As Lehigh prepares to take on Lafayette in the 159th annual Rivalry game this Saturday, Lehigh’s mascot, Clutch the Mountain Hawk, is gearing up to bring the energy to Goodman Stadium.
The Brown and White spoke with Clutch to hear about the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry experience through his bird’s eye view.
Question: How do you get Lehigh pumped up?
Clutch: The most important thing is school spirit. Going around campus the week before. Everybody going to the events…especially the bed races, the rallies and everything leading up. Just building up that energy before going to the game and having the whole stands full with the student section going crazy.
Q: What’s your pregame meal or snack?
C: The leopard.
Q: What’s your hype song you listen to before the big game?
C: The Lehigh Fight song.
Q: What’s a normal day in the life for Clutch?
C: Well Clutch is always in the gym. Like always in the gym. Anytime he’s not on the field, he’s in the gym just getting bigger. Always Taylor Gym.
Q: What about getting ready for the games? Any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
C: Usually just getting ready in the locker rooms with the team and then running out with them. Waving to the fans as they enter the stadium.
Q: Do you interact with fans?
C: Interact? Yes, but not talk. A lot of interaction, but no speaking.
Q: How does the Le-Laf energy differ from any regular season games?
C: For a lot of regular games, unfortunately, a lot of students with their busy schedules can’t really come out to the games. But Le-Laf it’s just absolutely full stands — everybody going crazy because it’s our rival and it’s such a long rivalry. It’s just completely a different planet.
Q: What’s your favorite part of Le-Laf?
C: Definitely the game.
Q: What’s it like representing Lehigh in such a unique way?
C: It’s always been very interesting to see the other side of it. And then to have old alumni come up and recognize you and (say), ‘Yeah, we love this team. We’ve been here as students 30 years ago.’ It’s a very cool way of showing appreciation for the school.
Q: What’s your favorite part of Clutch’s identity?
C: My favorite part is definitely the looks on people’s faces when they see me or maybe if they’re surprised by me, say they walked around the corner but I was walking that way, and they’re (shocked).
Q: What’s your favorite memory?
C: The Le-Laf basketball game last year, the entire students’ fan section was full. And then, every time Lafayette was shooting a free throw, I would just go over and go like this (mimicking a bow and arrow), and then they would all just follow that. Yeah, it was very interesting. A lot of control.
Q: Why do you play such an important role at Lehigh and even more important during Le-Laf?
C: I think it’s very good for morale because a lot of people say they’re just walking into the stadium (and) every time they see Clutch, they just light up. It’s something that really gets them in the mindset (of) ‘Oh, this is our game, this is our rivalry, it’s gonna be a great day’.