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nine year old mascot commits to auburn

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9-year-old mascot phenom from South Dakota commits to Auburn

Updated Jul 3, 8:15 PM; Posted Jul 3, 3:25 PM

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By Jeremy Henderson

Nick Ellerbroek may just be 9, but he's looking to break the record of youngest professional mascot. (Courtesy photo)

Auburn doesn't currently offer full rides to promising "Friends of Aubie" or anything. But if they want Nick Ellerbroek to keep his verbal commitment solid for another nine years, they may want to start.

Ellerbroek, age 9, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is currently the hottest mascot prospect on the planet. Forget ESPN and Rivals--we're talking Guiness rankings. Or at least we probably will be come fall.

"We've submitted the date of his first appearance (to the Guiness Book of World Records) and we're hoping he'll break the record of youngest professional mascot," says mom Angela Ellerbroek.

Angela says the current record holder got his first mascotting job when he was exactly 5.18 years old.

Nick's got that beat by a year.

Of course, the Ellerbroeks have to prove it with witness letters and videos and all that stuff. But that shouldn't be a problem. There's footage and photos galore on "the Mini Mascot's" Instagram and Facebook and YouTube pages. And 20,000 or so were there to witness when in 2013, at age 4, Nick flew to the Windy City and hit the court at the United Center in the homemade costume he'd been wearing around the house for four months.

The Ellerbroeks weren't Bulls fans or anything. Sioux Falls is nearly 600 miles from Chicago.They were just Googling around for videos of Thunder, mascot for Sioux Falls' NBA G League team, the Skyforce. When they couldn't find any, they just typed in "NBA Mascots."

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"That's when (Nick) saw Benny," Angela says. "He was just infatuated with him."

Like, really infatuated. Her red dish towel would go missing and she'd find Nick using it as a Benny tail. And when Halloween rolled around, she didn't even need to ask. She bought a Benny mask, chopped the head off an Elmo suit, ordered the smallest Chicago jersey she could find, and voila -- a star was born. He was three years old.

A few months later, just for kicks, Angela, an editor for a monthly Sioux Falls women's magazine, sent the Bulls a video of the now four-year-old Nick in character.

Get that kid out here, they replied.

The family obliged. Benny introduced Mini Benny. The crowd went wild. Nick ate it up.

The Ellerbroeks knew they were onto something. When they got home, they didn't wait around. Minor league baseball was about to start.

"We had a friend that worked at the Sioux Falls Canaries that used to be a mascot, and we'd go to games all the time," Angela says. "He knew about the Bulls thing and said we should do something for the Canaries. So he and I and my husband Craig brainstormed and came up with the idea of Peep."

That would be Peep, sidekick to the Canaries' main mascot, Cagey.

Peep was such a hit the team actually featured him in a commercial.

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When hockey season rolled around, Stomp, mascot for the Sioux Falls Stampede, got a sidekick, too: Tip Toe.

When the Minnesota Timberwolves came to town for an exhibition NBA game, Angela reached out to their man behind the mask. She told him about Nick, about his appearance at the Bulls game.

Would Crunch the Wolf maybe want some help from a Mini Crunch?

Absolutely.

And that's how it happened. And it keeps happening.

He doesn't do anything on school nights (except as Sonia Sotomayor Elementary's wolf mascot, Justice), but between the Sioux Falls teams, the University of South Dakota, and various big league franchises the Ellerbroeks now have connections with through pro mascot camps (that have made age exceptions for Nick), Nick is now up to around 60 performances a year as a pint-sized protege to some of the most recognizable mascots in professional sports.

He's ridden an ATV into NRG Stadium alongside the Houston Texans' mascot Toro. He's led a Kansas City crowd in the seventh-inning stretch as Mini Sluggerrr.

When there's an opportunity to partner with a new team, Mom just puts in another call to Amazing Mascots, Inc. out of Chicago and tells Kelly the owner how much Nick has grown since the last order.

It can get pricey, sure, but thankfully some teams actually travel with miniature versions of their mascot's costume, the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters (yes, the Globetrotters) for instance.

In 2015, when the Ellerbroeks heard that good ol' Globie wasn't going to be able to make the game in Sioux Falls, Nick came to the rescue.

Now Mini Globie is one of his regular gigs, and it's not just for games. In March, he joined one of the Globetrotters at an anti-bullying assembly at his school, and even tagged along for the visit to Sanford Children's Hospital.

"We have a very good relationship with the Globetrotters," Angela says. "He usually does one (performance) a year with them as Mini Globie. We know all of them. We text them. We'll go out to dinner."

But Angela insists that the unique family tradition isn't about rubbing elbows, but helping her son pursue what has become a passion.

"Nick's not into it to meet the players," she says. "They're kind of irrelevant to him. He couldn't really even name any."  

That's not to say there aren't perks. Mom and Dad still get to be on the court and everything while the Bulls warm up, because Nick's still doing Chicago once a year. Mini Benny actually has his own handler now, helping him with props, helping him zip through crowds of kids on the hoverboard the folks at Razor sent him--they follow him on social media--and running interference to keep drunk women from hitching rides on the back of the mini bike the folks at Razor also sent him.

"He's started riding (the mini bike) up and down the steps (at home), which is what Benny does at the games," Angela says.

At home, when Nick's not doing what Benny does at the games, he's watching what Benny does at the games.

"He doesn't play a ton of video games," Angela says. "He will sit around and watch YouTube videos of mascot competitions."

If that's the case, then it's really no surprise that the hottest mascot prospect on the planet recently told Sioux Falls' KDLT that he plans to one day bring his talents to Auburn University, home of the most decorated collegiate mascot in history.

"I like Aubie because he has a great tail and I'm obsessed with tails," Nick says. "I like his dance moves, and he's funny. He just seems really cool."

Earlier this year, Angela posted a photo of Nick wearing a paper Aubie mask he made himself to Aubie's Facebook page. Aubie responded, asked for the Ellerbroek's address, and sent Nick a bobblehead.

"Whoever it is that's doing Aubie really knows what they're doing," Angela says. "Nick just loves his moves and his character."

Maybe it's because they seem so familiar.

The guy currently playing Benny the Bull? Yep, a recently-graduated former Friend of Aubie who helped bring home the 2016 national mascot championship.

"Isn't it crazy that Nick would pick Aubie out of the blue like?" asks Angela, who along with her husband attended Mankato State University.  "We've never even been to Alabama."

They'll be pretty close in a couple of weeks, though. The Mini Mascot has a (currently confidential) appearance in Atlanta scheduled for late July.

Atlanta's only about 90 minutes from Auburn, I tell her.

"Well, we should probably set up a time for Nick to come down to meet Aubie and see Auburn."

She laughs.

"They could ink up a contract for him."

Jeremy Henderson runs the popular Auburn culture website The War Eagle Reader. He lives in Auburn with his wife and three kids. Follow him on Twitter: @wareaglereader

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Edited by ellitor
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That is so freaking awesome.  Thanks for sharing.  I see more mascot national championships 10 years from now.  Also cool to see our Aubie friends getting work with big time teams after college.  These are things that make Auburn so special.  Having accolades in all the little things, not just the major sports.

Edited by AUBwins

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elliter if you did this dammit just keep your recruiting. the kid was recruited and offered by auburn but you want to move a good will story from YOUR recruiting board. i will not post or read in the recruiting section. there is no need to be so ruthless. no wonder you are not still at the rant. man this hacks my lily.

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28 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

elliter if you did this dammit just keep your recruiting. the kid was recruited and offered by auburn but you want to move a good will story from YOUR recruiting board. i will not post or read in the recruiting section. there is no need to be so ruthless. no wonder you are not still at the rant. man this hacks my lily.

 

Screenshot_20180704-100642~2.png

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1 hour ago, aubiefifty said:

elliter if you did this dammit just keep your recruiting. the kid was recruited and offered by auburn but you want to move a good will story from YOUR recruiting board. i will not post or read in the recruiting section. there is no need to be so ruthless. no wonder you are not still at the rant. man this hacks my lily.

Slow your roll @aubiefifty. All I did was add "mascot" to the title. I didn't move the thread because I had no idea where else to put it since it was technically recruiting related. A mod moved it. When you have time I feel an apology to me is in order

And I am still at the rant & post daily FTR.

Edited by ellitor

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34 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

we have a had a run in before. funny or not it is old.

Not as old as you creating a new thread for every different article when there are already relevant threads to put the articles in on the front page of a section most of the time..

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well with the stuff you have moved or deleted in the past it stands to reason you would be the first suspect. and we had a bad run in you obviously forgot about. i do not remember you apologizing for any of that tho i could be wrong......

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also who wants to dig through a couple dozen older articles to read a new one that you have buried? do you understand this?

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19 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

well with the stuff you have moved or deleted in the past it stands to reason you would be the first suspect. and we had a bad run in you obviously forgot about. i do not remember you apologizing for any of that tho i could be wrong......

I haven't forgotten the run ins but I don't hold a grudge either. I have apologized FTR.

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28 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

also who wants to dig through a couple dozen older articles to read a new one that you have buried? do you understand this?

Articles aren't usually buried within the first few days of it being posted in an already created relevant thread. Plenty of time for people to read them before they are buried. FTR there have been a number of complaints privately made about a new thread for every article when there are already relevant threads to put articles in. Those new similar threads push other threads on different subjects people want to discuss.off the 1st page. With due respect do you understand the readers' frustrations on that?

Edited by ellitor
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2 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

well then let me be man enough to apologize. and mean it.

:cheers:

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55 minutes ago, ellitor said:
58 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

well then let me be man enough to apologize. and mean it.

:cheers:

 

cXxJYC.gif

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1 hour ago, AUsince72 said:

 

cXxJYC.gif

Haven't seen Taps in a long time but liked that one a lot. 

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3 minutes ago, gr82be said:

Haven't seen Taps in a long time but liked that one a lot. 

GREAT movie!

I thought what's a more manly way of appreciating men making amends than an M-60 machine gun?

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5 minutes ago, gr82be said:

Haven't seen Taps in a long time but liked that one a lot. 

i went to see taps at the theater and when i got home my newish gf had run off with a damn mailman. true story  lol

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3 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

i went to see taps at the theater and when i got home my newish gf had run off with a damn mailman. true story  lol

It's true what they say about the US Mail. Neither snow nor rain nor heat not gloom of night nor taps keeps these couriers from delivering. Ok, I added the taps part but you understand. You're better off without a girl that would do that anyway. 

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6 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

i went to see taps at the theater and when i got home my newish gf had run off with a damn mailman. true story  lol

man she was hot but it was for the best. i just let it go.

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1 minute ago, gr82be said:

It's true what they say about the US Mail. Neither snow nor rain nor heat not gloom of night nor taps keeps these couriers from delivering. Ok, I added the taps part but you understand. You're better off without a girl that would do that anyway. 

yessir you would be correct.

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2 hours ago, gr82be said:

It's true what they say about the US Mail. Neither snow nor rain nor heat not gloom of night nor taps keeps these couriers from delivering. Ok, I added the taps part but you understand. You're better off without a girl that would do that anyway. 

My Dad was a rural mail courier.................................humm

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On 7/4/2018 at 3:58 PM, augolf1716 said:

My Dad was a rural mail courier.................................humm

good for your dad. i am sure he was a saintly man....................

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