‘Exuberant’ college mascot sends Arizona councilman to hospital

Posted on: March 29th, 2019 by
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A case of bad timing and extraordinary bad luck sent a Tempe, Arizona city councilman to hospital last week.

The culprit behind the accidental “attack”? An overly “exuberant” college mascot.

Tempe, Arizona city councilman David Schapira was at an Arizona State University football game last Friday along with the mayor and the rest of city council.

Schapira says he was down on the sidelines before the game taking pictures when two extremely unfortunate events occurred within a few seconds.

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The first involved the ASU Sun Devils’ mascot, Sparky, jumping on his back. The second, just moments before, involved Schapira putting down his cane.

Yes, his cane. That’s because Schapira was still recovering from major back surgery, and Sparky’s jump, from behind and out-of-the-blue, couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“I told my wife to take one more and handed her the cane, I didn’t want it in the shot.” Schapira told ABC-15 News in Arizona.

A hilarious series of photos shot by Schapira’s wife shows what happened next, as Sparky tries to photo bomb the man who, by all appearances, is just standing by the sidelines posing for a photo.

“I kind of laughed at first, then my expression changes to terror as I felt that pop,” Schapira said.

The surprise jump caused Schapira to tear a muscle in the exact location where he had surgery for a herniated disc in his back two months prior.

As a result Schapira collapsed to the ground and had to be carted to a local hospital. He’s now looking at another round of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Arizona State has agreed to pay his medical expenses, and issued a statement apologizing for the accidental actions of their “exuberant” mascot.

“ASU sincerely apologizes for Sparky’s excessive exuberance at Friday night’s game. University officials have been in regular contact with Councilman Schapira since the incident and we have offered our fullest assistance and cooperation in getting his bills paid and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Schapira jokes that next time, he’ll take extra precautions.

“I’ll wear a shirt saying ‘Be gentle’ or ‘Fragile, handle with care’,” he joked.

For the record, Arizona State defeated New Mexico 34-10 that night, a victory that would have undoubtedly been sweeter for the councilman if he wasn’t watching it from the hospital.


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