Tuffy the Titan, the reigning Mascot Mania king of the Big West jungle met with the Daily Titan prior to a Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball game against UCLA.
Tuffy has strutted his stuff at CSUF events ever since his image was used to publicize the “First Intercollegiate Elephant Race in Human History,” 45 years ago, said Larry Martin senior coordinator of New Student Programs.
More than 10,000 people watched the race pitting pachyderms from Oxford in England and colleges all over the United States.
The Titan mascot remained standing during a visit in the upper gym and tried to separate the bull (elephant) from the myth.
Daily Titan: What is the best and worst thing about being a college mascot?
Tuffy: The best thing about being a college mascot is being able to represent an entire university instead of a smaller institution. Tuffy represents everyone at Cal State Fullerton.
One of the worst parts about being a college mascot is the same thing. You represent everybody so it is a really big job trying to do all of the different things.
It’s tough trying to go to all of the different appearances on campus. You know Tuffy is a busy guy so it’s hard to make everybody happy.
Daily Titan: What is the most unusual event that Tuffy ever attended?
Tuffy: The most unusual event that Tuffy ever attended was also the most fun. It was the Big West Mania Mascot Championship last year at the downtown Disney ESPN zone. Tuffy actually won first place. He is the Mascot Mania champion. The mascots had to compete in a bunch of different games, a hula hoop contest and a lot of other events against their rivals.
Daily Titan: Was snuffleupagus an imaginary friend of yours growing up?
Tuffy: I used to watch him on Sesame Street as a young elephant. I do admire him, but he is a little gentle. I am more of a fighter, a go getter to show other universities how tough we are.
Snuffleupagus is cool, but I like to pave my own way.
Daily Titan: When you visit someone at home do they sometimes not answer because they think you are a trick-or-treater?
Tuffy: Yes, sometimes I get confused with trick-or-treaters.
Daily Titan: Do you know what a buried elephant is, a bump in the putting green?
Tuffy: I did not know what a buried elephant was until just right now. It sort of makes me feel bad because we don’t want elephants getting in the way of people. We’re all just here to have a good time.
Daily Titan: Are golf and jello- wrestling sports?
Tuffy: I think both golf and jello- wrestling are sports, however I have always found them difficult because of my size.
Daily Titan: Do you have any wallet-sized prints of yourself?
Tuffy: Well I am an elephant so it is hard to fit my picture in one small wallet size.
I have had a lot of them, but I am out of them currently because so many girls ask for them.
Daily Titan: On a first date with a girl do they sometimes think you are pretending to be something you’re not-in that getup?
Tuffy: No, I’m an elephant and a
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cool guy. I’m not huge. I’m not out in the wild.
I am just a mascot, but you know, I am who I am.
Daily Titan: Are you ever barred from entry into a function due to their strict and narrow dress code policy?
Tuffy: You know what? Everybody knows who I am and they all know my style. I pretty much get to wear my basketball uniform everywhere that I go. I don’t ever have a problem with a dress code policy except sometimes when I go to the clubs.
Daily Titan: Did you ever sneak into a movie after the one that you paid for is over?
Tuffy: I have been tempted because Tuffy loves to sit and eat peanuts and watch the movies but I haven’t ever actually done it because I may act like a big cool guy but I’m really a scaredy cat who doesn’t want to get in trouble.
Daily Titan: Comedy, horror, chick-flick or musicals, which are your favorites?
Tuffy: Well definitely since I am a cool guy I like to watch the action movies, but because I am all that with the ladies I like a good chick flick now and then.
Sometimes secretly I like to watch good musicals.
Daily Titan: Does it bother you that Bush’s tax cuts only benefited the top one percent of college mascots?
Tuffy: I could see how the tax cuts could affect some elephants, however, I am all for the repealing of the estate tax because I don’t like to pay taxes on my home. I am only a poor elephant.
Daily Titan: Do you find AFLAC ads just as annoying as people do?
Tuffy: Yes I do. I don’t want to talk bad about any of my fellow animals, but maybe the duck could look for a new job.
Daily Titan: Do you eat albacore instead of tuna because of a dolphin friendly policy?
Tuffy: Yeah well, Tuffy is actually a big animal rights activist, but as a vegetarian I do not eat any tuna at all, no fish, no meat, only legumes and beans.
Daily Titan: Is Carrot Top your favorite comic?
Tuffy: Everyone may think that because of the fact that I am a vegetarian, however Carrot Top is questionable.
Daily Titan: Do you do that “raise the roof” hand gesture?
Tuffy: Yeah, Tuffy likes to get down with his bad self every once in a while, you know, “raise the roof.”
Daily Titan: How much peripheral vision do you have? Have you ever stepped on a yard tool-or worse?
Tuffy: I have never actually stepped on a yard tool but there have been a few instances at games when I can’t see the stairs or people who are standing by next to me saying “Hi.”
Little kids are always waving and standing beside me where I can’t see them.
I look like a mean elephant but if I don’t respond it is really because I can’t see them.
Daily Titan: Do you have to juice to get that size?
Tuffy: No, it’s just in my genes to be big and tough. I don’t condone the use of illegal drugs.