from Kevin Kurz of The Athletic,
Sharkie hung from the rafters, 40 feet above the ice surface at San Jose Arena. He was helpless. He couldn’t go up, and feared an unexpected descent. It was March 12, 1999, and the San Jose Sharks’ beloved mascot was in trouble just before the game against the rival Red Wings was set to start. The man inside the costume was afraid of heights and while he dangled, his extremities numbed.
Fans watched in wonder, and maybe amusement. Broadcasters and reporters, high up in the arena, saw the spectacle at eye level. Players first joked about it, then worried he might plunge to his death. And inside the costume, Sharkie sweated and waited for help to arrive.
This is the tale of the harrowing 20 minutes that might have signaled the end of mascot-related stunts in sports arenas. Might have....
Randy Hahn, Sharks play-by-play announcer: You think at first that’s part of the routine, and then after awhile everybody’s waiting for him to finish with the routine, and it becomes apparent that he’s caught. He’s stuck. It was bizarre. I was working with Steve Konroyd, the former NHL defenseman at the time. Now we’re in two modes — first of all, you’re concerned that the guy’s going to fall, right? That’s the first concern, for his well-being. Then it became kind of apparent that he wasn’t going to fall, he was just stuck. Now we’ve got to keep talking about this, because we’re on the air live.
Randy Hahn with the indicent, watch below.