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Spotlight on Starkville - Part 3

"Bully" is the mascot of Mississippi State University. WTVA's Daniella Oropeza got the chance to meet the current Bully - Jak.

Posted: Jun 6, 2019 12:53 PM
Updated: Jun 6, 2019 12:53 PM

Speech to Text for Spotlight on Starkville - Part 3

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with a celebrity...and if you just follow lisa and jak for a little while, you'll quickly understand where i'm coming from. he gets to be a dog." head technician, internal medicine and oncology - bully's mom) oropeza / starkville, oktibbeha county) laughs "what was that noise?" "just like fell into i guess you could say..." laughs "he's like i got to be involved in this too." "...bully xv, i think..." laughs "he's loving that isn't he?" laughs as you can see time spent with lisa pritchard and jak is very entertaining. a veterinary nurse in the internal medicine oncology department at mississippi state university...pritchard's other job is pretty cool. "it's amazing. i mean i have met some amazing people. i love my job." pritchard tells me she sort of inherited the responsibility of bully when she started working at the veterinary school in 19- 93...replacing the woman before her who left for another job. but...it was pritchard who expanded the role. "i just felt like that our mascot needed to have more exposure. he needed to be more readily available for fans." now...her days with jak are never really the same. when he's not attending the university's many athletic events...he may be exercising...and he still goes to work. "i literally wake him up. he goes outside, he goes potty, he goes back to sleep. when i get ready to go to work, he gets in the car. we come to work." and walking him into the office...is nothing short of a warm welcome by all who sees him. nat sound but game day...is different. "he is the face of the university." he's the focal point of many of mississippi state's traditions...bully is on the sidelines of numerous athletic events. and there's also this iconic statue of him you'll see in the junction. it's here that fans will stand along this walk way for the dawg walk. "we lead the team at dawg walk. where the football players walk through the junction. we lead the team through that which happens two hours prior to game." but before jak can begin his game day...he has to put on his harness. "that's his uniform to go to work, to perform, to be the mascot. it's almost like we go from play puppy to okay i'm the mascot and i have a job to do so i'm all serious now." this isn't just any harness...it was worn by his father, champ or bully xx (twenty), and by his grandfather, tatonka or bully xviiii (nineteen)...and before them. "i've been doing this for 27 years. we use the same harness now that i was given when i started this 27 years ago." so there's a lot of history that comes with bully. and you can learn about it at humphrey colesium where there's a wall with every bully, there names and information about them. nat quite the attention grabber...some of jak's most noteable fans include...tim tebow...paul finebaum...even m-s-u women's head coach vick schafer...who couldn't help but capture a picture of jak boarding the plane to last year's final four championship. but when the harness comes off...it's jak's time to be jak. "his home life is just what it is...it's home. that's where he doesn't have to be in the spotlight, he doesn't have to perform. he doesn't have to be still for pictures or do anything like that. he gets to be a dog." i learned so much more than i was able to fit in one story.
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