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LINCOLN, Nebraska — College may never be the same again. Classes are migrating online, there are mandatory mask mandates on campus and there is no answer to the looming question about the return of collegiate sports. No sports means no screaming fans, no tailgating and no mascots.

Mascots are the life of a college sporting event. They feed energy into the crowd. They create an atmosphere that lives beyond what is happening on the field. These are moments families, friends and fans will remember for years to come. With sports on hold, mascots have had to come up with different ways to engage with the fans. 

UNO Mavericks’ mascot Durango, and the team behind him, has evolved the role from hugs and high-fives to timelines and tik toks.

Brent Bartels is a senior Sports Broadcaster at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After graduating in the fall of 2020, he would like to continue to work in sports specifically Minor/Major League Baseball.