Atlanta Hawks Mascot – Harry the Hawk
The Atlanta Hawks’ official mascot, Harry the Hawk, is popular with lots of Hawks fans. To an outsider, he can look like an ordinary mascot, but those in-the-know will tell you different. Back in the day when many of the teams’ mascots didn’t even exist, the Hawks already had a mascot that’s as popular today as it was in 1985, when the mascot was first introduced – that’s more than forty years! Quite a lot of work for a bird, if you ask us.
Harry the Hawk, however, wasn’t alone all the time. At times, he was assisted by the venerable Skyhawk, who possessed a little more athletic prowess than our beloved Harry.
Skyhawk was a human-like mascot with athletic prowess that would put other avian players to shame. Skyhawk’s success hinged on his attractive slam-dunks that he would perform with the help of his mini trampoline.
But now we’re talking about Harry the Hawk.
As stated, Harry hatched on Oct 25, 1986. He lives in the rafters of the Philips Arena. Being the most popular bird in Atlanta, his goal is, of course, to see the Hawks win the NBA Championship and he does his best to help make that goal reality.
However, Harry the Hawk is not all about the games. When not supporting his team on the field, he’s on and about doing charity work and supporting various social programs. In fact, his schedule is so busy that it would wear out a human, let alone a bird, but he perseveres. He is known for flying around from venue to venue, with little time in-between. With about 200 to 300 public appearances a year – not counting the games – he barely has enough time to rest his wings.
This includes various appearances at charity fundraisers and schools. In fact, kids used to get free tickets for the games if they read enough books! He truly loves children and has stated at times that his unique anatomy (he can’t talk due to his beak) allows him to make friends easily. It’s all about the mimes and the touch, he claims.
It’s not as if he’s complaining about his salary, though. He only gets premium worms and bags of quality birdseed… Alright, alright. The exact figures are unknown, and are likely a business secret, but it is rumored that the salary hovers around the six-figure mark. Not too shabby for a hawk.
Lest you think that being a mascot is easy as pie, there are certain risks involved. You might break a few bones… or something worse. He has also had several run-ins with Robin Lopez, a notorious mascot abuser, against whom he had to defend by threatening him on Instagram. As they say, give them a taste of their own medicine. The revenge was sweet – Portland center Robin Lopez lost the staring contest against Mr. Harry the Hawk. Take that, you wet blanket!
You’ve probably noticed the hard work of a mascot, and especially of a bird of prey, when he had a horrible accident resulting in… groin trauma. Twice!
He decided to try the stunt again… walk about stubbornness! Ouch! And his dancing prowess is legendary, as well. Even though Harry isn’t too proud of it, stating that it’s not important to know how to dance, but simply to look like you do (Birds. Aren’t they a tricky bunch, huh?). He also has a knack for pop music, as many of his fans would attest.
The real identity of Harry the Hawk, that is, the man inside the mascot, is a closely guarded secret, and the guy prefers it that way. We understand, as due to all the publicity, it feels nice to be low key when you really need some time off. Besides, the job really is physically demanding so some rest is needed, even for hawks.
High Atlanta Hawks being on the rough run lately, his goal right now seems out of reach. But we hope our little Harry will live to tell the tale.