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The Ram is arguably one of the most recognizable faces on campus, yet what lurks beneath is widely unknown –until now. Long gone are the days of creepy old men hiding beneath dense felt mascot heads. The Rival is honored to unveil the handsome face and agile feet that have amped up the athletic crowds of Fordham for the better part of 4 years.
Introducing: Ryan Thornton
How did you become the Ram?
Both of my parents went to Fordham, and I have been going to games since I was little. I have pictures of myself in child form with the Ram. I looked up to the Ram. And I said if I ever went to Fordham, I wanted to be the Ram. Senior year of high school, I was at a Fordham Basketball game and talked to the head of sports marketing, Julio Diaz. I introduced myself to him and said I would be attending Fordham in the fall. I expressed interest in becoming the Ram, and requested that he tell me if there was an opening.
I did my first semester of freshman year at Holy Cross, but within the first month I was saying to myself, “What did I do? I don’t know why I didn’t go to Fordham.” It wasn’t the school, it was me. I had grown up with Fordham. I realized that that was where I should’ve been all along. So, I transferred second semester and, within the first week of school in January, I found Julio Diaz’s office. I reminded him of my pipe dream, and let him know that if he needed an extra Ram, or even one the following year, I was in. He said they could definitely use some help and that he would try to get me some games here and there. They only had one Ram at the time…I actually knew him, because he roomed with my current roommates. We got to know each other, and he ended up handing the responsibilities over to me.
So, that’s how I started. My first game was against Rhode Island. My last game was also against Rhode Island (shout out to Billy Murray), and they were both bomb.
What is your relationship with the fans as the mascot?
At games, my primary target is the Ram fans. I’m there to get them pumped. When they are amped, I feel like I am doing my job the best I can. Seeing them excited is one of the most satisfying parts. I feed off the fans; if the opposing team’s fans are messing with me, I’ll mess right back. Like at the Butler game – there was this guy flying a flag up in the stands and pointing at me, trying to get me riled up. I got a little feisty with him. Also, I’m not a super tall dude and so they’ll say things like ‘why is this mascot so small?’ That hurts.
Of all mascots, who would you pick to fight?
The Saint Joe’s Hawk. He gets a full ride just to flap his wings. That is literally it. His whole tuition paid for flapping his arms. That would be my traditional rival. My personal vendetta is against the Towson Tiger. He/she (no one knows) was a dick. He was taunting our fans and was being pretty classless. Most mascots are pretty respectful.
How much do you get paid to be the mascot?
I do not get paid.
Do you list “the Fordham University mascot” on your official resume?
Yes. Yes I do.
Can we see? Just for fun.
It’s hard to hear people, so as far as I know no one has said anything strange. I have been asked to do strange stuff. Usually the strangest things happen at the tailgates. There is less supervision.
What does the inside of the Ram smell like?
Have you ever been drunk inside the Ram?
I know the ram has built in biceps and pecs, does it have any other special built in…Appendages?
You can find out for yourself.
Was there any training you had to go through? Flexibility, agility or any prerequisites?
I met with the cheerleaders freshman year.
Did you have to lift them?
They lifted me.
Do you consider yourself a furry?
I don’t know what that is.
We then showed Ryan this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8x6SE6BJL0
No. Absolutely not. No.
Best thing about Fordham?
Worst thing about Fordham?
What is your fondest memory as the Ram?
It would have to be my final home game in the Rose Hill Gym. It was senior day, and I was just trying to take in every moment and enjoy it. The one moment in particular that stood out is when I met with my parents on the court for a picture. I remember hugging them both and feeling so lucky that I was able to have spent the last four years at the school I always wanted to go to, doing what I always wanted to do – be the Ram.
The day really couldn’t have gotten any better… until 20 minutes later when Antwoine Anderson made a layup with 3 seconds left to win… then it got better.
Well, there you have it ladies and gentleman. He’s the man who makes the Ram dance. We thank you Ryan Thornton for your candor and jubilance. You will be missed at athletic games and beyond.