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Your typical sports mascot will throw on the duck/tiger/bull/cowboy head to match the body suit, strut up and down the sidelines, wave to the crowd, shoot t-shirts into the stands out of a bad ass shirt cannon, do the belly-jig dance and pose for photo ops with the kids. Then, at the end of the game, they hang up their costume, take a shower, throw on street clothes and go about their day until the next home game. This is standard, normal mascot behavior.
Then you have Jon Kimble, the 65th West Virginia University Mountaineer mascot, who, as part of the shtick, wields a muzzleloader rifle on the sidelines and fires off blank shots into the air to excite the crowd. Unlike your standard fully-costumed mascot, Kimble has to actually assume the role of the Mountaineer to an extent. He has grown out a long, full beard, which takes dedication and eliminates the on-again, off-again aspect of the typical mascot lifestyle. Aside from his physical inability to hang the Mountaineer costume up at the end of the day, Kimble is still a little out there.
Either Jon Kimble earnestly carries his role with him, even after he crosses the threshold from mascot to commoner, or he is a real life mountaineer.
According to reports and tweets, the following are true of Kimble:
1. He’s an avid deer hunter.
2. He makes his own jerky.
3. He shares his jerky with WVU fans.
4. He hunts in the same hat that he wears as part of the Mountaineer mascot uniform.
5. He hunts with the very musket that he carries on the football field with him, which for some inexplicable reason actually fires projectiles. Deadly projectiles.
“How do you know?” you’re likely wondering. Because he killed a goddamn black bear with it — a black bear he plans “to fully harvest.”
Killeda WV Black Bear today with my Mountaineer Rifle today!! twitter.com/WVUMascot/stat…
— Jon Kimble, Mtnr (@WVUMascot) December 4, 2012
He then followed that tweet up with another that said he was “gonna make a rug out of it and some bear jerky!” At this point, you’re probably hoping a YouTube video exists of the bear kill. You’re in luck. It does, and it’s fucking fantastic.
In it, Kimble, dressed in costume, kills the treed bear, then hollers, “Wooo! Let’s go Mountaineers!” The video then cuts to a simple blue background, overlaid with gold text that reads “TOUCHDOWN for the MOUNTAINEER.”
Here’s the video:
Wow, what an animal. Nice lookin’ black bear, too.
Kimble’s actions with the muzzleloader haven’t violated West Virginia law or — and quite shockingly — university regulation, but that hasn’t stopped the litany of bellyaching complaints from those who have seen the video. He, and the university, have a borderline mutiny on their hands. Obligingly, they have agreed to shelf the musket for hunting purposes, and end Jon Kimble’s reign as the coolest motherfucker to ever set foot in the state of West Virginia.
A spokesperson for WVU provided the following statement:
“While Jonathan Kimble’s actions broke no laws or regulations, the University has discussed this with him and he agrees that it would be appropriate to forego using the musket in this way in the future. There are some provisions regarding the gun, but none that prohibit its use outside of University-sponsored functions or for hunting purposes. It is also worth noting that powder is used when the musket is discharged at public functions.”
Jon Kimble has abruptly ascended to the top of the “TFM Man of the Year Award” list of nominees.