Football players take the Game, Mascots Bring the Spirit

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DOTHAN -- They have pumped up the fans at their alma maters since the late 1970s. They even get the best seat in the house for the game. They are the beloved team mascots.

Dothan resident Danny Richards knows what it is like to be one of the firsts. He played Aubie, the mascot of Auburn University, during the 1980s. He said that it made his Auburn pride grow even more throughout his years in the stripes.

"When you're playing Aubie you get to see the true love, the family, just how deeply people feel about Auburn," Richards said.

He greatly enjoyed pumping up his team's fans but said the role came with a great deal of hard work. He was expected to be at alumni events, pep rallies, and any place Aubie's appearance was requested. This was in addition to all of the football, basketball and football games. But, he said the work was certainly worth it.

"The fun definitely outweighed the stress of doing it all but it was a lot of work," Richards said. "When you're in that costume, you're playing a role that everybody loves the character, everybody wants to be that guy."