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Man behind Homer's hot, sweaty mask PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Spencer   
Saturday, 04 September 2004

So, What Do You Do?: Cory Selinger, 33: Getting picked on just one of the perks

  •  Education: Graduate of NAIT's business program.

  •  Occupation: Mascot.

  •  Employer: Edmonton Trappers Baseball Club.

  •  Type his name into a search engine and you'll get: The Drillers indoor soccer team shut down four years ago, but its web page is still up and Selinger is listed as being in charge of merchandising.

- - -

Is Cory Selinger bad luck?

"I've wondered that myself," he admits. "Maybe I am a jinx."

Selinger is one of four people who play Homer, the rotund mascot of the Edmonton Trappers. He also used to dress up as Ball Hawk, the flighty cheerleader for the Edmonton Drillers.

The Trappers are moving to Texas. The Drillers kind of disintegrated.

So what do you have to say for yourself, Mr. Common Denominator?

"I've been in Korea for the last three years. Although that other team (the Aviators) put out the press release that they were folding the day I got back."

Oh God, please don't let the Eskimos put this guy in the polar bear suit.

So how did Selinger get to be Homer? Well, he kind of just called the Trappers out of the blue in 1996, inquiring about a tryout. All of a sudden, he was out on the field leading the cheers.

"There was a guy doing it before me. He just basically threw me into the suit and that was it. I had to immediately develop this personality.

"I was a little shocked, because I thought there would be some training involved."

Fortunately, Selinger was a natural. At the time, Peter Pocklington owned both the Trappers and the Drillers, so it made sense that Homer would morph into Ball Hawk when the baseball season ended. When a new ownership group bought the soccer team, Selinger used his business diploma to get a day job in management.

The sudden demise of the Drillers in 2000 broke Selinger's heart. He decided to get as far away from Edmonton as he could, so he took a teaching job in South Korea.

But he missed those carefree days when he got to dress like a giant baseball, dancing up a storm during the seventh-inning stretch. On holidays when he was back in town, Selinger would call up the Trappers and ask if he could wear the suit for a game or two. Earlier this year, he decided to return to Edmonton permanently.

Now his heart is broken again. The Trappers are going, going, gone.

What will he miss most?

"Getting little hugs from tiny kids that can hardly talk."

Poor guy. Tell us the bad stuff about the job, or we're going to cry.

"There are times when it is plus 35 and it's bat-giveaway night and all these kids are hitting you with bats."

Ahhhh. Thanks, Cory. That makes us feel better.

"I used to pick on mascots when I was in junior high. So now it's kind of just desserts. It's definitely karma. I just kind of grit my teeth inside the suit."

Please tell us that they don't pay you very well.

"It's not a lot of money, but it's better than minimum wage. You get free T- shirts and free tickets sometimes."

So don't feel too badly for the man who was a giant ball. Selinger has already landed a new job with an Internet technology company, netmonks.ca, and you can't go wrong with that.

Besides, it's not like he went to Mascot University for four years. You don't need much education to be a Homer.

"We're just lanky guys who like to sweat for two hours."
 
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