhawk fashion" while members of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity assembled a huge blue egg "as an appropriate vehicle for a new Jayhawk's debut."

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

Years ago I met a very charming young woman who, at the time, put on the Jawhawk mascot outfit and ran around during football games, being the: K.U. Jayhawk!

She told me that she was actually quite shy, but from inside the Jayhawk outfit no one could recognize her, and that gave her such a wonderful and liberated feeling that she loved playing the part!

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