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'Behind the Mask' is a triumph of mascot storytelling

 

There was a bit of a debate earlier this month on whether the Dodgers should have a mascot  after a guy dressed as a bear was escorted from Dodger Stadium after jumping on the dugout and trying to rally the fans during a playoff game.

No matter which side you fall on the mascot debate, you will enjoy writer/producer Josh Greenbaum's “Behind the Mask,” a 10-part documentary on sports mascots that started Tuesday on Hulu and Hulu HD.

The series focuses on four mascots and the men who portray them: Jon Goldman, who is the 'Hey Reb' mascot for Nevada Las Vegas;  Kevin Vanderkolk, who is Bango for the Milwaukee Bucks; Chad Spencer, who is Tux the Penguin for the minor league Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey team; and Michael Hostetter, who is Rooty the Cedar Tree for Lebanon (Pa.) High.

"Behind the Mask" shows all the ups and downs of being a mascot. Parts of it are hilarious, parts of it are sad. All of it is entertaining. It is brilliantly told, and should clean up come awards time. All the series needs is a mascot of its own. Let's see, where did I put that Emmy Awards costume?

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