Benny the Bull
For more than 39 years, Benny the Bull had entertained Chicago Bulls fans, first at Chicago Stadium (1969–1994), and then at the United Center (1994–2014). He had become just as popular as some of the franchise's most notable figures, such as players Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, and head coach Phil Jackson. Benny was one of the longest-tenured mascots in the NBA and in all of professional sports. Benny was named after Ben Bentley, the Bulls first Public Relations Manager and Stadium Announcer. In 2013, Benny was named the most popular mascot in sports by Forbes.
The Benny the Bull suit consisted of a whole-body bull costume made of bright red fur with large white eyes, a tan snout, a long red tail and black gloves with red fur on the back. Over the suit, Benny wore an authentic uniform (road red/black and home whites) and team-appointed athletic shoes. His jersey bore the name "Benny" above the number "1" on the back. Benny sports several different costumes based on the theme of the game as well as his overall "mood". Benny the Bull can also do many different kinds of dances.
In addition to performing stunts and entertaining the crowd at Bulls games, Benny also made public appearances throughout the greater Chicago area on behalf of the team. Benny made approximately 250 appearances per year. As a member of the Bulls' All-Star Reading Team, he appeared at schools to promote literacy and the importance of a good education. He could also be booked for private events. Benny had also worked as a mascot on individual dates for other professional sports franchises, such as the Billings Outlaws.
In other media
Benny was one of the many secret characters featured in the video game NBA Jam Tournament Edition. Along with him, three other NBA mascots appear in the game: the Phoenix Suns Gorilla, Charlotte Hornets' Hugo and Minnesota Timberwolves' Crunch.
The late punk musician Wesley Willis did a song about him called "Benny the Bull".
- "Benny the Bull Bio", NBA.com, accessed July 5, 2006.
- Freeman, Eric. "Benny the Bull is the most popular mascot in America, says Forbes". Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Outlaws' O-line sackless on season", Mike Zimmer, the Billings Gazette, published June 24, 2006, accessed July 5, 2006.
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