Mascot Meetup

What happens when UAB's four mascots get together?
Story by Laura Jane Crocker • Illustrations by Rachel Hendrix
Illustration of Beauregard T. Rooster, the Pink Dragon, Blaze, and Blazer the Warrior around a table, looking at an eye chart; headline: Mascot Meetup
What happens when UAB's four mascots get together?
Story by Laura Jane Crocker • Illustrations by Rachel Hendrix
BLAZE: Now that everyone’s here in Bartow Arena, are we ready to start?
PINK DRAGON: Almost. We’re waiting for Beauregard to stop reciting his routines. No one’s watching, yet he continues to strut around the court.
BLAZER THE WARRIOR: He sure loves to relive his glory days. But he was our most popular mascot for quite some time. Don’t tell him I said that, though. We can’t have his beak getting any bigger.
1219 mascotmeetup beauregardBEAUREGARD T. ROOSTER: Hi, everyone! Sorry to keep you waiting, but I know it’s a big deal to see me in action, so, you’re welcome.
BLAZE: Hello, Beauregard. Glad to see you haven’t forgotten your old bits. I’m thrilled we have the gang together to celebrate UAB’s 50th anniversary. I thought it would be nice to reminisce and share a few stories about the good old days.
BEAUREGARD T. ROOSTER: Well, it sure is great to be back at the alma mater! I haven’t made an appearance at UAB in 27 years—and so much has changed.
PINK DRAGON: As the first mascot, I’d like to say that even though I wasn’t the biggest crowd-pleaser, I still love the green and gold! And pink, of course.
BLAZER THE WARRIOR: I enjoyed playing a part in UAB’s history, even though I have a reputation for being a bit scary. Was it the giant sword? Is it because I appear to be yelling all the time? I really am a fun guy!
1219 mascotmeetup blazeBLAZE: It’s pretty obvious that we’ve seen and done it all over the past few decades. Especially you, Beauregard. You always knew how to get the crowd going. I’d love to hear about some of your moves.
BEAUREGARD T. ROOSTER: Our Blazers have always loved a good laugh! I interacted with everyone on and off the court: the crowd, officials, the band. I was all over the place. My best bit was donning a white coat and holding up an eye chart for referees who made bad calls. It was a fan favorite, if I say so myself!
BLAZER THE WARRIOR: Yeah, but it did cause a bit of trouble with the officials, Beauregard. If I remember correctly, a few complaint letters were written about your behavior at the Sun Belt Conference during the 1980-81 season.
BEAUREGARD T. ROOSTER: You can’t please everyone! And those referees were always a tough crowd. Fortunately Coach Gene Bartow was quick to stand up for me back then. If only he had let me stick around for the football team’s move to NCAA competition. It’s crazy to say I wasn’t the right fit for the job!
BLAZE: Now don’t go speculating, Beauregard. It wasn’t so clear cut. Your resemblance to the San Diego Chicken caused a bit of controversy.
BEAUREGARD T. ROOSTER: I’m far more handsome than that plain piece of poultry!
1219 mascotmeetup pinkdragonPINK DRAGON: Yes, it’s easy to see why you were beloved, Beauregard. The Blazer fans weren’t really fond of me. Apparently jumping out of a box at a basketball game doesn’t bring enough pizzazz.
BLAZER THE WARRIOR: I know how that feels. Even with my snazzy light-up cape, I couldn’t conquer their hearts. I was vanquished after six months.
BLAZE: In my experience, the Blazers do prefer plenty of enthusiasm—and a kid-friendly face. I love performing with the cheerleaders and firing up Blazer spirit all over Birmingham. Fire—you see what I did there?
BEAUREGARD T. ROOSTER: Of course, Blaze! A key element of being a UAB mascot is putting on a good show. I used to get a good laugh out of the crowd by putting fans’ heads in my beak. Although the large amounts of hair product used in the 1980s often left an aftertaste.
PINK DRAGON: I didn’t really see much excitement from fans. They never even gave me a name! Ugh, I feel like I’m on the verge of an identity crisis.
BLAZE: Now don’t have another episode. Legend has it that your costume was handcrafted by the wife of a UAB vice president. That has to feel special, right?
PINK DRAGON: Oh yeah. Check out the fur. Even after all these years, I’m still the best-looking mascot here.
1219 mascotmeetup warriorBLAZER THE WARRIOR: I don’t know about that. I’ve had plenty of time to work out. Look at these biceps—and my military-grade mustache!
BEAUREGARD T. ROOSTER: I won’t apologize for being photogenic, but my star power doesn’t seem to matter much nowadays. The students are all so focused on their phones that no one even recognized me! No one asked for a photo. It really ruffled my feathers!
PINK DRAGON: It’s a shame no one stopped to marvel at you, Beauregard.
BLAZE: All right, everyone calm down. I believe it might be time to start thinking about lunch. It seems like Beauregard is getting a bit peckish.
PINK DRAGON: What are we in the mood for?
BLAZER THE WARRIOR: We can decide on the way. Should we ride together?
PINK DRAGON: Definitely. We mascots may have changed over the decades, but one thing has stayed the same at UAB—the lack of parking.
BEAUREGARD T. ROOSTER: I call the front seat!

Meet the mascots

Pink Dragon (1978)
The fluffy, unnamed pink dragon debuted alongside men's basketball. He failed to charm the audience and disappeared by the next season.
Beauregard T. Rooster (1979-1992)
Originally a Halloween costume created and initially worn by UAB employee Frank Sutherland, Beauregard enthusiastically entertained fans. The San Diego Chicken's threatened trademark infringement lawsuit—and concerns that a chicken wasn't an appropriate symbol for an NCAA football team—led administrators to consider a new mascot.
Blazer the Warrior (1993)
Selected by a committee of faculty, staff, and students, Blazer became controversial as soon as he stormed the Bartow Arena court. The imposing, Viking-like warrior frightened children and was retired by football season.
Blaze (1996-Present)
The familiar, friendly green dragon is a Blazer fan favorite at UAB athletic events. He also frequently pops up at other campus happenings, around the Birmingham area, and on Instagram.

• Follow Blaze on Instagram and learn more about the UAB Athletics Spirit Program.

Published December 2019