I work with some amazing clients. If you’ve watched my picture posts, you know that I work with some very famous characters, too–Santa and Mrs. Claus, Buc-ee the Beaver (Folks in the South know who he is.), and an NFL mascot known as Toro.
This year, I had the privilege of attending the Houston Texans’ Halloween game where they honored Toro’s achievement as NFL Mascot of the Year 2021. He earned that award as well as the Anchor in the Community award, both of which were voted on by his peers (i.e., the other NFL mascots). I’m super proud of the young man whose face we don’t see, who embodies the bull costume and bullish attitude, and, doubly so, proud that he won the award in a PANDEMIC YEAR. I know some of you are thinking, “Why is this so extraordinary?” First, he was confined to a stage for every game, yet he still gave it his all. He and his team came up with all kinds of creative skits, and he wore crazy, eye-catching costumes (mostly made by yours truly, but definitely a collaboration on design). Second, he wasn’t allowed to do his in-person visits to see the community kids he loves so much, so he found all kinds of other creative ways to reach out to them–like holding Zoom visits to classrooms, riding the window washers’ dolly up the sides of the hospitals, and creating silly TikTok videos on social media for them to enjoy. The mayor of Houston even honored him with a proclamation, indicating that October 31 was now officially TORO DAY.
So, how on the hot plains of Texas did I ever get to meet this amazing guy?
Toro and I met almost four years ago when his alter ego (whom we’ll call Andrew) did a web search on seamstresses who could handle making costumes for mascots and sent me an email inquiring about my skills and services. Honestly, I thought it was a joke. Why on earth would anyone from a professional football team be reaching out to me? I mean, seriously . . . he GOOGLED me???? Good sense and curiosity got the best of me finally, and I replied. I figured, if it was real, it could be a lot of fun. If it was fake, then I merely wasted five minutes in replying.
Well, the reply resulted in many emails back and forth and finally an in-person consultation.
Not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I will admit to being blown away when I opened the door to find Andrew on my doorstep in full Texans regalia, Toro costume in its VERY large bag, and the Houston Texans van parked a few feet away. Okay . . . it IS real. Just breathe, Heather.
I look back on that now and laugh. I admit, I was expecting someone who was full of himself. I’ve certainly had my share of client-zillas, and I was wondering if this guy was one in the making. I am happy to say that my worrying was unfounded. Andrew is quite simply the nicest guy you will ever meet. He’s creative, excited about his job, passionate about the kids he visits in the hospitals as well as the kids he visits across the city with his anti-BULLying campaign, and he just loves being with people.
The initial consultation was about a tuxedo (which he has worn a GAZILLION times by now), but over the past four years we have collaborated on and created some truly awesome costumes, some of which have even been shown on national TV—and, yes, HE is as excited as I am when that happens. I’m extremely proud to be a part of a team who is enthusiastic about what they do, both on and off the field. He, just like Santa Claus, is the most visible part of the team, but as there are about twenty or so of us who make Toro “go,” he stands on the horns of some very strong individuals . . . and that’s no BULL.
Until next time dear reader!