Under the Mask: “The Ram Transcends Everything”


The Fordham University Ram, pictured here at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx, inspires school spirit in each member of the Fordham community (Julia Cornell /The Observer).


As Laura Paone, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’16, put it, “The Ram is life.” For Paone and Nick Endo, FCLC ’16, the Fordham Ram is more than a mascot; it is an embodiment of how they feel about Fordham. When you see the Ram walking around during an open house or on a Fordham Thursday, it’s most likely Paone or Endo. They both love the university and wanted to show their pride in the school. As Paone said, “I really wanted to spread my love of Fordham with my peers.”

For these two, being the Ram goes beyond just the high-fives and pictures; it’s about the joy the Ram brings others. Endo believes, “Seeing prospective students be happy is most important.” Paone added, “It fills everyone with cheer and camaraderie.” According to Endo, wearing the Ram costume means making prospective and current students excited to be at Fordham.

However, being the Ram isn’t all fun and games. Paone and Endo agreed that the costume tends to get overheated, causing the Ram to be drenched in sweat. Other problems include poor vision and trouble walking. Endo admitted vision was one of the most difficult parts about being the Ram, but he wouldn’t reveal how he sees out of the costume. He was quite secretive about the behind-the-scenes features of the Ram. Endo said, “I have such a high standard of ethics when it comes to talking about the Ram. I take it very seriously. I don’t like to reveal too much about the magic.”

However, the magic is put on hold when Paone tries to walk in the suit. While Endo agreed walking was difficult in the costume, Paone said, “It’s kind of like you’re wearing big flippers.” She didn’t shy away from describing what dressing as the Ram entails.

Paone explained exactly what goes into being the Ram. For example, one thing many people don’t realize is that the Ram has a wardrobe. The Ram has a few different outfits: a basketball uniform, some t-shirts and even a Santa outfit. The outfits don’t always work out, though. Paone disclosed that during her last outing as the Ram, “The t-shirt was a little too tight for the Ram, so he looked really muscular and it constricted the whole Ram.” The complications with the outfit only increased the initial problem with walking.

Paone continued, “I had to go down the escalators. I tried a couple of times, but couldn’t do it. It would be so embarrassing if someone just sees the Ram tumbling down the escalator.”

Despite the vision and walking issues, the oversized head can provide joy for the person who dons it, especially when taking pictures. Paone revealed the eye holes near the mouth of the Ram allow the wearer’s face to be completely hidden, giving Paone the perfect opportunity to have fun while taking pictures with Ram Fans. She said, “I would just make funny faces when taking pictures, because no one can see my face and the Ram is always smiling.”

From sports games to open houses, the Ram is everywhere. The Ram does it all, so during the next Fordham Thursday make sure you snap a picture with Fordham’s beloved mascot. But don’t assume Laura Paone or Nick Endo will be smiling under that costume.