state's mascot was just run over by the ESPN golf cart… pic.twitter.com/0NmjbzYHRT
— Luke Shemwell (@Lucipher_Shem) November 29, 2013
Last night, during the Egg Bowl game between Ole Miss and Mississippi State, an ESPN camera cart struck the Mississippi State bulldog mascot and broke the leg of the person inside the costume.
Though the sight of a mascot in pain might be humorous to some, this was serious: Michaela Mills – the person inside "Bully" the bulldog suit – had a compound fracture and needed emergency surgery Thursday night and a second surgery on Friday to repair her broken leg.
Mississippi State's Athletic Director Scott Stricklin had this to say on the incident:
Keep Michaela Mills in your prayers. She's the MSU student in the Bully costume who broke her leg last night. Get well soon. #HailState
— Scott Stricklin (@stricklinMSU) November 29, 2013
The world of amateur athletics is murky enough, but who knew these brave men and women braving the elements in plush suits of personified animals would be the ones risking personal injury, and not just the players. Michaela Mills is so committed that even with a bone protruding from her leg, she never removed her mascot head as she was whisked away on a stretcher. That's toughness personified.
Michaela Mills might never mascot again, but the team she loves won the Egg Bowl, finished 6-6 on the season and is now bowl eligible. Maybe in the bowl game she can mascot from a safe place, far away from ESPN's golf carts.