CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – In an effort to bring you access to the Panthers like no other, we had hoped to go inside the mind of their longtime mascot Sir Purr. However, as we quickly learned, conversations with the cat can be difficult considering all he does is squeak.
Dejected but not defeated, we went to the next best thing: his head of Sir-curity.
“It can get crazy,” said Marshall Bennett. “It can.”
Ultimately that’s why Bennett has a job and that itself became an equally interesting story to us. The 23-year-old biology major applied for the full-time position as mascot assistant back in March, and looking back, he admits he had no idea what he was in for.
“I didn’t think I’d have to climb up on a scoreboard,” the Greenville, South Carolina native recalled. “That was pretty insane.”
However as he would soon discover, the rest of his workload was too. After all Sir Purr’s got always had a packed schedule and it’s Bennett’s job to make sure he stays on task.
“Any day of the week. Any time. Any place. We are on call to go whenever,” Bennett said.
That’s because wherever Sir Purr goes, Bennett is not far behind. On game days, for instance, he follows the feline all the way from the pregame march through numerous costume changes, right down to the very last postgame selfie.
“If you want a picture with Sir Purr, you’re going to get a picture.”
It’s a motto that stays the same, regardless of the five hundred other appearances they make year-round. But be it in a classroom or in the office, Bennett’s signature security shades remain in position, a sign they’re not just for show.
We were filming a commercial,” Bennett remembered. “This group of 50 YMCA kids came out of nowhere. I cut them off and I was like stop, freeze!
But Sir Purr didn’t mind and deep down neither did Bennett. Granted the hours are long, and he could have made a lot pursuing a career in biology but in his mind, he’s got the best gig, with the best mascot in the game.
“He brings a certain joy and just a certain nuance to any atmosphere he goes to,” Bennett said.
With a big assist, of course from his mascot assistant.