Valourfootball.club interviewed Winnipeg’s most popular lion, Vic, who stands seven footballs tall and serves as mascot for Valour FC.
Valourfootball.club: Where were you born?
Vic: I was born at the Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg and grew up on Valour Road.
Valourfootball.club: How did you start working for Valour FC?
Vic: Rob Gale, the team’s GM and Head Coach, was on a scouting trip across the province. I happened to be catching a Bomber game at Investors Group Field, and Coach Gale saw me shopping for Valour FC gear in the Bomber Store. I was star struck! I had so many questions, I asked him if I could tryout for the team because I grew up playing soccer my whole life. I think he took pity on me and told me to come back the next day. But I was so nervous, I slipped on the ball and dell flat on my back! Needless to say, I didn’t make the team, but Coach Gale liked me and offered the job of team mascot.
Valourfootball.club: What position did you play growing up?
Vic: My dad played keeper for the Winnipeg Fury when they used to play at the old Winnipeg Stadium, so I followed in his footsteps.
Valourfootball.club: Who are some of your idols?
Vic: Desiree Scott, ‘The Destroyer’! What an inspiration, and she’s a Winnipegger! I hope I get to meet her one day.
Valourfootball.club: Do you have any experience being a mascot?
Vic: Well… I mean, no. But I’ve always been told I was the class clown so that’s got to count for something right?
Valourfootball.club: What is your family like?
Vic: My mom was an actress when she was younger, you might have seen her in the Lion King. Then there’s my dad, he’s been the king of the Assiniboine Park Zoo for years. And my older brother Marty, he moved to Madagascar in 2005 and became a big movie star. So we’re all in the entertainment industry in some way.
Valourfootball.club: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Vic: A bobsledder in the Olympics. Or a dentist. It was a toss-up, really.
Valourfootball.club: What do you do for fun?
Vic: I’m actually a very good singer. Opera. I spend several nights each week taking voice lessons. I also enjoy rock climbing, making smoothies, soaking in my hot tub, push-ups, barbecuing, playing shiny hockey in the winter and hiking in Birds Hill Park in the summer.
Valourfootball.club: If you weren’t a mascot, what job would you have?
Vic: A hair model. I’ve been told my mane is particularly shiny and smooth.
Valourfootball.club: How will you prepare for a match?
Vic: First, a good breakfast is key: A giant stack of saskatoon pancakes drowned in maple syrup, maple-smoked bacon, a dozen eggs and 2 litres of coffee. Then I hit shuffle on my iPod and I jog to the stadium. I have to hear some Shania Twain on match day. When I get to the stadium, I will make sure the visiting team’s coolers are emptied of regular Gatorade and replaced with salt water. And I’ll tie all their cleat laces together.
Valourfootball.club: Will you start any game day superstitions?
Vic: Yes, my dad always said you have to get 50 straight touches juggling a soccer ball before matches. If you miss or drop it, start over until you get it or it’s bad luck.
Valourfootball.club: What are you most looking forward to on game days?
Vic: Oh, the hugs! I know I will be the all-time leader in hugs received per game. I’m aiming for an average of 2,997 hugs per game. But also, I can’t wait for the game day snacks. I love Shawarmas and mini donuts.
Valourfootball.club: Is there anything you’re not looking forward to?
Vic: I hope there are no tail-pullers in Winnipeg! Those guys are the worst. If someone pulls my tails, they may get a roar in the face and a bucket of popcorn over the head.
Valourfootball.club: What is something that not everyone knows about you?
Vic: My great-great-grandpa is on the Victoria Cross medal – that’s where I got my name from, Vic is short for Victoria. He fought alongside Corporal Leo Clarke, Sergeant-Major Frederick William Hall, and Lieutenant Robert Shankland in World War I and I am so proud of him!
Book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Movie: The Lion King
Movie star: Mufasa
Food: I have a sweet tooth. Anything with sugar. Or bacon. Or steak.
Color: Valour maroon
Music: Hip hop
Dance move: That one’s a secret. You’ll see in April!
Saying: For Valour (duh)
Subject in school: Gym class
Soccer player: Desiree Scott