Deacon Board for the Church of Tailgate
March 19, 2020

Tom Sapp: The Creator of Hairy Dawg

Tom Sapp: The Creator of Hairy Dawg

Tom Sapp, the creator of Hairy Dawg, joins Herschel and Boss to bark about:

- His time at UGA and the original sketch for Hairy Dawg
- Concept to creation, the three-week sprint to Hairy Dawg
- Hairy Dawg changing the course of his career
- How his legacy is stamped across the sports landscape, with over 200 characters gracing sidelines around the country
- Authenticity being the foundation for the success and acceptance of the characters he's designed

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Transcript

Tom Sapp Interview

00:16

Welcome to the blog dogs podcast. I'm Herschel Gurley joined as always by my co host Boston boss pocket people.

 

00:23

Welcome back, everybody. Today we

 

00:25

have another interview guest we interviewed Tom Sapp. And for those who don't know who Tom is Tom is the creator of our favorite mascot hairy dog along with several other mascots over a couple 100 Actually,

 

00:40

yeah, Tom was a real treat. He was the creator of hairy dog that was the first mascot that he ever designed and wasn't in the business of designing mascots at the time that that happened, but it was an act as a springboard for his career. And he's gone on to design iconic mascots. I mean mascots that you are seeing all across the country at the collegiate professional level. You know, the other thing about Tom, I just thought he was a real beauty, just such a great guy to talk to had great stories you could tell he's just super passionate about his work. So we are really excited for you to hear it. And without further ado, here's Mr. Tom Sapp. We are excited to have Tom Sapp here with us today. Tom is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He is the founder of Real characters, Inc. and he is the creative genius behind over 200 characters spread out across arenas, football fields and stadiums all across the country, most notably our beloved hairy dog. Tom, we are so pleased to have you here. Thank you for joining us today.

 

01:43

I'm pleased to be here.

 

01:44

So Tom, we just wanted to kind of start with your journey. I know you you're a graduate of UGA, why don't you tell us a little bit about your time there as an undergrad?

 

01:53

Oh, yeah, it was great. Of course, I was in the art school. I was a graphic design major, graduated in 1969. And one of the interesting projects I got beyond the school was the business fraternity called me and asked me to do a poster for them to sell. And really, that was the first sketch of what became hairy dog, actually did this poster for ‘em that paid me $100 and I thought why do I even need to graduate I have a $100 but I actually still have that have the original artwork with that poster in my file. And we kind of set it aside until 1980. I was working in the advertising business as an art director, creative director and of course, we had a pretty good freshman named Herschel Walker. And I felt like we needed the tougher mascot to reflect sort of the attitude of the team, and junk whole Junkyard Dog theme and everything that was going on in the Florida game that year. I always had friends over for the Florida game and one particular friend Alan Matthews, and we were watching this new Gator mascot next to what was really a pretty bad Georgia mascot. I think its name was fluffy. This grey, mushroom head dog, it didn't look like a bulldog. The person wearing it didn't act like a bulldog. And this Gator was a pretty doggone good costume for the day. And it was moving and shaking. And Alan said to me said you need to have a dog down there next year that will intimidate that damn Gator. I said, why not? Let's do it. And that kind of started the whole ball rolling to get what became hairy dawg.

 

03:25

dog. And so after the genesis of that idea, what were the steps then to get everything set in motion for hairy dogs debut?

 

03:33

Well, a lot of people will know the name Clisby Clarke, who wrote hunker down hairy dog, Bulldog bite, and I worked with clisby as an account executive at McCann Erickson. And I brought in some sketches of what I thought would make a mascot costume of hairy dog and he agreed to take them over to coach Dooley and show ‘em to him and coach Dooley called us and said can you have it in three weeks for the Sugar Bowl? naively I said sure. And without the help of my good friend, Mack talmadge who was another art director. We actually built that costume in my basement in three weeks working nights and weekends. We made the Sugar Bowl that was the debut and you mentioned Dr. Stan Beecham, of course he wore it to start with and I think if you look here, you'll see that was the introduction that was the day we introduced it to the team with Coach Dooley and that’s stan in the costume and that started the whole thing. he got on ESPN and I started getting calls from all over the country to design characters for everybody from schools to corporations and incorporated real characters in 1989.

 

04:33

Now I want to touch real quick just to verify the audience to be sure. Before hairy dog you had not designed a physical mascot costume before correct?

 

04:43

I had not. I was really interested in the San Diego chicken, Ted Gianellis, and I started watching that and I thought wow, what a neat thing that a mascot character can actually be a value-add to a ticket price. People were going to see the chicken. I even went to a hawks game To see the chicken back in the day and watch him perform. And this sort of was the genesis of getting all this going with mascots, on the sidelines. And it's just grown every year since then the interest, the variety that people getting in the sport, the costumes have certainly gotten better and better and better. You're starting to see characters and Rocket Mortgage commercials. I think I had four characters, one of the, and one of the commercials and Harry's been in a whole bunch of them. He's done a lot of commercial work, you know, over the years. So yeah, so it's been an interesting path.

 

05:32

So our first interview on the podcast and our interview series was with Dr. Beecham, who's, like you said, was the first person ever to, to Don the hairy dog costume. And he had given us some stories about the debut of hairy dog at practice, based on the picture that you showed us. He kind of said that the players, to his recollection, didn't know what was happening. So you guys all kind of walked out. And what were the reactions of the players like at that point in time?

 

05:58

Well, it was funny because we took it inside of the basketball arena and coach Dooley came over, looked at it on the stage. And he said, I want to take it out. I want to walk out with him. So we put it on Stan. And I was behind them. He walked out with Coach Dooley and we were approaching the receivers and I remember a lot of people turned, they just dropped their arms and looked like what is that thing? And of course, I had this idea that this, you know, six-and-a-half, seven-foot tall Bulldog with 28 inch biceps and we had wide shoulders and I thought boy, he's gonna run out there and just dwarf these players. You know, he ran out there, the middle of the o-line and disappeared. Even back then, the guys were so big, and I thought, Oh, man. So coach Dooley called us into the middle of the huddle when he was introducing us it it was really funny because I kept looking around at these guys. I thought well, did they like this thing or not? Do they? And we looked at the pictures later and all of ‘em are laughing in their helmets and smiling and it worked out really really well. We stayed that day and did the vince dooley show. And Stan probably told you bout, We went to Alan's hamburgers for lunch and he still had on the bulldog pants with the tail on it and we walked in and all these construction workers are looking at him like what in the world? So I just kind of put my hands up, said let me explain guys, let me explain what we're doing. But that was a fun day.

 

07:20

So the actual public debut of Harry Dell was actually getting a hamburger now.

 

07:24

That's pretty close.

 

07:27

So it's interesting. I was scrolling the social media feeds today and I saw that the hairy dog Instagram and the UGA cheerleaders Instagram announced the tryouts for this year's hairy dog. So it's Kismet that you're here today, Tom? We're excited to be hearing the stories on that day. I want to recount one other story that Dr. Beecham told us based on those Instagram posts you know, today, the the cheerleading squad the Spirit Squad is still in charge of monitoring hairy dog, making sure everything's in place. They run the tryouts all those things. But from what Dr. Beecham told us for the Sugar Bowl, the plan was not for Dr. Beecham to actually go to New Orleans for the game. They were going to have a local high school student do it. Is that correct?

 

08:13

I didn't know that. I always just knew it was Stan. And he went and I saw an interview that he did on television when he got down there where they stuck a mic up inside his head and I had asked him not to talk. And of course he did. Which was fine, it all worked out great. I've got a great picture of him on the field. And the clock is zero. There's no score on the board. It's just Georgia, Notre Dame. And that was his first moment on the field, I love that photograph. So

 

08:40

yeah, that's cool. So the way he told us is that they were going to they didn't have the funds to take him is what he told us. And he recounted that he thought that Georgia students should be wearing the costume. And he was still in physical possession of the costume. And possession being nine tenths of the law as it goes, he caught a ride in an RV with some fans or some folks that were going to the game and he slept on one of the hotel floors of the cheerleaders because he knew all the cheerleaders from being on the JV team with them. And and that's kind of how we got down there, which I thought was neat, right? from a cultural perspective, from historical perspective.

 

09:20

I didn't know that story at all, but it Yeah, it's interesting. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention coach Mike astronics. And a lot of people may know who coach Mike is. But he was one of the real one of the nicest people ever on this planet, him and his family. Could not have treated us better. And he really got it going. And we worked out a handshake deal with Coach Mike to donate the costume, that all the proceeds would go to the cheerleading fund. I mean, we really had a nice, we had a nice run with Coach Mike over the years, but he was really the kind of the driving force behind getting this thing going.

 

09:56

So then tell us about what that response is. So at the time, you're Not in the mascot design business. This is something you did essentially as a passion project and as a love for your alma mater, and you know, go down to the national title game Perry dog gets on TV and what what then happens? Is it just kind of skyrocket you start getting calls, what's the genesis of real characters ink and and kind of what your career has become?

 

10:21

Sure. Well, that's exactly right it, like I said, it got on ESPN. And people were calling the university and they were nice enough to refer them to me. And it was several calls where I said, Well, what is that you want me to do for you? I was an art director at the time, I was also an illustrator. And they said, well design us an original concept character. Michigan State was one of the first people to contact me. And sparty is still there, the designer, we get to this day, the Goodwill Games in 1990, like so we incorporated in 89. But it's just one job led to another one of those things for the more characters I got out there, the more calls we were getting. And I think most recently, we did the College Football Hall of Fame, we did fumbles, the character that’s down there. And like I said, I've got everything from now from literally elementary schools, all the way up to corporate characters around the country. So it's been an interesting journey. I've told people I didn't plan it. It's kind of one of those things that found me and I love that I have this opportunity. You know, I love what I do. Every day is a new challenge in this business, but Harry's the cornerstone, will always be the cornerstone of this business. I've got three Hairy Dawg heads in my basement ready to finish, to keep him consistent over all these years. And that's one of the real keys to having a long term mascot. Most people don't realize he's 40 years old this year. He’s been with the program for 40 years. Very, very proud of that. Yeah, I

 

11:45

was gonna ask you about that. Just from a timing perspective. We asked Dr. beech in the same thing, but as the dates would have it, the college football semi finals this year for the college football playoff on Friday, January 1, one of them will be played at the Rose Bowl where the dogs have good memories from 2017 and the other fortuitously will be at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl. And we thought to beat him how neat would that be from a legacy perspective? And just from keeping things even that type of thing to have congruency perspective to have hairy dog be back there on the actual 40th anniversary of his debut? How neat would that be?

 

12:23

Oh, that'd be fantastic. Matter of fact, a couple of years ago, we we built a new hairy dog. He had a new costume for Ben O'Brian, a cheerleading coach, and I call Stan and I said I want to take it Athens and I want to put you in it introduced a new costume. I thought it'd be a great thing and our timing got kind of screwed up. We didn't get to pull it off. But I still love the idea of having stand where the costume

 

12:44

again. I think it'd be Oh, that would be fantastic. Oh, I have to rip him about that was to tell him that they should definitely make that happen. Oh, that'd be awesome. He lay still looks. It looks like he can get in and do it. I don't know he he said it was hot in that thing, boy.

 

12:56

Well, he was he was taller. Back then I think he'd look better and now he did.

 

13:03

Well, how does that make you feel? I know the pride have in your alma mater. What is it like to have such an integral piece of the culture not only for football, but for the athletics program in general. When it comes to Harry Dodge, smart pride and legacy perspective, how does that make you feel?

 

13:20

Well, I couldn't be more proud to be honest about it. I've told the story. Several times of the coaches a coach Mike invited us to come to the game when he first appeared in Sanford Stadium, which are the Tennessee game following year from the Sugar Bowl. And he came out on the field and I watched the people reacted he walked around and did several things that I didn't get the feeling I thought I would get I thought I would have this great ego boosting, you know, gosh, look what I did with this mascot, and I didn't feel a thing. And I thought, dang, I'm disappointed. I wanted to feel something. And it was a commercial break. And I noticed these kids running downstairs Sanford stadium and I looked down and hairy dog had come to the head he was signing autographs. And literally the hair mom stood up I thought that's it. That's what I was looking for. It was the acceptance of the fans and particularly kids to these characters overall, the characters have done it seeing the acceptance seeing that it's just mentioned the belief that magic you know, it's the name real characters company actually came from. I had this philosophy I wanted my costumes and my characters to be real from two feet or 200 feet. I didn't want people walk up to a costume, see screens. See eyes hear somebody talk? The the bubble burst. It's not the character. It's I want him to believe that hairy dog is real. You've talked in the Harry No, he won't talk back. But you can talk to Harry though. So that was kind of the feeling that I've got. And yes, it is a great source of pride. I mean, I'm very proud of him. And all the characters that I've done, but he will always be my favorite son. You know, it's

 

14:54

interesting you bring that point up, I read an article where you had given an interview in one of the quotes You'd said was almost exactly that, that one of the keys to your designs was you want the eyes to look real because you want it to be real for the folks that see him. And the example that you gave was when a child goes to Disney World and they see Mickey Mouse walking around the park. That's Mickey Mouse. So you need that magic to be real. And I thought that was great. And a great insight into why you've been so successful because you have that perspective has that become would you say your calling card as it pertains your mascot is that they look so lifelike, because if you look the ones in your catalog, I think they all seem real. And that's why they're so cool.

 

15:35

Well, certainly, that's the goal. we all strive for anybody who's ever designed a costume that suits your ultimate goal, which match your character believable. But the whole Mickey Mouse analogy I've made for years to ughhh credit. The reason you know, Mickey Mouse, when you walk in, it's a costume, you see it as a frozen mask. It's not moving. But it's a kid in a costume. But you don't know that in your head. That's Mickey Mouse. And the reason you believe it's Mickey Mouse is you know what he sounds like, you know, his girlfriend, you know, his best friend, you know, his voice, you know everything about him. And you have to build that around a character. And Georgia has been great about sustaining who hairy dog is he's tough guy. You know, he's got that frown. He's got that attitude. And they let us work with it. We went with it. And I worried in an appearance one year for a magazine bought an appearance of hairy dog and their Christmas party. So I wore it. And I look in the room. And it's probably 50 to 60 little tiny kids in there. And I'm thinking I'm about to walk in there with this Bulldog, with my teeth, my arms, my frown, with this big bag of presence, I'm going to scare these kids to death. So I told the promoters I said, If I go with a kid get scared, let me handle it. Let me handle it as a performer, I'll get the nominee I'll go shy, I'll do different things. And I've told people I went in this room, I didn't scare one single child, they were crawling on me pulling my teeth and on the shoulder pads. So that's that's all part of acceptance of a character. I didn't scare anybody they didn't hairy dog, they want a hairy dog. You know, and that's that acceptance is a big part of it, seeing people react to your characters. certainly seeing clients react to your characters, you know, and have a social program.

 

17:18

So like I looked at your catalog, and some of the characters obviously don't have, you know, the school doesn't have a mascot, or in particular, the one that stood out to me was the mascot for the Dallas Stars? Where does the inspiration for something like particular mascot come

 

17:29

from?

 

17:30

Do they give you like guidelines? Or do you just kind of go with it?

 

17:33

Some people do, some people don't. And I tell people all the time, the jobs that I like the most are the ones that scare me the most. It's when you walk out of meeting with as confident as you can, Oh, sure I can do I got this no problem and you won't get going, what in the heck am I gonna do for this thing. And then when you start, you start making some progress and you start to solve it, you get a greater reward. It's kind of like wow, I really was able to do that. And that was was one of them. I was looking for something different. And the affiliate fanatic is is literally inspired so many different fantasy characters. And people refer to me all the time I say you know, something like fanatic. Nobody knows what it is. It's just this thing, but yet you make it something you estimate like ga you build around it, you make it happen, you know what? The backstory or or the attitude of the character. And fumbles is a great example of that. When I went down to the College Football Hall of Fame. We walked out a meeting I said, oh, by the way, it can't be anything. We represent every single college. It can't be a bird, it can't be a dog. It can't be anything. And you walk away going, Oh, I gotta do a fantasy character. And I think my background in advertising has been my greatest asset. And what separates real characters apart is I usually exact same creative process that I used in the ad business with these characters, and you do talk to clients about their strategy, what do they want to communicate? Who is the audience? Who are they talking to? And I break down the sport like the football thing that go posters for fumbles medium, it made that character, that was the unique thing of you always try to find something unique. You try to make it proprietary to the client and to the character. And in that case, it was the, in the case of the data stores it was the hockey stick ears who were doing we had the big furry green character and I think they named the victor eat green or something like that. And but it's a hockey stick ears and things like that if you look for those little touches of my community. Yeah, so

 

19:34

one of the things I think is so neat about what you do and where your career has taken you is that these mascots become part of the experience and I'll speak to one in particular of your designs that that I have personal experience with. I have family that lives in Kansas City and we always go to Kauffman Stadium to see the Royals play when we go and visit. I've been at Kauffman Stadium a number of times and It never ceases to amaze me the reaction that slugger gets from the kids and from the patrons at the ballgame. How special is that to you to whatever it be whether it be slugger in Kansas City or blue shark at Wichita State or sparty, or Mr. c? I mean, you have got iconic characters all over the sports landscape. Could you have ever imagined, you know, when you were designing hairy dog that over 40 years, it would turn into all this?

 

20:27

Not at all. Not in the least as a matter of fact, you mentioned one of the interviews I was seeing in Colorado doing this interview and my wife says, We better get a list of characters you've, you've done. And I thought, I've never done that. And we started sitting down and I started naming and I thought, well, I've got to go to the computer. He started, started listing all these cared and actually even surprised me. How many of them we've done, because I love doing every one of them. I mean, there's a great sense of accomplishment anytime you saw one and you make clients happy, and then they see the fans acceptance, like we've mentioned a couple of times. Yeah, it's uh, I could never imagine that I would be doing this, you know, still doing it. But I'm Oh, keep doing it. People ask me all the time you go return. I said, No. It's too much fun. It really is.

 

21:12

Other than the obvious Is there anything that is out there that may not be as well known, that just is it for you that you know, other than Harry's party, anything like that, that you just brings another sense of pride to your mind just that you're just extremely proud of?

 

21:26

Well, I'm an old car guy. I'm an old racecar guy. I had the opportunity a few years ago to work with Firestone racing tires. And they had a worldwide competition to design the fire hall, which is a brand name for their racing tires. And I had to have the final three, and I want it. We built nine fire Hawks. There's two in Japan and I think seven in this country. If you watch any IndyCar event, you'll see the fire Hawk in victory lane every time. And because I wanted it so authentic to racing. I wanted the helmet to be the exact right shape, his face his driver suit, his markings. His Eb wears driver shoes. He wears the racing shoes that the drivers were I wanted that authentic. So on the corporate side, I would have to say it's the firehawk you know, and I'm extremely proud of Rocky Mountain line, the Denver Nuggets. That's the other side of the country. But we hired Ken to be that mascot back in the early 90s. We actually went out and did auditions. Lane Jordan, who was Harry the Hawk, which is another one I'm very proud of. went out there and discovered Ken and he's still performing is Rocky. 30 years later, yeah. 30 years that he's been Rocky, you know, you got different ones certainly defining blue handed Delaware UT, the fine beer, but that's how I met Dave Raymond. His dad was the coach and good friends with Dave do a lot of work with Dave. But yeah, those are just a few. Yeah.

 

22:49

Is there any that you've seen? You've come across and you've been just like, Man, I wish I could have designed that one?

 

22:56

Well, I'm sure I mean, I take a lot of pride in seeing other people's work. You know, there are several designers that I can't think of anything specifically right now. But yeah, I really tip my hat to be more because I know the process. You know, and I know about the performers. You mentioned Kansas City, Rob matar pair was the original slugger when we did that costume. And he's here in Atlanta, got a family now he still wears my costumes. They put together the first surface, which I designed all three characters for and they go do minor league games between sessions innings. That thing no matter what they do in a hockey game in Florida this weekend. So a lot of the guys that I've met the performances I've met like Wayne, Jordan and kin, and all these different guys are my friends. It's like I've made so many friends through not just the characters but the guys that were on the clients. It's just amazing where these things have taken

 

23:50

me what's the wear and tear like when these costumes so let's say you have a client let's let's just use hairy dog as the example. How many does the university go through a year? Are they usable for multiple years? What is the maintenance? Like what are the logistics of all that?

 

24:04

Well, it really depends on the client. I've had people destroy a costume and a year I've it's blue, yellow white Panther for Georgia State years ago, pallets they call me about seven years later and said we're sending pallets in for repairs. I thought, Man this thing's gonna be a wreck. And I literally put stitches in one knee that was it. You know, so you never know and like I've had harried Oh, got painted the lip on hairy dog probably four times a season. Sometimes you don't touch it. You know? It really depends on Hi, I'm good to hear that the performers take care of it. The environment that it's in Georgia keeps about three hairy dog costumes that that I think are the best ones. You know, and like I said, we're always ready at a moment's notice to finish another one. You know if we need one year very few people know the story of just before the league was a game in Orlando was our bowl game playing Ohio State. The kid called me and said I want to come by and let's show me how to change Harry over the basketball. We've got a basketball game right after we get back. And he drove up. He was white as a ghost. And I said, What's the matter? He said, I killed Harry, though.

 

25:10

What happened?

 

25:11

That, put it down on the driveway, the phone rang, I came in and got in the car drove right over top. Open the bag. And sure enough, he did destroy it. And I called the coaches down here and I said, Every dog will try to get another one ready in two days. Down, we can but please don't get on this guy. He didn't mean to do it. He's just about suicidal. I don't remember his name. We almost got it done. We didn't make it. But we didn't have it ready for the Kentucky basketball game. And so you got to be able to you got to be ready to respond. We only had one costume back then. So we stayed up a couple of nights and got that thing done. You just do it. You just react you do what clients say we get costumes. And all the time when people say I've got events coming up in three days. Can you fix it? And we do everything we can to get ready for

 

26:04

what is your favorite hairy dog related story that relates to you whether it be somebody saying something to you about it or something that you saw on TV and you were like, Oh, that's cool. Which What's your favorite hair dog related story?

 

26:17

Well, it's kind of funny. You mentioned the tryouts. And I've told people one year when I was judging the tryouts. literally the best performer in the whole group was a young girl. She was the best dancer she moves. She did everything but she couldn't be harried though she was just wasn't the right proportion. You know, the costume didn't look good on it. So I did the Super Show. One year, I had a booth down there. And I took the hairy dog costume and I wore it. I went outside the booth was walking around, got last walk around for about an hour and a half people giving me gifts, taken pictures, taken all those things. And I laugh because I tell people all the time when you're wearing a costume, somebody's taking your picture, your smile. You go, what am I doing smiling back to the booth and my business partner at the time, like Ronnie, who was a colleague, so he has dual citizenship. He's Ohio State, Georgia graduate, got two degrees. And he said I want to wear haircut. I've always wanted to wear hairy dog is one of my fantasies I want to wear hairy dog. The Super Show I said, Okay, problem is Mike's five two. I think he may not put the costume on him, but took him out in the lobby area where people walk in here. If people will come by going, damn, Harry, what do happen to you. So people do notice. And it's one of the things that when we're doing Fraps. And while we look at that, you know, you have to look at the proportions of the performer and the characters on board. And the consistency is important. You know the consistency of presentation. You know he's hairy dog, we've developed signatures for several of my characters, Harry's one of them. Anytime I sign a hairy document, and I send them out all the time, you always have a suite that I do not put a pawprint over the eye. And I've told people start he puts a little comb over his This is like a comb on top of his head. Rocky finishes his signature with a lightning bolt tail. What you want is a good gets a signature from Harry, when he's three or four years old and he gets one when he's 25 is still Harry signing it. Those little things we do that make it consistent that add to the character that keep the character consistent. So we look for those things. It may be the way he waves maybe the way he walks we try to work all those things into the personality of the character. And if you got a great backstory you stay with it, you just keep promoting it.

 

28:35

So we close on interviews Tom with in honor of coach smart we do the smart 16 so they're kind of just rapid fire type questions and we're gonna we're gonna run you through them. Okay, sure. All right, so the first one is what's your middle name? Julian left my father

 

28:48

who is your favorite dog?

 

28:51

Got to be Herschel. No doubt.

 

28:53

What is your favorite game?

 

28:55

The favorite game would have been the Florida game 85 I believe Florida was number one current bill was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. We took Keith Anderson and Tim Worley down there below 24 to three loved

 

29:10

what is your favorite rivalry?

 

29:12

I'm still got to be Florida. Got to beat up gotta beat the Gators. I got too many friends that are Gators. And we have a great time every year.

 

29:19

What is your favorite away stadium to visit?

 

29:21

Oh gotta be Gator bow.

 

29:23

The loudest home game you ever attended.

 

29:25

Alabama late 80s maybe 89 night game. We had a beat to the last two minutes let them grab the field. But that last block punt touchdown that we got with two minutes to go It was loud. Cuz I was on the sideline with Harry that night.

 

29:40

That's what is your go to tailgate food when you're walking to the tailgates What are you looking to grab

 

29:46

fried chicken?

 

29:47

What is the cocktail you're mixing for the world's largest outdoor cocktail party

 

29:51

bourbon and coke. When you are back in Athens, what is your favorite place to eat?

 

29:56

Was it still is the varsity

 

30:00

Any game day superstitions,

 

30:02

not really superstitions I always wear red and black. I'll make it a point to put on the red and black but no real superstitions

 

30:08

of all the Sanford pregame traditions and there are many and they're all awesome. What is your favorite?

 

30:14

Well, they go back to when I was in school and it was a red coat band kicking everything off.

 

30:19

Black jerseys, yes or no?

 

30:21

No.

 

30:22

What is the loss? You're still not over

 

30:26

South Carolina last year. Man that cracked me I was in the airport San Antonio. Watch it on the phone with another Georgia fan.

 

30:35

And I hated

 

30:37

hockey, harking back to an answer earlier. What's your order at the varsity?

 

30:41

That's gonna be a chili cheese dog with pimento

 

30:44

there ought to be a constitutional amendment outline noon kickoffs? Yes or No,

 

30:49

no, get it started earlier for me in today's perfectly fun.

 

30:53

All right. And lastly, college football playoff expand to eight teams are fine. How it is.

 

30:59

I'm kind of neutral on that. I don't like that the playoffs have diminished the importance of the bowl game, the individual going but I absolutely love the playoffs.

 

31:09

All right, Tom, you made it through you have completed the smart 16. All right. Well, Tom, we're just thrilled that you came on and talk with us today. This is just been a great conversation. super interesting. You know, guys, make sure and follow Tom's work. He's on Twitter. He's on Instagram, make sure and follow his mascots all around the country. He is literally got his handprint all over the sports that you are watching every night and every Saturday and Sunday. So Tom, it's been a pleasure to have you and just thank you so much for giving us your time today. Thank you

 

31:41

for inviting me on guys. It's been a lot of fun.

 

31:43

Well, that concludes our interview with Tom Sapp boss, what were your thoughts on what Tom had to say? First off, I

 

31:48

just like to thank Tom because for just for creating such a character that's been so important to my kids childhood, really, one of the first things my son ever had was a hairy dog pillow pet, I have a hairy dog pop Funko sitting on my desk right now. So that's just a really important thing to in my kids lives, you know, in my life, really. So I want to thank him for that. And the attention to detail that he talks about all of his characters that he has kept. And that is so important throughout the years, especially like with the signatures, and the movements and stuff like that, like I mean, that's something that I didn't know, and I just find very fascinating that anyone who Dolan's those mascots, they have to have, they have to walk a certain way, they have to move a certain way that, you know, all the signatures have to have a certain swoop and you know, certain basically, they have to be written a certain way and have to have like certain, you know, pawprints or I can't remember which one it was. But he said like the one of them ends with like a lightning bolt on the tail. And just the attention to detail is just amazing that, you know, I mean Harry's 40 this year, and that all the signatures are going to he said, you know, pretty much look the same from start to finish, you know, there might be some slight variations from the person. But that's just incredible, that it's, you know, lasted this long and stayed the same way. That's just amazing to me. But I mean, he was very, very gracious with his time.

 

33:09

Yeah, it was awesome to hear his perspective on Harry Dogg's creation. And I was just taken aback by how, how focused on excellence he is, it was just so easy to tell that in talking with him, and you can tell the reason that his his business has sustained for this long is because he creates excellent work and I think that's embodied by all the characters that he's got all throughout the sports landscape. I think the other thing that was neat was kind of hearing him talk a little bit about the legacy that it's leaving that he's created all these characters and to your point that are not just a part of kids lives but part of the fan experience all across the country at the collegiate and professional level. So what a great legacy and you know, just couldn't be happier for him. I mean, what a great guy just one of those type of people that you root for and easy to talk with and, and great conversation and we're thrilled that he came on and Thomas Welcome back to hang with us anytime. So Tom, thank you so much. For all your work, go dog sick,

 

34:09

go dogs

 

Tom Sapp Profile Photo

Tom Sapp

Founder, Real Characters, Inc./Creator of Hairy Dawg